Who Will Win Gold Glove Among 5 Kansas City Royals Nominees?

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Who Will Win Gold Glove Among 5 Kansas City Royals Nominees?

Who Will Win Gold Glove Among 5 Kansas City Royals Nominees?
Peter G. Aiken - USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals had a strong year defensively, with highlight reel-worthy fielding at nearly every position. Their defensive strengths are proven both by the statistics and the Gold Glove nominations received by Royals players all over the field. Alex Gordon in left field, Lorenzo Cain in center, Alcides Escobar at short, Eric Hosmer at first base and Salvador Perez are all 2013 nominees, and they all earned their nominations for a reason. Today we'll take a look at the Royals' defense as a whole, as well as looking at the chances for each player to earn a Gold Glove.

Kansas City ranked eighth in MLB this year in defensive efficiency ratio. Although their errors total was only average, the Royals made up for it with range and efficiency. The old rule of thumb on defense is to stay strong up the middle, and KC has certainly done that Perez, Escobar and Cain. All three show remarkable defensive skills at their position, and all three are destined for more nominations in their future. Also important is the fact that Escobar and Perez are already signed long-term, and Cain is not yet eligible for arbitration.

Before the World Series rages on, fans in Kansas City will anxiously await the official announcement of the Gold Glove winners. MLB will announce the winners via live broadcast at 7 p.m. tonight on ESPN2. Before that time comes, let's take a look at the five Royals nominated, and their chances at earning this prestigious award.

Doug LaCerte is a writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DLaC67, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Lorenzo Cain

Lorenzo Cain
Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

Lorenzo Cain committed only one error in 96 games at center field this year. His range factor was also impressive; only Coco Crisp recorded a higher range factor than Cain's in as many games played. Although his error total is diminutive for that amount of playing time and his range is remarkable, garnering any recognition at the center field position is really difficult. In order to earn the first Gold Glove of his career, Cain will have to beat out Adam Jones and Jacoby Ellsbury. It probably won't happen for him this year.

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4. Eric Hosmer

Eric Hosmer
Peter G. Aiken - USA TODAY Sports

With Mark Teixeira injured, the battle for the Glove at first base is finally wide open this year. None of the three finalists – Eric Hosmer, James Loney or Chris Davis – have ever won the award. Although Hosmer passes the eye test, he committed eight errors and recorded a UZR that was well below that of fellow contender James Loney. It looks like Hosmer may have to wait for his first Gold Glove, but he shouldn't be waiting for long.

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3. Salvador Perez

Salvador Perez
John Rieger - USA TODAY Sports

Salvador Perez is undoubtedly one of the best catchers in baseball even at this early stage in his career, but he's facing some stiff competition for the Gold Glove award. The two other finalists at catcher, Matt Wieters and Joe Mauer, have taken home the last four awards. Nonetheless, Perez outmatches them according to advanced sabermetrics, and outranks them in catching potential base-stealers. Outperforming Wieters is specifically tough, but all the signs point to Perez earning his first Gold Glove tonight.

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2. Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

If they kept a tally of highlight reel-worthy plays, Alcides Escobar would be no. 1 at his position. His range is incredible, he has an accurate cannon of an arm and his fielding percentage leads the league. The other finalists, J.J. Hardy and Yunel Escobar, really shouldn't hold their breath. All the advanced defensive stats point to Alcides being the best defensive shortstop in the American League.

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1. Alex Gordon

Alex Gordon
Rob Grabowski - USA TODAY Sports

Alex Gordon is vying for yet another Glove this year, and he absolutely deserves it. As I've mentioned before, he's the best defensive left fielder in baseball, and the stats agree. Only fellow finalist Yoenis Cespedes outranks him according to advanced sabermetrics, and Gordon recorded a league-leading 17 outfield assists to Cespedes' 9. If Gordo can win another Glove this year, he'll join the great Amos Otis as the only Royals outfielder to win the award three times.

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