Pittsburgh Pirates’ Starling Marte Deserves Gold Glove Award
The three finalists for the annual Gold Glove awards were announced on Friday, and the Pittsburgh Pirates had three finalists. Andrew McCutchen in center field, Russell Martin at catcher and Starling Marte in left field are the Pirates’ three candidates to win a Gold Glove award.
McCutchen won the award last season, but he probably didn’t deserve it. No one will admit it, but the Gold Glove award seems to be influenced greatly by offensive performance, even though it is a defensive award. McCutchen has a stronger case to win this season, but he still wasn’t the best defensive center fielder. Martin was great at throwing out runners this season, but Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals has won the Gold Glove every year since the prehistoric era, so someone winning over him seems unlikely. The one Pirates player that truly deserves to win is their left fielder, Marte.
Marte was a gazelle in the outfield in 2013. His UZR/150 in left field in 2013 was 20.1, best in MLB among left fielders. The other two finalists for the award are Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies and Eric Young Jr. of the New York Mets. Gonzalez had a very good 9.5 UZR/150 in left field and Young Jr. had a 6.2 UZR/150.
Both Young Jr. and Gonzalez were good defensive outfielders, but Marte was just on a whole different level. The only thing that could keep Marte from winning the Gold Glove for 2013 would be that Gonzalez is a much better hitter than him. As wrong as that seems, considering the Gold Glove is a defensive award, it is the unfortunate truth.