On the other side of the ball, the Red Sox have strong defenders at just about every position. Betts and JBJ are otherworldy of course. Moreland and Kinsler, upon the second baseman’s return, will make up one of the more formidable duos on the right side of any infield in baseball. Catcher defense is hard to measure, but Baseball Prospectus has Leon 11th in baseball in framing runs and 12th in fielding runs above average for catchers which are very solid placements. Leon also has a great reputation for handling pitchers and it shows in Boston’s 28-3 record in his last 31 starts. Benintendi, Bogaerts, and Devers constitute the weakest portion of their defense and they are all borderline average to average defenders at their positions.
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It’s a lot harder for me to judge the ’98 Yankees and ’01 Mariners defenses. Most defensive metrics don’t go back that far and I’m not old enough to have seen them play with my own eyes so I’ll just default to total zone for the most part here. By these measures, Posada, Brosius, and O’Neill were all great defensively for the Yankees; Jeter and Martinez were above average and everyone else was below average to terrible (Bernie Williams racked up -11 TZ).
The Mariners, on the other hand, were absolutely bonkers good on defense. As a team, they accumulated 101 TZ, which was 37 TZ higher than the next best team. Bell, Boone, Guillen, Suzuki, and Cameron were all particularly stellar but there was not a bad defender in the starting lineup. In fact, according to FanGraphs, this team ranked 5th all-time in TZ (full disclosure: this stat was not calculated on FanGraphs after 2002 so the Mariners rank is among teams between 1871-2001).