Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Royals Flashing Leather

As I'm sure you have heard by now, five Royals have been named finalists for 2013 American League Gold Gloves. Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, and Lorenzo Cain will learn if they are taking home the hardware during tonight's award show at 7 pm on ESPN 2.

The Gold Glove is a nice little honor for the player, but ultimately it might be the most worthless out of any of the nationally acclaimed awards. Nonetheless, I'll be rooting for each of the nominated Royals to take home the hardware tonight.

An award more reflective of results would be that of the Fielding Bible Award winners. This year, Alex Gordon took home the trophy for top left fielder. (I'm not sure if there is an actual trophy.) The panel for this award includes: Bill James, BIS Video Scouts, Dave Cameron, Doug Glanville, Hal Richman, Joe Posnanski, Mark Simon, Peter Gammons, and Tom Tango's fan poll among others. It is an interesting hodgepodge of people associated with baseball. With that being said, I give the Fielding Bible Award more credence than the Gold Glove.

Here's a look at how each of the Royals finalist ranked in terms of UZR/150 among their qualifying Major League positional peers:

  • Salvador Perez: 3rd out of 16 in defensive value according to Fangraphs. (Top in the AL)
  • Eric Hosmer: 11th out of 19 (8th out of 11 in AL)
  • Alcides Escobar: 3rd out of 21 (2nd out of 11 in AL)
  • Lorenzo Cain: 4th out of 22 (1st out of 13 in AL) *Had to lower minimum innings to 750.
  • Alex Gordon: 7th out of 18 (4th out of 9 in AL)
My guess is that Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon take home the hardware. I do not think that Eric Hosmer is deserving and I don't think that Alcides Escobar hit enough to win a Gold Glove. Lorenzo Cain is on the short list of best fielders in baseball, but the fact that he only played in 115 games hurts his case.

We'll see how it goes. Go Royals!

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