Most everyone knows by now that the Mariners are the best defensive team in baseball, but by how much? At Baseball Info Solutions, we’ve recently projected Defensive Runs Saved (as introduced in The Fielding Bible – Volume II) for the 2010 season. We evaluated each player’s defensive performance over the past three years and prorated their performance based on the number of innings each is expected to play this year. We expect Seattle to nearly match their 110 Runs Saved from 2009 and dwarf the second-best Phillies, 2008’s best defensive team.

Best Projected Defensive Teams for 2010
Team Projected Runs Saved
Seattle Mariners 103
Philadelphia Phillies 49
Tampa Bay Rays 48
St. Louis Cardinals 38
Houston Astros 37

The Red Sox will be the most improved team, going from -52 Runs Saved in 2009 to a projection of 35 Runs Saved in 2010 thanks to their offseason acquisitions.

Franklin Gutierrez led baseball with 32 Runs Saved in center field in 2009, though new Mariners teammates Chone Figgins (31 Runs Saved) and Jack Wilson (27 Runs Saved) finished close behind. We project Gutierrez to retain his crown, but Wilson and 2008 champion Chase Utley should give him a run for his money.

Best Projected Defenders for 2010
Player, Position-Team Projected Runs Saved
Franklin Gutierrez, CF-Seattle 24
Jack Wilson, SS-Seattle 22
Chase Utley, 2B-Philadelphia 21
Albert Pujols, 1B-St. Louis 20
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B-Washington 19

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail