2016 AL Gold Glove Nominees Part Two

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 23: Brock Holt #12, Jackie Bradley Jr. #25 and Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate a 2-1 win against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 23, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

The 2016 American League Gold Glove nominees were recently announced, and winners will be revealed on November 8. Part One explores the nominees for pitcher, catcher, and the corner infield spots. The middle infield and all three outfield spots are all analyzed here.

2016 AL Gold Glove Nominees Part Two

Last Year’s Winners

P: Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros

C: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals

1B: Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals

2B: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

3B: Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles

SS: Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals

OF: Yoenis Cespedes, Detroit Tigers (later with New York Mets)

OF: Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays

OF: Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels

Middle Infield

Second Base

  • Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners: The 2010 and 2012 winner of the award with the Yankees, Cano committed only three errors in 743 chances, good for a .996 fielding percentage, tops for an AL second baseman. He also finished first in putouts by a second baseman, second in double plays turned, and third in assists. He played 157 games at second base for Seattle. He appears to be the favorite.
  • Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers: Kinsler has never won a Gold Glove Award, but has shown solid defense for the time he’s spent in the Majors. He finished the season with nine errors in 744 chances, good for a career-high .988 fielding percentage. He was tops in the AL in range factor for a second baseman per 9 innings, and was fifth in double plays turned by a second baseman.
  • Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox: Short but versatile, Pedroia is a four-time winner of the award (2008, 2011, 2013, 2014), and he continued his defensive consistency, finishing with six errors in 613 chances, in 152 games played. He finished second behind Cano in terms of fielding percentage by a second baseman, with a .990 clip. Pedroia also turned 98 double plays, and ranked third in range factor.

Shortstop

  • Jose Iglesias, Detroit Tigers: An underrated defender, Iglesias has never won the award. He committed five errors in 574 chances in 136 games at shortstop for the Tigers. His .991 fielding percentage was tops for an AL shortstop, and he was fourth with 92 double plays turned as a shortstop. His range and versatility allowed for him to finish with a defensively solid year.
  • Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians: The postseason star was also a regular season star for the Indians. The 22-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance at the plate and in the field. The young All-Star played 155 games at shortstop, committing 12 errors in 674 chances. He was fourth in fielding percentage at .982, second in assists, fourth in putouts, and fifth in double plays turned as a shortstop. Despite having more than double the errors Iglesias had, Lindor had 100 more chances, and finished first in the AL for Total Zone Runs.
  • Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels: Perhaps the most notorious defender in baseball, Simmons was a two-time National League Gold Glover with the Atlanta Braves. In 124 games, the fewest he’s played since he came up with the Braves in 2012, when he played in 49 games, he committed ten errors in 545 chances. His range is one of the most notable traits about his defense; he finished second in range factor per 9 innings and third in range factor per game for AL shortstops. His .982 fielding percentage was fifth among shortstops in the AL.

Outfield

Left Field

  • Brett Gardner, New York Yankees: A nine-year outfielder for the Yankees, Gardner has never won a Gold Glove and again faces stiff competition. He finished with three errors in 262 chances, spending 147 games in the outfield for the Bombers. The 32-year-old used his speed to show impressive range, finished second with a .989 fielding percentage, and finished third with nine assists from left field. He also turned two double plays from the outfield.
  • Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals: Though he arrived in the majors as a third baseman in 2007, Gordon made a transition to left field and never looked back. He won four straight Gold Glove awards from 2011-2014, and an injury that limited him to 101 games in 2015 prevented him from competing for a fifth. Gordon committed two errors in 230 chances in another shortened season, playing in 126 games. He finished first in fielding percentage, at a .991 clip, and finished first in range factor per game. He was also fourth in putouts and assists, and has a good chance at wrapping up a fifth award.
  • Colby Rasmus, Houston Astros: Perhaps the forgotten candidate, Rasmus has reinvented his career since moving to Houston. He battled with injuries in 2016, playing in only 103 games in the outfield, but he didn’t commit a single error in 186 chances. He didn’t have enough innings to qualify for the fielding percentage crown, but still showed impressive defense. He also finished in first for Total Zone Runs for a left fielder.

Center Field

  • Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston Red Sox: In a revival year for the 26-year-old, the 2016 All-Star impressed at the plate and in the field. Bradley Jr. committed three errors in 381 chances, in 156 games in center field, also starting three double plays, which was tops in the AL for a center fielder. He also finished with a .992 fielding percentage, second for his position, and led all center fielders in putouts, with 365, and assists, with 13. Despite such dominating numbers, he still faces a tough test from the other two nominees. However, Bradley Jr., statistically, has a very good shot at winning.
  • Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays: Known for his Superman-like catches and Torii Hunter-esque range, Pillar finished with six errors in 349 chances, in 146 games. He finished second for double plays by a center fielder, and had a .983 fielding percentage. His development as a fielder has not yet reached its peak, but he is expected to be a candidate for years to come.
  • Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays: A recipient of the 2015 award, Kiermaier is recognized for his superb defense within the dome of Tropicana Field and beyond, showing incredible range and never letting a wall slow him down. Limited to just 104 games, Kiermaier committed two errors in 273 chances. His .993 fielding percentage would be tops if it weren’t for his lack of play due to injuries. He again finished with the best Defensive WAR in all of the AL, and finished first for Total Zone Runs by a center fielder.

Right Field

  • Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox: Betts joins teammate Jackie Bradley Jr. as a nominee for a Gold Glove. In addition to his success as a hitter, Betts, a 2016 All-Star, also showed flashes of defensive dominance, committing only one error in 361 chances and 157 games. He led AL right fielders in games, putouts (346), double plays (four), and fielding percentage (.997), which also led all AL outfielders. He was second in assists and Total Zone Runs, factor per game. He appears to be the favorite, and it could very well be two Boston outfielders winning Gold Gloves this year.
  • Adam Eaton, Chicago White Sox: The lone White Sox representative on the list of nominees, Eaton played 156 games in the outfield, with 121 of them coming in right field. He committed three errors in 314 chances. His .990 fielding percentage was fourth among right fielders, but he was also first in assists with 15 (to go with a league high 18 as an outfielder), Total Zone Runs (as well as among AL outfielders), range factor per 9 innings, and range factor per game. He was fourth in putouts among right fielders, but first in putouts among all outfielders. Despite not playing all his games in right field, Eaton makes a compelling case for the award due to his overall season as an outfielder defensively.
  • George Springer, Houston Astros: A large figure in the outfield, Springer was part of a powerful Astros lineup, but showed a refined defensive side as well. He committed two errors in 318 chances and 148 games. He finished third in putouts and assists, and second with a .994 fielding percentage.
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