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San Francisco Giants: Handing out team awards for April

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 24: Kevin Pillar #1 (C) of the San Francisco Giants and teammates celebrate following victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in a MLB game at Rogers Centre on April 24, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 24: Kevin Pillar #1 (C) of the San Francisco Giants and teammates celebrate following victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in a MLB game at Rogers Centre on April 24, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – APRIL 05: Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants looks on against the Tampa Bay Rays in the top of the seventh inning of a Major League Baseball game on Opening Day at Oracle Park on April 5, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

San Francisco Giants—Best Defender of April

It is not surprising that a team blessed with so many Gold Glove winners has excelled as a team in the field. What has been a bit of a surprise is just how much better than everyone else at fielding the Giants have been so far this season.

No other team comes close in terms of DEF, a statistic from FanGraphs that aggregates different measures of defensive performance to provide a number that represents defensive value relative to league average.

In the month of April, the Giants as a team earned 10.5 DEF. That puts them well ahead of the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers, who are tied for second with 6.0.

Both shortstop Brandon Crawford and third baseman Evan Longoria have been excellent defensively so far, but the stand out defensive performer of April is catcher Buster Posey.

Posey has thrown out 7-of-14 base-stealers, and he has yet to commit any errors in 20 games behind the plate. He’s also once again been one of the best pitch-framers in baseball, according to Baseball Prospectus.

All told, Posey has generated 6.0 DEF, which is second-best among all catchers, trailing only Philadelphia Phillies backstop J.T. Realmuto (6.3).

So while his offensive production may be below-average on the year, Posey has once again been an elite defensive catcher and the best defensive player on baseball’s best defensive team.

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