Note: This is a new (and short) off-season feature in which I hand out my own awards to certain Orioles for this season. I will also include a poll at the end of every post so you can vote for your Oriole to win the award. Make sure to read the full article and vote!!
Every year, Major League Baseball hands out 18 Gold Glove awards to the player voted as the best fielder at his position by each manager. 9 are given to AL players and 9 are given to NL players. Here at Birds Watcher, I will be giving the Orioles who I think deserve the award.
1. Matt Wieters
He has been one of the best defensive catchers in the league for the past two seasons now. This year, he finished with a .995 fielding percentage, which ties for the highest with Alex Avila and A.J. Pierzynski. But what puts him ahead of those two in the Gold Glove award are the following. His caught stealing percentage was highest among AL catchers at .370. The next highest is Alex Avila at .320. Pierzynski is the lowest among all AL catchers at .203. Although Avila caught more players stealing (40) than Wieters (34), the percentage caught is what really matters. They also committed the same amount of errors all season (5) and were part of the same amount of double plays (14). Avila had 7 passed balls, the third-highest of AL catchers while Wieters only had 1, the lowest by 3. Avila got the starting All-Star bid while Wieters was the back-up. However, Wheaties is looking like a pretty heavy favorite to win this one.
See the other Orioles I think deserve a Gold Glove after the jump!
2. J.J. Hardy
I think he also has a pretty good chance at winning this one. No one expected him to do what he did offensively but he was even better defensively. He led all AL shortstops in fielding percentage at .990. Jhonny Peralta is close behind him at .988. He also has the least amount of errors at 6 while Peralta has the next lowest at 7. Granted, he did play in 129 games but there are three other starters who played less (Marco Scutaro, Derek Jeter, and Brendan Ryan). Still, Hardy is definitely in the top three for the running.
3. Nick Markakis
I don’t understand how Markakis gets gypped every season. He is an outstanding right fielder and is in the running for the Gold Glove every year yet someone else always beats him out. This season he got even better. He was perfect in the field committing zero errors for the first time in his career while playing a full season. The next highest fielding percentage is .996 by Nick Swisher. Third is Torii Hunter at .989. Swisher committed one error while Hunter committed three. Next, we have double plays. Nick is tied for fourth with 3 double plays. Ichiro Suzuki and Jose Bautista each had 5 while Jeff Francoeur had 4. Markakis is third on the list with 14 assists while Francoeur leads the AL with 16 followed by Hunter with 15. Finally, Markakis is second among all AL right fielders in put-outs with 311. The leader is Francoeur with 327. Looking at those stats, it looks as if the top three in the running are Jeff Francoeur, Nick Markakis, and Torii Hunter. Remember, the award goes to 3 outfielders, not necessarily one left fielder one center fielder and one right fielder. Let’s hope this year is for Nicky!
4. Adam Jones
The Orioles most recent Gold Glove winner is also in the running every year. He won the award in 2009 along with Torii Hunter and Ichiro Suzuki. In 2009 he had a fielding percentage of .986 with 5 errors, 1 double play, 9 assists, and 349 put-outs. This season, his stats are a little odd. He actually has the lowest fielding percentage of all AL center fielders at .980 because he has the most errors with 8. The next guy is Peter Bourjos with a .989 fielding percentage and 4 errors. With those numbers alone, we think oh it isn’t looking good for AJ. But, he’s tied for the third-most put-outs with 379. In front of him are Jacoby Ellsbury with 388 and B.J. Upton with 382. AJ leads center fielders in assists with 16. The next highest is Melky Cabrera with 13. Finally, he’s second in double plays with 5. The leader is Cabrera with 7. Even though it’s unlikely for AJ to win the Gold Glove, he’s still very much in the conversation.
I don’t remember the last time 4 Orioles would be heavily discussed at a position for the Gold Glove award. I know at least one will win and we could probably get two or even three winners. Stay tuned for the announcement of the award winners and I will do a post when they are awarded!