American League Gold Glove Winners

Bill’s AL Gold Glove Winners

Some positions in the American League are easy to pick for the Gold Glove Awards, but others are considerably harder. While some positions have their popular players who have won the awards in the past, others have fluctuated in recent history. (Note: these awards were given out to the best player at each single position, including the three outfield positions which were divided into players who played most of their games at a certain spot.)

First Base

Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins

Morneau is second in fielding percentage at his position with a .997, but also played 23 more games that the player in front of him. He also tied for the League lead in putouts and played more innings than any other first baseman in the league. While his zone rating and range factor aren’t great, he makes up for it by being more consistent than anyone else in the league.

Others who were considered: Carlos Pena of the Tampa Bay Rays and Lyle Overbay of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Second Base

Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

While Pedroia will miss out on a second World Series ring and his first MVP trophy, he will still have some consolation with this prize. He is second among second basement in fielding percentage, but played in 42 more games than Oakland’s Mark Ellis whose percentage is just .001 higher than Pedroia’s. He was faced with the third most chances in the league and only committed six errors, while helping to turn over 100 double plays.

Others who were considered: Akinori Iwamura of the Tampa Bay Rays and Brian Roberts of the Baltimore Orioles.

Third Base

Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees

In a very close race, Rodriguez takes the price by having just slightly more of everything than the other top third basemen in the league. He is tied for the top fielding percentage while putting up good numbers in most other categories. In 131 games, he committed just 10 errors at one of the hardest positions in the game.

Others who were considered: Jack Hannahan of the Oakland Athletics and Adrian Beltre of the Seattle Mariners.

Shortstop

Michael Young, Texas Rangers

This is actually one of the easier awards to pick because of how much ahead of everyone else Young is. He has a sizeable lead in fielding percentage, taking first place by .005 (it seems small, but it’s actually one of the biggest leads in either league) and he has turned nine more double plays than anyone else in the top ten. He only committed 11 errors despite having 669 chances and played the second most innings of top shortstops.

Others who were considered: Orlando Cabrera of the Chicago White Sox and Jhonny Peralta of the Cleveland Indians (Peralta was very hard to put on this list, but he stacks up against the other shortstops very well).

Left Field

Raul Ibanez, Seattle Mariners

If Young’s lead in fielding percentage over the shortstops was big, Ibanez’ .011 lead over other left fielders is huge. Ibanez is the easy choice with more chances, more innings, more putouts and less errors than the others in the running. He also tallied nine assists (which is second among left fielders) and started one double play.

Others who were considered: Delmon Young of the Minnesota Twins and Carlos Quentin of the Chicago White Sox.

Centerfield

Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians

Sizemore is second in fielding and did commit two more errors than Torii Hunter, but he also played in 14 more games. This will be Sizemore’s second in a row and he does it in impressive fashion. Sizemore has one of the best zone ratings in the game, at any position, and has range that few can match. He was second overall in putouts in the position that is stock full of talent.

Others who were considered: Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles.

Right Field

Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles

While Markakis is fourth in fielding percentage, he has a better range than any other right fielder and he has seven more assists than anyone else. He also has the most total chances and putouts by far and only committed three errors all season while starting three double plays. Markakis was overlooked because his team was not successful, but he certainly helped the O’s win the games they did.

Others who were considered: Jermaine Dye of the Chicago White Sox and Bobby Abreu of the New York Yankees.

Pitcher

Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox

While there were a number of pitchers who did not commit an error this season, Buehrle edged the field mainly because he had the most total chances of those pitchers. He also started five doubles plays and had a perfect zone rating. Buehrle has been known throughout his career for having a good glove.

Others who were considered: Javier Vazquez of the Chicago White Sox and Andy Sonnanstine of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Catcher

Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

Mauer played in the most games as a catcher in the American League and only committed three errors, which helped him get his perfect zone rating as well as his league leading .997 fielding percentage. He has the third highest percentage of runners who were caught stealing and while he is in the bottom of the top five in total chances, he was nearly perfect when he had them.

Others who were considered: Jason Varitek of the Boston Red Sox and Kurt Suzuki of the Oakland Athletics.

3 Comments

  1. Ty L.

    November 6, 2008 at 11:20 am

    You do realize that errors have absolutely nothing to do with fielding, right? The one and only use for an error is to allow the official scorer to figure which runs are “earned” and which are “unearned”. A player’s batting average is a better indicator of how well he fields than errors or fielding percentage could ever be.

  2. dave

    November 10, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Ty do you realize when a player makes an error, it will take points off their fielding percentage. What sport are u watching? Hitting may affect the way the fielder goes after the ball, possibily leading to an error. An error is an error, if the fielder misplays the ball, that would be called an error. I do not believe you understand the rules of baseball, so please think before you make ridiculous comments.

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