Major League Baseball has announced the Gold Glove finalists at each position. There are some intriguing options to choose from at all positions in each league, as well as some slam dunk picks. The field has been narrowed down to three for each position, but it needs to be narrowed down to one in the end. This series will look at both the National League and American League for all positions, starting with pitchers.
Pitchers are probably the most difficult position to judge for a Gold Glove. Generally, a pitcher is not at the forefront of action once the ball is released from their hand. However, that does not mean that they cannot have an impact on the game with their defense. Some are better at the fundamentals than others, but there are still some pitchers that help themselves with their glove.
Gold Gloves might not be won or lost by statistics, but the statistics are important to look at in context. Pitchers have far less attempts to be able to make an impact with defense, but these guys in this list really did everything they could.
The American League boasts three pitchers who have never won the award before. Jose Berrios of the Minnesota Twins, Mike Leake of the Seattle Mariners, and Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox are all in the running to have a Gold Glove in their trophy case.
Jose Berrios was neither a detractor nor an asset on defense. He had an even zero defense runs saved throughout his time on the mound this year. However, he was tied with four other pitchers for sixth in the AL in assists for pitchers with 19. He also contributed 12 putouts with only one error involved. He showed off his abilities with this play:
Mike Leake changed uniforms during the season, but he is still eligible for the AL side of things. Leake had 25 assists and 20 putouts, which best Jose Berrios in both categories. He had a positive impact by having two defensive runs saved on the year. Leake was also involved in seven double plays on the year.
Lucas Giolito, for his part, had 15 assists and four putouts over his time on the mound. He was able to avoid any errors and was part of two double plays during the season for the White Sox. Giolito was also good for three defensive runs saved on the year, besting both of the other candidates.
Prediction: Mike Leake. Leake was the best of both worlds and has some love in both defensive runs saved and the traditional statistics as well.
The National League has Zack Greinke going for his sixth consecutive award, even though he switched leagues. Jack Flaherty of the St. Louis Cardinals and Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies join him as the other finalists.
Zack Greinke was his usual stellar defender. He owned four defensive runs saved on the entire year. Greinke led the entirety of MLB with assists at 34 and putouts with 33. He was part of a whopping 16 double plays that occurred while he was on the mound. During all of this, he only had one error on the year.
Jack Flaherty was no slouch on the mound as a defender either. He contributed 23 assists with 18 putouts and had no errors to boot. He had three defensive runs saved on the year. Flaherty was also brilliant on the mound for the Cardinals.
Aaron Nola showed off his defensive chops on the mound this season. He had five defensive runs saved this year, which bests both of the other candidates. He had 27 assists with nine putouts and did not end up recording an error this year. It was a fine defensive performance from him as well.
Prediction: Zack Greinke will win his sixth NL Gold Glove. He has the best combination in statistics for the award.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images