2013 Gold Glove Highlights Baseball's Youth Movement

Nolan Arenado became the first rookie since
Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 to win a Gold Glove.
The 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners were announced earlier this week and there are two conclusions that you could come to in looking at the results.  The first -  the inclusion of sabermetrics as an official selection component will re-shape the face of this award.  The second - the face of baseball has changed right before our eyes.

I tend to lean towards the latter as truth in explaining the eight first-time winners.

First-time Gold Glovers Andrelton Simmons and Paul Goldschmidt took home the National League honors at shortstop and first base, respectively while the trophy cases of household names like Troy Tulowitzki and Adrian Gonzalez were left with a unfilled space.

Even Adrian Beltre missed the cut!  In his place - web gem expert Manny Machado earned his first (of what will likely be many) Gold Glove at third base.  Machado, the first-time Gold Glove Oriole was recognized along with teammates and repeat honorees J.J. Hardy (2-SS) and Adam Jones (3-OF).  The Orioles were tied with the Royals for the most Gold Glove winners in 2013 with three a piece.

Yadier Molina earned his sixth Gold Glove, moving into a tie for fourth place in history among catchers; only Ivan Rodriguez (13), Johnny Bench (10) and Bob Boone (7) have more Gold Gloves as a backstop.  All-Star Torii Hunter was denied his 10th Gold Glove.  Instead, Alex Gordon (3-OF) and Shane Victorino (4-OF) notched repeat honors (with Josh Reddick considered a snub, of sorts).

Looking at the list, I think that they ML managers and coaches, combined with the newly formed SABR Defensive Index which accounts for 25% of the total, actually got it right, for the most part.  Some arguments could be made for guys like Zack Greinke, Russell Martin, Darwin Barney and Andrew McCutchen but pound for pound, the guys on this list were arguably worthy of recognition for their isolated field work and all of the Fielding Bible award winners were represented here (which demonstrates some sort of unification).  I would have probably gone with Jacoby Ellsbury in CF, Yunel Escobar at SS and Starling Marte in LF but at the end of the day, I'm less dissappointed with those misses than I am happy with the fact that Simmons, Arenado and Parra made the cut.

In case you haven't seen it, here's the list:

2013 Gold Glove Winners
C -   American League: Salvador Perez, KC
        National League: Yadier Molina, STl
1B - American League: Eric Hosmer, KC
        National League: Paul Goldschmidt, ARI
2B - American League: Dustin Pedroia, BOS
        National League: Brandon Phillips, CIN
SS - American League: J.J. Hardy, BAL
        National League: Andrelton Simmons, ATL
3B - American League: Manny Machado, BAL
        National League: Nolan Arenado, COL
LF - American League: Alex Gordon, KC
        National League: Carlos Gonzalez, COL
CF- American League: Adam Jones, BAL
        National League: Carlos Gomez, MIL (noteworthy - first Brewer since 1982 to win a GG)
RF - American League: Shane Victorino, BOS
        National League: Gerardo Parra, ARI
P -   American League: R.A. Dickey, TOR
        National League: Adam Wainwright, STL


  1. I would have like to see Andrew McCutchen win the award also. He is so dynamic in the field with his glove and amazing speed.

  2. He's one of the top 5 players in baseball right now... all-around, pound for pound, factoring in the less "sexy" parts of the game. Keep a close eye on the NL MVP award this year... Goldschmidt is probably the front runner because he led the league in HR and RBI but McCutchen led the Pirates into the playoffs, he's a better defender and has a unique edge because he's been a top-5 MVP vote-getter in the past. Most folks will say that HR's and prior year's results shouldn't matter but you almost have to pit one against the other in this race.


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