erik lundegaard

Saturday June 06, 2020

Most Gold Gloves this Century?

Nope, not this guy.

This week's SABR “Horsehide” trivia questions have focused on Gold Glove winners, and for some reason, the other day, I decided to check out who has won the most this century. I guess it was because I knew the all-time dudes but not the recent ones.

Here are the winners, by position, for this century. Turns out most of them aren't recent:

  • P: Greg Maddux* (8)
  • C: Yadier Molina (9)
  • 1B: Mark Teixeira (5)
  • 2B: Dustin Pedroia and Orlando Hudson (4)
  • 3B: Scott Rolen and Nolan Arenado (7)
  • SS: Derek Jeter** (5)
  • OF: Torii Hunter (9)
  • OF: Jim Edmonds (6)
  • OF: Ichiro Suzuki (10)

* Also the all-time leader, in any position, with 18
** The shame of the nation

Of the 11 guys, eight are retired, and two more are near it: Pedroia, who's had all of 31 at-bats over the last two seasons, and Molina, who turns 38 in a month. Only Arenado is the up-and-comer, and boy is he. Seven seasons in the bigs, seven gold gloves. Not many other up-and-comers in their 20s. Mookie Betts, I guess, who's 27 and has won it the last four years. Zack Greinke's won it the last six seasons but those are his only six, and he didn't start winning it until he was in his 30s.

Anyway, there's our answer to the title question: Ichiro, with 10, has won the most Gold Gloves this century. The shocking ommission, to me, is Adrian Beltre. He did win it five times, which is nothing to sneeze at, but sporadically: 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2016. Meanwhile, his career defensive bWAR is 27.2, which is the 13th best all-time, and second-best for a third baseman after the legendary Brooks Robinson. But he has the same number of Gold Gloves as Derek Jeter, whose defensive bWAR is ... wait for it ... -9.4. Yes, that's a negative in front of the nine. So is anyone on his tail? Yes: Andrelton Simmons has four: two in the NL (2013, 2014), two in the AL (2017, 2018). He seems to deserve them, too: 26.7 defensive bWAR. C'mon, kid. 

Posted at 09:44 AM on Saturday June 06, 2020 in category Baseball  
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