Grosnick: The 2013 Gold Glove Awards and the SABR Defensive Index

From Bryan Grosnick at Beyond the Box Score on November 11, 2013:

The Gold Gloves kind of have a reputation in sabermetric / analytics circles. It’s not a good one. There’s a reason why things like the Fielding Bible Awards exist, and that’s because the winners of Gold Gloves in the past haven’t always tracked with the best fielders in the minds of many forward-thinking quantitative analysts.

Well, last year Rawlings announced that they would be using input from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) to help decide the winners of the Gold Glove awards going forward. At the time, there was quite a bit of healthy skepticism about the who, what and how of this new methodology, but then the 2013 Gold Gloves came out, and most sabermetrically-minded folks had precious little to complain about.*

* – Little to complain about is relative, especially on the internet. And we’ll get to this later. Promise.

At any rate, SABR and Rawlings invented not a true metric, but an index: the SABR Defensive Index (SDI). SDI was developed by the SABR Defensive Committee (good, smart folks), and takes into account most major defensive metrics and, well, you should probably just read a lot about it here. More importantly, this page also shows us how qualified players scored on the SDI. This is good. Transparency is very, very good. Take a minute and see where the actual winners and the SDI leaders intersect.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: November 11, 2013. Last Updated: November 11, 2013.