After every MLB season finishes up, awards are given out to recognize players around the league for a variety of different things. My favorite awards are the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, which recognize the best defensive players in baseball. As a big fan of defense, I always have an interest in who wins these awards. This time around however, I will give my predictions on who I think will win at each position in both leagues.
Pitcher: American League
Since pitchers do not cover enough of the field to generate a UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating), I’m going to base these players off errors and fielding percentage.
Mark Buehrle: 1 error, .976 fielding percentage
Felix Hernandez: 1 error, .973 fielding percentage
Dallas Keuchel: 1 error, .985 fielding percentage
The fielding percentage numbers give the edge to Keuchel, but Buehrle has won the award four times. This should not affect voting, but it most likely will, unfortunately.
My Pick: Dallas Keuchel
Pitcher: National League
Zack Greinke: 1 error, .983 fielding percentage
Clayton Kershaw: 2 errors, .951 fielding percentage
Adam Wainwright: 1 error, .980 fielding percentage
Zack Greinke is the most athletic pitcher in baseball, and that has shown by him being a pitcher that can hit, run and field very well. Adam Wainwright is also very athletic, even at 6’9″.
My Pick: Zack Greinke
Catcher: American League
Catchers do not cover enough range either to generate a UZR, but do generate a dWAR.
Alex Avila: 5 errors, .995 fielding percentage, 9.1 dWAR
Yan Gomes: 14 errors, .988 fielding percentage, 12.4 dWAR
Salvador Perez: 9 errors, .992 fielding percentage, 16.6 dWAR
Fun fact: Salvador Perez is one of four guys ever to be named “Salvador” and play in the Major Leagues. He’s also the best defensive catcher in the American League.
My Pick: Salvador Perez
Catcher: National League
Jonathan Lucroy: 4 errors, .996 fielding percentage, 14.6 dWAR
Russell Martin: 5 errors, .994 fielding percentage, 14.9 dWAR
Yadier Molina: 2 errors, .998 fielding percentage, 14.4 dWAR (110 games)
I’m not quite sure why Molina is nominated after missing significant time with an injury, but nonetheless, he is. If he played a full season, he would have a better chance because he is the best defensive catcher in baseball, just not this year. Also, Russell Martin played at second base once in 2011 for the Yankees. That doesn’t have to do with anything, but I thought it was hilarious.
My Pick: Jonathan Lucroy
First Baseman: American League
Okay, it’s not even fair to compare the three. We all know who is winning this one.
My Pick: Eric Hosmer
First Baseman: National League
Adrian Gonzalez: 7 errors, .995 fielding percentage, 5.5 UZR, -6.0 dWAR
Adam LaRoche: 7 errors, .994 fielding percentage, -5.0 UZR, -15.4 dWAR
Justin Morneau: 4 errors, .997 fielding percentage, 6.3 UZR, -3.3 dWAR
Did they just pick Adam LaRoche’s name out of a hat for this?
My Pick: Justin Morneau
Second Baseman: American League
Robinson Cano: 9 errors, .987 fielding percentage, -3.8 UZR, -2.4 dWAR
Ian Kinsler: 9 errors, .988 fielding percentage, 13.0 UZR, 15.4 dWAR
Dustin Pedroia: 2 errors, .997 fielding percentage, 18.3 UZR, 20.3 dWAR
Let the record show that Jonathan Schoop has less errors, the same fielding percentage, a higher UZR and dWAR than Robinson Cano. Schoop only played in 13 less games than Cano, also.
My Pick: Dustin Pedroia, unfortunately
Second Baseman: National League
D.J. LeMahieu: 6 errors, .991 fielding percentage, 10.7 UZR, 12.1 dWAR
Brandon Phillips: 2 errors, .996 fielding percentage, 8.1 UZR, 9.9 dWAR
Chase Utley: 11 errors, .985 fielding percentage, 8.2 UZR, 10.3 dWAR
My Pick: D.J. LeMahieu
Third Baseman: American League
Adrian Beltre: 12 errors, .967 fielding percentage, 4.0 UZR, 4.7 dWAR
Josh Donaldson: 23 errors, .952 fielding percentage, 15.5 UZR, 16.7 dWAR
Kyle Seager: 8 errors, .981 fielding percentage, 10.6 UZR, 12.9 dWAR
It was really nice of Manny Machado to let someone else win the 3B Gold Glove this year before he goes on to win the next 20. And yes, Josh Donaldson had 23 errors.
