San Francisco Giants—Best defender of May
The most remarkable piece of individual fielding brilliance this month came from Brandon Crawford against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 19.
With the game-winning run standing on third base and two outs in the ninth, Crawford rolled back the years and stretched every sinew to reach an Adam Jones grounder, before making an inch-perfect throw to Brandon Belt at first.
Both Joe Panik (2.5) and Evan Longoria (2.0) have put up impressive DEF numbers on the month. DEF is a statistic from FanGraphs that aggregates different measures of defensive performance to provide a number that represents defensive value relative to league average.
That said, the team’s most valuable defensive asset continues to be Buster Posey, who had another impressive month behind the plate.
He threw out 3-of-4 base-stealers in May and committed just one error in 18 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 now generated 9.5 DEF in 2019, which is third-best among all catchers, trailing only Philadelphia Phillies backstop J.T. Realmuto (12.6) and Austin Hedges of the San Diego Padres (12.1).
With his outstanding defensive output, Posey can provide considerable value to the team, as long as he can be league-average with the bat.