A primary reason for the San Diego Padres’ success this season has been the strength of the team’s fielding.
The Padres rank first in the majors in UZR/150 and third in Dewan’s Defensive Runs Saved.
Leading the charge has been the centerfield tandem of Tony Gwynn and Scott Hairston who have combined for approximately 7 runs above average according to both metrics.
Because of the severe sample size issues associated with fielding statistics, I do not want to discuss any more individual performances, but collectively the Padres have played 1620 defensive innings (180 9-inning individual games). That is a somewhat more meaningful sample, and provides some reason to be optimistic about the Padres’ fielding going forward.
The bullpen is good (fourth in reliever’s RAR). The fielding appears to be a strength. If the team could get a bit more production out of their starting pitchers (currently ranked 23rd in starter’s RAR), the Padres could be one of the major league’s best run prevention teams. And that’s not even considering the impact of Petco Park.