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Stat Chat: Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) & Wins Above Replacement (WAR)

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D1’s Tara Henry and 643’s Luke Smailes kick off the fall Stat Chat series with a deep dive into defensive runs saved (DRS) and wins above replacement (WAR).

DRS – A metric that totals the number of runs a defender saved. Every fielding attempt is assigned an out probability and is leveraged against league average outcomes on similar opportunities to determine runs saved.

Who saved the most runs for their squad just a season ago?

Stanford’s receiver Aly Kaneshiro. The Cardinal benefit from Kaneshiro’s ability to frame pitches (9 runs saved) AND throw runners out stealing makes her No. 1 on the list. The senior catcher can do it all behind the dish and leads No. 2 Ally Shipman by almost five runs. The top of the leaderboard is dominated by catchers and corner infielders since those positions provide more chances to impact the game.

The Top 5 DRS From 2023 Season

1. Aly Kaneshiro (Stanford, C)14.0
2. Ally Shipman (Alabama, C)9.7
3. Grace Kilday (UC Davis, C)9.0
4. Sara Vanderford (Texas State, 3B)8.9
5. Sharlize Palacios (UCLA, C) 8.3

WARA metric that attempts to summarize a player’s total contributions to their team from hitting, baserunning, defense and pitching specifically, it measures how many more (or less) wins the player contributed to a “replacement level” player.


Who sits at the top of the leaderboard in WAR? It’s not surprise the two-way threat, Valerie Cagle was worth the most wins to her team in 2023.

Find out the rest of the Top Five WAR in the Stat Chat segment with Tara and Luke.

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