Coinciding with game 34 on the season we'll be taking a look at Adam Everett's 2006 season.
2006 was a year similar to 2004 and 2005. Unlike those two years the Astros actually got off to a decent start, but eventually fell below .500 in June. On September 19th they were 72-78 and 8.5 games out of first place in the division. Then they went on a nine game winning streak, which saw them sweep a four game set from the first place Cardinals during that streak. They would lose two out of three to the Braves to fall a game and a half shy of first.
It was a sad year for Astro fans, but it was also one of the best years for Astro fans. Especially for those who enjoyed watching the defense work.
Adam Everett posted quite possibly the best defensive season ever. He lead the league in Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) and Defensive Runs Saved (DRS).
His DRS for that season, as I'm sure you've guessed by now, was 34. That leads all Major League players from the current season to 2005. Why 2005? well DRS has only been rating players since then so we can't compare his 2006 season to some of Ozzie Smith's seasons, at least in terms of DRS.
That's why we'll compare them using Baseball References defensive WAR (dWAR) metric, which rates players across all era's.
In 1989 Ozzie Smith posted a 4.7 dWAR which is almost a full point better than Everett's 3.8. According to Baseball Reference dWAR leaderboard for a single season, Smith ranks fourth all time and Everett is tied for 27th. So maybe not the best defensive season ever even among shortstops.
Still, having a Top 50 defensive season in over a 100 years of baseball is nothing to scoff at. In fact if you look closer you'll see that Everett's 2006 season is tied for the fourth best season since the 90's and the second best season since the turn of the millennium.
I've always been drawn to guys like Everett, and I think it has something to do with my own contributions often being overlooked. Defense is not as sexy as hitting, but I'll take this play over a walk-off homerun any day.