NYT: Gold Glove listing improves but still has a major absence

From Benjamin Hoffman at the New York Times on October 31, 2012, with mention of SABR member John Dewan:

A common debate at the end of the season was whether Mike Trout’s spectacular defense for the Angels, coupled with his strong offense, would be enough to persuade voters for the American League Most Valuable Player award to select him over Miguel Cabrera, baseball’s first triple crown winner since 1967.

That now appears doubtful. Trout was left off the Gold Glove lists announced Tuesday in a sign that his exploits in center field were not widely recognized, and thus would probably not help him when it comes to M.V.P. voting.

Despite Trout’s snub, the coaches and managers charged with identifying the best fielders at each position got things mostly right this season. In the past, they often provided controversy with strange selections. Trout and Seattle’s Brendan Ryan were the only players this season who failed to win Gold Gloves but did win Fielding Bible Awards, a more thought-out alternative.

Chosen ahead of Trout for the A.L. Gold Glove in center was Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles. While Jones was a breakout star for a playoff team, he finished well behind Trout in nearly every advanced defensive metric. In particular, his ratings were hurt by his inability to field balls hit over his head, which was on display when he badly misplayed a ball hit by the Yankees’ Derek Jeter, turning a likely out into a triple during the A.L. division series.

“If he had fielded that like any other center fielder would, he’d have made the catch,” John Dewan, the owner of Baseball Info Solutions and creator of the Fielding Bible Awards, said in telephone interview. “It’s indicative of the fact that he is not an effective center fielder. He may look good on certain plays, but he is ineffective.”

Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/01/sports/baseball/gold-glove-listing-improves-but-still-has-a-major-absence.html

Originally published: October 31, 2012. Last Updated: October 31, 2012.