Chicago Cubs: Darwin Barney Proving The Value Of Defense
Whether you’re a fan of Darwin Barney or somehow of the opinion that he’s just another version of Ryan Theriot, there’s no doubt that he has proven his value to the Chicago Cubs this season.
Barney broke onto the scene last year and rather easily wrestled the starting second base job away from Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt early on in the year. He proved to be a guy with a solid glove and a little bit of pop in his bat. This season, though, Barney have proven that he deserves a spot on this club for the foreseeable future.
This season, Barney has taken a step forward with his glove and has established himself as an elite defensive second baseman in Major League Baseball. If he continues down this path he is currently on, he could end up with a Gold Glove at the end of the year.
Barney recently passed the 100-game mark without committing an error. That’s already ahead of Ryne Sandberg‘s single-season record of 90, and just a few short of David Eckstein‘s National League record for consecutive games without an error, which he set at 113 games.
For the season, Darwin Barney has a .998 fielding percentage. That’s higher than Brandon Phillips, who has something of a monopoly on Gold Gloves in the National League in recent years. That may end up changing when all is said and done this year, though Phillips has continued to show why he’s won three already in his career.
At a 3.6, Barney is the league leader in defensive WAR in the 111 games he’s played. He leads all second baseman with 300 putouts on the year and counting. If that doesn’t sound like a resume for a Gold Glove at second base, then I’m not quite sure what would.
It won’t be in a runaway, but Barney should take home a Gold Glove, if he finishes the last month and a half of the season like he’s played the first four of the season. He’s been a joy to watch defensively for the Cubs this year and has really proven that a player’s value comes more than just at the plate.