Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson wins Fielding Bible Award

In his first year in Chicago, the All-Star infielder drew high praise for his defensive work.
San Francisco Giants v Chicago Cubs
San Francisco Giants v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

Although his bat went quiet in the closing weeks of the 2023 campaign, Dansby Swanson was a highlight reel all season long defensively. His glovework has earned him the Fielding Bible Award at shortstop - tapping him as the best defender in the game at his respective position.

"Dansby Swanson won his 1st Fielding Bible Award. He was the only unanimous selection among 2023 winners. Swanson led all shortstops with 18 Defensive Runs Saved. He was +14 Plays Saved on balls hit to his right, the most of any player at the position. Balls hit to that area (the shortstop-third base hole) have been a weakness for Swanson in past seasons but in 2022 and 2023, he’s improved considerably."

Fielding Bible Awards, 2023

According to Statcast's Fielding Run Value, Swanson was the third-best defender - at any position - in all of Major League Baseball. He led all MLB players in Outs Above Average (20), hardly a surprise to anyone who watched him play on a daily basis.

Cubs knew Dansby Swanson would bring elite defense to the infield

Swanson's defensive prowess was a driving factor in the Cubs' decision to hand him a seven-year, $177 million contract in free agency last winter. The front office believed that, of the top four shortstops on the open market, he was most likely to age well defensively and the early returns certainly seem to bear that out.

The two-time All-Star and former Gold Glover paced the Cubs this year with 4.9 fWAR, setting the tone for the team defensively. Chicago, on the whole, ranked sixth in the league in team DRSHe was no slouch with the bat, either, with a 99 OPS+ and 80 runs batted in on the year.

Swanson's win marks the first time a Cubs player has earned a Fielding Bible Award since Javier Baez brought home the honor, also at shortstop, back in the COVID-shortened 2020 season.