The Gold Glove Award has been the most ridiculed award of them all. While I love Derek Jeter, the fact that he won any Gold Gloves is farcical. Perhaps this year will be better as a new rule in place gives 25% of the scoring based on statistics and the other 75% on coaches and managers who have better things in life to do than to study these things closely. There is a problem here, though, since many feel skittish on the fielding stats we currently have. At least it is a step in the right direction.
I have picked my own Gold Glove Award winners based on careful analysis. I am sure that I will get a few people mad at me. But hey, nobody ever said this was easy. Here we go:
NL: This is tougher than anyone thinks. Russell Martin has had an unbelievable year. He has thrown out 40% of runners attempting to steal. His framing skills are off the charts. He caught 120 games. The only nagging point is that there were 50 wild pitches thrown with him back there. That's a lot! The other choice is Yadier Molina who caught 131 games. He threw out 43% of base runners attempting to steal, had three passed balls compared to Martin's four. But he threw out 20 base steal attempts and Martin 36. Martin had 41 more total assists. Fangraphs gives Martin the edge. Baseball-reference.com gives it to Molina. With fear and trepidation, I am going with Russell Martin. But Molina will get the award.
AL: The two choices are Matt Wieters and Salvador Perez. Perez had a better percentage throwing out base steal attempts and had one less passed ball and a few more assists. Perez had less passed balls and Wieters less errors. I am going with Salvador Perez. Wieters will get the award.
NL: This one is really close between Anthony Rizzo and Brandon Belt. I think Belt had a slow start in all phases of his season and that gives Rizzo the edge. I think Belt will win a bunch of them from here on out though. Adrian Gonzalez will win the award.
AL: I was totally shocked when I went through all the numbers and this came out to a win for Mike Napoli. Mike Napoli!? Yup. James Loney will probably win the award.
NL: Brandon Phillips will win the award and I would not have any problem with him winning it. Nobody in the National League had more assists at second than Phillips and his range is still there. But Darwin Barney might have out-played him in the field this season with the Cubs. Barney's UZR is higher and he made five less errors. I am going with Barney.
AL: This one is easy: Dustin Pedroia. If the Rays would let Ben Zobrist play there every day, he might have competition. Brian Dozier also had a great season in the field and had more assists than any second baseman in baseball. But Pedroia is the easy call.
NL: This one is easy. Andrelton Simmons has the fifth best fielding season ever according to Baseball-reference.com. There is nobody in baseball that is close.
AL: This is a two-horse race with the unlikely names of Alcides Escobar and Yunel Escobar. I give the edge to Alcides Escobar. Don't be surprised if J.J. Hardy gets the award again though.
NL: Nolan Arenado is the clear winner for me over Todd Frazier. Arenado should get the nod from the coaches too. But I don't know if that is a guarantee.
AL: Manny Machado had a season for the ages at third base. Baseball-reference.com gives Brooks Robinson the best season ever at 33 total zone runs. Machado had 31.5 this season. Amazing. Nobody else is in the picture.
NL: There is only one choice here: Starling Marte. There is no one else. If he fails to win it, then farce would come to mind.
AL: If David Murphy had stayed in one place more, he would have given Alex Gordon a run for his money. But Gordon is the choice and he will win the award.
NL: If A.J. Pollock had played more, he would have been the choice. But since he did not play enough in my book, my pick is Carlos Gomez. Gomez should get the trophy, even if he doesn't get any votes from the Atlanta Braves. Heh.
AL: This is a three-horse race with Jacoby Ellsbury, Colby Rasmus,
Denard Span and Leonys Martin. Martin is out because of less innings than the others. But look out for him in the future. My pick goes to Ellsbury and he will get the trophy too.
NL: The choices here are pretty clear in both leagues. Gerardo Parra was the class of the National League with no real challenger.
AL: The clear choice is Shane Victorino. He had the best year of any right-fielder in either league.
Oh forget it. Who cares.
That's it. Those are the Flagrant Fan's Gold Glove Award winners for 2013.