The Yankees just traded for Brendan Ryan because of it. He makes a major league roster because of it. He is a terrible hitter, but is able to be a starter because of it. Brendan Ryan can play defense. Very well. He is a great defender, and his 13.8 defensive WAR is a good way to show how well he is as a defender. But is he one of the greatest defensive shortstops of all time?
Brendan Ryan has the 15th highest career fielding percentage of all time for shortstops, with a .978 mark in his seventh year in big league service. He also has the 28th highest Total Zone Runs at SS, which is a statistic that shows how many runs a player was worth based on how many plays they've made. His mark is at 54. He also has the most SS defensive runs saved by any active player of the last five seasons. He ranks 8th in shortstop fielding percentage among active shortstops.
But, is Ryan one of the greatest active shortstops defensively? I think he is. He's done a great job over his career, and is right up there with Jimmy Rollins, Troy Tulowitzki, and Jose Reyes defensively as some of the great defenders in the league. Ryan's career fielding percentage (.978) at shortstop is actually better than Reyes' (.973). Imagine if Ryan could hit...
Brendan Ryan is a great defender and he lives in the major leagues by playing defense. He is a great defender and will always be up there as one of the best defenders at shortstop. I think yes, that he is one of the best defensive shortstops, and that the Yankees made a good deal by trading for him, as their shortstop fielding percentage is 5th worst in the major leagues.
Ryan is a good fielder, and his contract is up after the season. I think because of the way he plays defense he will get a new contract. He is a great defensive shortstop.