Comparing Swanson and Arcia ahead of the upcoming Braves vs. Cubs series

The Atlanta Braves take on Dansby Swanson and the Chicago Cubs today for the first time since Dansby departed. We examine which player has been better in 2023.

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Dansby Swanson
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Swanson vs. Arcia: Defensive Statistics

Orlando Arica is no slouch with the glove. He ranks in the 94th percentile in Outs Above Average (OAA) and has two defensive runs saved. Two rDRS means he's worth two defensive runs saved more than the average shortstop. Being better than the average major-league shortstop is incredibly difficult and quite an accomplishment. If you need a refresher on some of these defensive metrics, click here.

Dansby is a former Gold Glove Award winner and appears to be having the best defensive season of his career. He ranks in the 100th percentile in OAA. His 12 defensive runs saved is the most by a shortstop in the National League. Again, to be that far ahead of the rest of the pack at one of the most demanding defensive positions in baseball is a heck of an accomplishment.

Fangraphs has a statistic called "Def" which takes positional adjustments out of the equation and just gives every fielder a defensive runs saved value based on all players. So, an average shortstop with zero defensive runs saved would have a much higher "Def" score since the average shortstop is much better than most other positions.

In terms of their Def ratings, Arcia has the 19th-highest score in all of baseball at 7.6. Dansby ranks fourth in the league with a 13.5.

Both players scored very well here, but Dansby is playing Gold-Glove quality defensive. Dansby wins this round.