My Pick: Kyle Seager
Third Baseman: National League
Nolan Arenado: 15 errors, .959 fielding percentage, 6.0 UZR, 7.6 dWAR (111 games)
Pablo Sandoval: 11 errors, .971 fielding percentage, 3.5 UZR, 5.3 dWAR
Juan Uribe: 6 errors, .979 fielding percentage, 12.6 UZR, 14.1 dWAR (102 games at 3B)
The American League is keeping all of the good third basemen for themselves.
My Pick: Juan Uribe
Short Stop: American League
Alcides Escobar: 16 errors, .976 fielding percentage, 1.6 UZR, 9.0 dWAR
J.J. Hardy: 13 errors, .978 fielding percentage, 13.9 UZR, 20.4 dWAR
Alexei Ramirez: 15 errors, .978 fielding percentage, -0.7 UZR, 6.4 dWAR
There is absolutely no bias behind this pick. Nope, none at all.
My Pick: J.J. Hardy
Short Stop: National League
Zack Cosart: 10 errors, .984 fielding percentage, 12.1 UZR, 18.7 dWAR
Adeiny Hechavarria: 14 errors, .979 fielding percentage, -8.8 UZR, -2.2 dWAR
Andrelton Simmons: 14 errors, .978 fielding percentage, 15.5 UZR, 22.1 dWAR
Andrelton Simmons’ defense is other-worldly. He is the reason Braves fans wake up in the morning.
My Pick: Andrelton Simmons
Left Fielder: American League
Michael Brantley: 0 errors, 1.000 fielding percentage, -5.7 UZR, -10.4 dWAR
Yoenis Cespedes: 5 errors, .979 fielding percentage, 10.1 UZR, 0.4 dWAR
Alex Gordon: 2 errors, .994 fielding percentage, 25.0 UZR, 17.9 dWAR
Yoenis Cespedes’ arm alone deserves an award, but it will not be this one.
My Pick: Alex Gordon
Left Fielder: National League
Starling Marte: 5 errors, .969 fielding percentage, 1.5 UZR, -4.5 dWAR
Justin Upton: 8 errors, .972 fielding percentage, -0.9 UZR, -7.7 dWAR
Christian Yelich: 1 error, .996 fielding percentage, 12.8 UZR, 4.0 dWAR
My Pick: Christian Yelich
Center Fielder: American League
Jackie Bradley, Jr.: 1 error, .997 fielding percentage, 15.9 UZR, 15.1 dWAR (113 games in CF)
Adam Eaton: 4 errors, .988 fielding percentage, -3.3 UZR, -1.6 dWAR (122 games in CF)
Adam Jones: 6 errors, .984 fielding percentage, 8.3 UZR, 10.2 dWAR
Again, absolutely no bias whatsoever.
My Pick: Adam Jones
Center Fielder: National League
Billy Hamilton: 2 errors, .994 fielding percentage, 20.1 UZR, 22.0 dWAR
Juan Lagares: 5 errors, .984 fielding percentage, 18.6 UZR, 20.2 dWAR
Denard Span: 4 errors, .990 fielding percentage, -4.7 UZR, -2.4 dWAR
I think the people who picked these nominees picked Denard Span to make Hamilton and Lagares look better.
My Pick: Billy Hamilton
Right Fielder: American League
Kole Calhoun: 1 error, .996 fielding percentage, 5.7 UZR, 0.3 dWAR
Kevin Kiermaier: 5 errors, .966 fielding percentage, 16.0 UZR, 15.5 dWAR (68 games in RF)
Nick Markakis: 0 errors, 1.000 fielding percentage, 6.2 UZR, -2.5 dWAR
Nick Markakis has 18 career errors. Robinson Cano and Ian Kinsler had 18 combined THIS SEASON. Although, it is hard to compete against Kiermaier’s number in RF in so little games.
My Pick: uhhhhhh, ah hell, Nick Markakis
Right Fielder: National League
Jason Heyward: 1 error, .997 fielding percentage, 24.1 UZR, 17.3 dWAR
Gerardo Parra: 4 errors, 980 fielding percentage, 1.2 UZR, -5.4 dWAR
Giancarlo Stanton: 6 errors, .982 fielding percentage, 1.6 UZR, -5.1 dWAR
My Pick: Jason Heyward
The best part about predictions is that, even if you end up being super wrong, you can look back and laugh on your stupidity and grovel in how you know you were right. Tweet me what you think I got right/wrong, because they wouldn’t be predictions without someone telling me I’m wrong.