The value of Brenton Doyle’s defense might be, literally, indescribable.

But I’m going to try anyway.

It’s important to understand the context that, according to every number we have, Coors Field is an absolute nightmare for outfielders. It’s massive. The ball flies farther and differently, and the gap in left-center and walls in right make it even more complicated to play.

Defensive metrics are far from perfect, but they all agree that Doyle isn’t just on another level from every other Colorado Rockies outfielder… he’s on another planet. 

He became the 15th rookie ever to win a Gold Glove after producing 19 Defensive Runs Saved. Consider that the previous high for a Rockies outfielder in DRS was six.

When you combine every centerfielder in franchise history, the total DRS comes out to well below -100.

So, Doyle has, in his very first 126 games, become – by orders of magnitude that are difficult to fathom – the greatest center fielder in the history of the franchise. And with all respect and apologies due to Carlos Gonzalez and Larry Walker, the best all-around defender the vast expanse has ever seen. 

Because Coors Field allows more offense than any other park, every time he makes a phenomenal play, the chances that he has taken runs off the board are higher, even when he isn’t directly doing so.

But he also keeps directly doing so. With his elite speed. With his extraordinary athleticism. With his cannon of an arm. 

Stats like DRS and UZR can show us the theoretical and hypothetical value of defense but watching every single game reveals a player who is taking actual runs off the board on a nearly daily basis. It would be quicker to count the games where his glove has had no impact than to count the ones where it was a legitimate difference-maker.

Doyle has one of the most fascinating player profiles I have seen in a very long time.

A quick glance at his Baseball Savant page shows him to be the game’s best defender and one of its worst hitters. His value as a batter is ranked in the 10th percentile. His OPS+ and wRC+ are among the lowest marks in the game.

And yet these same systems see his defense as so good that he still put up essentially one Win Above Replacement on both Baseball Reference and Fangraphs.

But you can pour over the numbers until you’re purple in the face. I’ve been watching Colorado Rockies baseball since the inception of the team and this guy just proved to be the answer to a puzzle, they’ve never been able to solve. Until now.