If nothing else, the annual Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners remind us that most voters probably don’t actually watch much baseball. If they did, Derek Jeter would not have taken home the award in 2010. If Rawlings has accomplished anything, it’s that they have got one thing right. The additional step of naming finalists for the award helps acknowledge the efforts of those who weren’t actually seen on tv that much. Too bad the finalist list at each position represents either a no-brainer or a no-brains selection. I digress for the sake of our 3 loyal readers. If you happen to be one of those few loyal ones, you’ll recall that uneducated guesses come from a machine we have dubbed the “Abner Doubleday Predicto-o-Matic 3000“.
It successfully produced 7 of 9 winners in 2010 for the NL, and it hit a solid .667 average last year (or maybe it was .333). After several mice spent hours churning to engage the stretching of many rubber bands which run the machine, I have the list of predicted winners right here in my grubby little hands.
Predicted winner: The nod goes to Peavy in a closely contested race. Hellickson was great as a defensive presence, but he only pitched 177.0 innings. CJ was solid as well, but he only managed 3 DRS (defensive runs saved). Peavy wins by a nose hair.
Predicted winner: Oddly enough, these 4 were the only ones who “qualified” according to FanGraphs for the catcher leaderboard in the AL. Interesting, no? It’s a coin flip between Wieters and Avila, but the Predicto-o-Matic gives it to Wieters for his 38.6 success rate at throwing out would-be base stealers.
Predicted winner: Adrian Gonzalez. Actually, any name except for Hosmer should be acceptable here. He had all the range of an Easter Island statue. Again, I reiterate my point about people not actually watching games. Teixeira can still scoop the ball with the best of them, but his movement away from first base can be timed with a sun dial.
Predicted winner: Robinson Cano. All other things being equal, it’s close between Pedroia and Cano, but Cano played in more games and had 101 more chances at 2B. According to the algorithms programmed into the Abner Doubleday Predicto-o-Matic 3000 by the ancient Egyptians, that makes Cano’s defense more valuable (ie better) than Pedroia’s.
Predicted winner: Brendan Ryan. Ryan might be the best defensive player in the game. Period. He can’t hit to save his butt, yet he can turn every play imaginable and some you haven’t imagined. He’s also my pick for the AL Platinum Glove.
Predicted winner: Adrian Beltre. By all reasonable and rational means this award should go to Moustakas, but it might be unprecedented for Rawlings to hand out the hardware to a guy most people couldn’t pick out of a KC Royals lineup. It would certainly be unprecedented for a Platinum Glove Award winner to be dethroned the year after winning said award. Nod goes to Beltre by reputation more than anything else, but credit the Rawlings folks for even getting Moustakas a mention.
Predicted winner: Alex Gordon. The runner up should also be Alex Gordon. Normally, the machine does not focus on a single statistic, but 24 DRS should be illegal and at least cause for a carry/conceal permit in most states. Gordon once threw a ball from left field so hard it actually burrowed through a ball Francoeur had thrown to the catcher.
Predicted winner: Mike Trout. C’mon. 2.2 dWAR, 23 DRS, and enough UZR to cover the outfield in Anaheim? Yeah. Also give him the RoY, Cy Young, AL MVP, NL Comeback PoY, and the Old Wooden Bucket. For real, though. The inclusion of Adam Jones over Denard Span should be cause for a criminal investigation, though. The only logical explanation for the exclusion of Span is that he plays in the shadow of Joe Mauer‘s exceptionally awesome hair. That’s it.
Predicted winner: Josh Reddick should win this by default or something like that. Francoeur still carries a cannon where his arm should go, but he loses a lot of time waiting for the ball to come to a complete stop before throwing it. Choo deserves to be in this conversation about as much as I do, and he deserves the recognition far less than Torii Hunter who still gets it done at age 48.
Predicted winner: Mark Buehrle. Despite failing to begin the season with a ridiculous play involving a predisposition for shoveling the ball backwards between his legs while duck walking away from first base, Buehrle still deserves this. Sure, his landing position puts him in great shape to play “defensive guy”, but that shouldn’t be used to penalize the guy who gets it done. Kershaw wins enough stuff as it is, and Arroyo is still the “MLB pitcher who most looks like Prince Vallium from Spaceballs”.
Predicted winner: Yadier Molina. The man owns a BAMFCannon. He speaks Spanish, English, American, Clubhouse, and Martian. The guy actually threw out a baserunner by head butting the ball to 2nd base. Also, Yadi gets the nod for defending his Platinum Glove Award and being the first to do so.
Predicted winner: Joey Votto. LaRoche deserves this equally, though. Consider one has 9 DRS, 7.5 UZR/150, 0.3 dWAR, and 6 errors in 972 chances. The other had 8 DRS, 5.7 UZR/150, 0.0 dWAR, and 7 errors in 1367 chances. If you base this on merit and the context of how bad the Nationals infielders are at throwing the baseball in the direction of LaRoche, he would win in a landslide. Since I doubt most of the voters could find Nationals Park without Mapquest, the award goes to Votto.
Predicted winner: Darwin Barney. Yes, the “Evolutionary Purple Dinosaur” takes this one over Phillips and a guy who must have slept with someone to get on the list. No idea who Mark Ellis junk punched to lose out on a spot in the finalist list, but it must have been worth it. It doesn’t matter how you parse the components for dWAR, 3.6 is a hugely impressive number to go with 28 defensive runs saved for Barney.
Predicted winner: Zack Cozart. Seriously, 1 of these guys is doing his own thing, and the others stink at defense. If you can’t put Brandon Crawford on this list, then nobody can really take it seriously. Also, where is Tyler Greene? Just kidding.
Predicted winner: David Wright. Headley must have hit well enough to make this list, because his glove isn’t quite up to par yet. He’s a solid defender with a good glove, but he doesn’t have the range of ….Aramis Ramirez? Yes, that’s hard to imagine, but Wright can dive circles around these guys. And then he would go on the 15 day DL.
Predicted winner: Martin Prado. Hard to imagine, but “The Devil Wears” Prado has earned the right to take home the really bulky, gold thingy for the first time. That’s saying quite a lot, because Ryan Braun‘s eyes give him the advantage of a 240 degree field of vision, and Car-Go ….pretty much played the worst defensive season of his major league career, but at least he hit well (or decently by Colorado standards). Again, it seems like the folks at Rawlings just recycle the list year to year and change a few names. It’s like a term paper that came straight from a fraternity’s file system.
Predicted winner: Michael Bourn. Realistically, there is Bourn and just about everybody else. One might have expected to see Cameron Maybin, Carlos Gomez, or Jon Jay on this list, but again it’s about reduce, reuse, recycle with these people. Fortunately for them, Bourn is still the class of the field, even if you discount 24 DRS, 22.5 UZR/150, and 3.0 dWAR he wins on the “eye test”. He just looks faster than everybody else except for the guy who spilled a lemon ice drink down his shorts.
Predicted winner: Jason Heyward. Granted, he should probably be taking the award home over the likes of Carlos Beltran and Giancarlo Stanton, but no reason to be picky. Heyward simply owns right field, and everybody else is paying rent.
Follow gr33nazn on Twitter for defense of these picks when the “Abner Doubleday Predicto-o-Matic 3000″ only nails 4 of 18 (or worse)!