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Around the Horn: How good is the 2018 Marlins defense?

Exploring the Marlins’ defensive rankings.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

“Defense wins championships!” With help from fielding guru Perry Hill, the Marlins are consistently ranked as one of the best defensive teams in all of baseball. That’s true again for them in 2018, even though that does not always translate to wins.

Let’s explore how the Marlins rank up against the best of MLB when it comes to fielding percentage. In everyday terms, fielding percentage (FPCT) is a measure of how often players handle their defensive chances cleanly (without committing errors). Higher is obviously better.

The below rankings focus on qualified players, meaning ones who play that position nearly every day. Some non-qualified Marlins are included, too.

Brian Anderson and Justin Bour combined to turn two
Fish Stripes original GIF

First base: Justin Bour is ranked 13th out of qualified first baseman with a FPCT of .995

Second base: Starlin Castro is ranked 17th out of qualified second baseman with a FPCT of .973

Shortstop: although not qualified, JT Riddle would be ranked 1st with a FPCT of .993

Third base: although not qualified, Miguel Rojas would be ranked 3rd with a FPCT of .981

Left field: Derek Dietrich is ranked 8th out of qualified left fielders with a FPCT of .990

Center field: Lewis Brinson is ranked 21st out of qualified center fielders with a FPCT of .967

Right field: although not qualified, Brian Anderson would be ranked 3rd with a FPCT of .991

Catcher: although not qualified, J.T. Realmuto would be ranked 2nd with a FPCT of .994

Fish Stripes original GIF

As a team, the Marlins rank 12th in all of baseball (.985 FPCT).

In the recent run of Marlins success, the key has been coming back late in games. Strong defense has kept them close enough to pull off those wins. If the offense can find a way to play at that same standard, the second half the season can be a fun ride.