Dewan: Who are the 2014 Fielding Bible/Gold Glove contenders?

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on October 1, 2014:

We are looking forward to what promises to be an exciting October of postseason baseball, but now that the regular season is behind us, it’s also a great time to reflect on the players who enjoyed tremendous seasons. As one of the 12 voters for The Fielding Bible Awards, here are some of my considerations as I fill out my ballot.

Today, we’ll take a look at catchers and infielders. Part II will be the next Stat of the Week where we’ll look at pitchers and outfielders. (Note: In the tables below, the numbers next to the player names represent their Defensive Runs Saved totals.)

Catchers: Yadier Molina has won six of the last seven Fielding Bible Awards, including the most recent two. He’s definitely in the mix again this season, but a thumb injury that cost him close to two months may prevent him from winning his seventh Award. The favorite to replace him comes from within his own division. Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers has developed into one of the best defensive and offensive players in the game. In particular, Lucroy is an exceptional pitch receiver. His 95.9 percent block rate on pitches in the dirt and potential wild pitches is the best among qualified catchers. Russell Martin has more Runs Saved than either Lucroy or Molina, and has caught 28 runners trying to steal, second most in baseball behind Rene Rivera of the Padres.

Salvador Perez may fall short in the Fielding Bible Awards, but, as was the case in 2013, he will have much less competition for the Gold Glove in the American League. However, rookies Caleb Joseph and Christian Vazquez of the Orioles and Red Sox, respectively, could challenge Perez in future seasons if they become regulars.

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Originally published: October 1, 2014. Last Updated: October 1, 2014.