In Major League Baseball, the Gold Glove awards are supposed to honor the “best of the best” at each individual position on the diamond with regard to defensive prowess. However, Rawlings (who awards the Gold Gloves) has taken things a step further over the past 3 seasons by handing out a “Platinum” glove award to the best individual defender (regardless of position) in each of the two leagues.
On Friday night, Rawlings took to Twitter to announce this year’s winners:
— Rawlings Sports (@RawlingsSports) November 9, 2013
To be honest, I think Rawlings got this one right. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Andrelton Simmons was the best defensive player in all of baseball this season, as he posted a 5.4 defensive WAR (according to Baseball-Reference) that places him tied for the best season ever, and he shattered the previous mark for DRS (defensive runs saved) as calculated by the Fielding Bible. On top of that, Simmons led the NL in putouts (for all of the traditional stat guys out there), and was generally spectacular in the field.
On the AL side, Manny Machado actually received a higher percentage of the vote than Simmons did, and he was also deserving. Machado led the Al in defensive WAR at 4.3, and made spectacular play after spectacular play despite playing “out of position” (he’s a natural shortstop) at just 21 years old.
It isn’t often that defensive awards are given out correctly in today’s MLB, but Rawlings knocked one out of the park here.