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Dodgers, Yasiel Puig win Wilson defensive honors

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — Yasiel Puig on Friday was named one of the top defenders in baseball in winning the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year honor in right field. Wilson also named the Dodgers as the best defensive team in baseball.

This the first time Puig and the Dodgers as a team have won an award from Wilson, which began its defensive player of the year awards in 2012.

Puig was second among major league right fielders in ultimate zone rating (+12.1 runs), tied for second in defensive runs saved (+18), and was seventh in total zone rating (+11).

Puig was a finalist for the Gold Glove in right field in the National League, but lost out to Jason Heyward of the Cubs, and vowed to rectify that in 2018.

The Gold Glove Awards, sponsored by Rawlings, are determined by a combination of votes from managers and coaches in baseball and a SABR defensive index. Puig scored well on that index relative to nearly all fielders, but Heyward was one of the few ahead of him.

The Wilson defensive awards are determined by “a formula that combines traditional defensive stats with advanced metrics, as well as the data logged by the baseball experts working for the scouting service Inside Edge.”

As a team, the Dodgers ranked second in the majors in defensive efficiency (.719), their rate of turning bated balls in play into outs. They also ranked second in defensive runs saved (+68 runs), and fifth in FanGraphs defensive rating (+24.5).

Other winners — one at each position in the majors — include catcher Martin Maldonado, first baseman Carlos Santana, second baseman DJ LeMahieu, third baseman Nolan Arenado, shortstop Andrelton Simmons, left fielder Alex Gordon, and pitcher Tyler Chatwood.

Byron Buxton of the Twins won two awards — one for top defensive center fielder, and one for the top overall defensive player in baseball.