The Indians, Royals, and Rangers feature the three best records in the American League. Not coincidentally, they also feature three of the top-rated defenses thus far in 2011.

The 2010 AL Champion Rangers are hardly a surprise considering the addition of former Fielding Bible Award winner Adrian Beltre, but the Royals were supposed to be battling for the AL Central cellar, not the division lead. Kansas City upgraded defensively this offseason with Jeff Francoeur and Alcides Escobar. Though it’s still April, the moves appear to be paying off.

The Colorado Rockies sit on top of the National League, both in Wins and in Runs Saved. Last year’s Fielding Bible Award winner at shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki, has done it all on both sides of the ball.

Here are the top defensive teams of the young season:

Best Defensive Teams- 2011
Team Runs Saved
Rangers 14
Rockies 10
Royals 9
Cardinals 7
Brewers/Orioles 6

The Mets and Phillies rate as the worst defensive teams thus far. Only Angel Pagan and Pedro Beato have positive Runs Saved totals at this point for the Mets, who have cost themselves an estimated 26 runs (over two wins!) just with poor defense so far this year. An aging infield of Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, and Wilson Valdez has struggled in the field, making Fielding Bible Award winner Chase Utley’s absence all the more conspicuous.

Worst Defensive Teams- 2011
Team Runs Saved
Mets -26
Phillies -18
Mariners -17
Diamondbacks -16
Cubs -14

“Used with permission from John Dewan’s Stat of the Week®, www.statoftheweek.com.”

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. 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. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail