|C||Jonathan Lucroy||N/A||C||Max Stassi||N/A||C||Austin Romine||N/A|
|1B||Matt Olson||7.2||1B||Yuli Gurriel||-1.5||1B||Greg Bird||2.3|
|2B||Jed Lowrie||6.2||2B||Jose Altuve||-4.0||2B||Gleyber Torres||-8.3|
|SS||Marcus Semien||7.8||SS||Carlos Correa||-3.3||SS||Didi Gregorius||3.8|
|3B||Matt Chapman||12.1||3B||Alex Bregman||-4.1||3B||Miguel Andujar||-16.2|
|LF||Chad Pinder||6.5||LF||Marwin Gonzalez||3.9||LF||Brett Gardner||6.5|
|CF||Mark Cahna||2.9||CF||George Springer||0.8||CF||Aaron Hicks||2.5|
|RF||Stephen Piscotty||-0.7||RF||Josh Reddick||1.2||RF||Andrew McCutchen*||-0.1|
|DH||Khris Davis||-3.0||DH||Evan Gattis||N/A||DH||Giancarlo Stanton||7.2|
|LF||Matthew Joyce||0.3||OF||Jake Marisnick||2.9||IF||Neil Walker||-0.3|
|CF||Dustin Fowler||0.0||OF||Tony Kemp||-1.9||C||Gary Sanchez||N/A|
|LF||Nick Martini||0.9||C||Brian McCann||N/A||1B||Tyler Austin||-0.6|
|CF||Ramon Laureano||2.6||1B||Tyler White||-0.5||IF||Ronald Torreyes||2.4|
|C||Josh Phegley||N/A||UT||J.D. Davis||-0.3||1B||Luke Voit||-0.7|
|2B||Franklin Barreto||0.4||LF||Martin Maldonado||N/A||2B||Tyler Wade||-0.1|
Full disclosure: UZR is far from perfect and isn’t even available for catchers. That said, this one is barely a contest. The A’s lead baseball with a team UZR of 35.4 while the Yankees and Astros sit at 4.8 (14th in baseball) and -12.6 (20th) in baseball. Similarly, the A’s rank third in baseball in Def while the Yankees rank 14th and the Astros rank 21st.
So we already have a pretty clear pecking order among these teams defenses. But it’s worth admiring the A’s defense a little bit anyway. Just look at that infield! All four members rank in the top five at their position in UZR and two of them (Chapman and Olson) are tops among their position in all of baseball. In fact, all four of those players are also worth more defensively than the entire Yankees and Astros teams in both Def and UZR. The Astros and Yankees are both middle of the pack and lack any true standout defensive performers.
Coming into this exercise, I’ll admit the Athletics were a distant third in my mind, but they may be the best offensive and defensive team of this bunch. Even more impressively, their position players also lead all of baseball with 27.7 fWAR.
Defensive pecking order: Athletics >>> Yankees > Astros