By Kyle Johansen @kylejohansen on May 8, 2014
Measuring defense has been one of the most debated aspects of baseball with the advent of advanced metrics that can change a person’s perspective on which players are the best defenders in the game. This season will see some deserved first-time winners, as well as other elite defenders establishing themselves as perennial Gold Glovers. These five American League players and five National League players are on track to take home a Gold Glove.
Yadier Molina has won six consecutive Gold Glove Awards, and his streak shouldn’t come to an end anytime soon. Molina does everything well behind the plate, but his biggest strength may be his arm as he has thrown out eight base-stealers in 16 attempts this year.
By the defensive metric UZR, which quantifies how many runs a player has saved on defense, Brian Dozier is the top-ranked second baseman in the league with a UZR of 3.4. Dozier has never won a Gold Glove and would replace Dustin Pedroia as the reigning winner in the American League.
Brandon Phillips is the No. 2 ranked second baseman in UZR at 3.3 and will likely win his fifth total Gold Glove Award in the National League at the end of the season.
Josh Donaldson is a converted catcher who began playing third base in 2012, but no one has been better defensively at third so far than JD. Donaldson has a total of seven Defensive Runs Saved this year and also ranks No. 1 in UZR among MLB third basemen at 4.5. If he can continue to play defense at this level, he has a chance to replace incumbent Manny Machado in the American League.
Nolan Arenado won his first Gold Glove Award in 2013 as a rookie and looks on track to win his second consecutive award in 2014. Arenado has six Defensive Runs Saved on the year, and his 3.8 UZR is tops in the National League for third basemen.
Alex Gordon has three consecutive Gold Glove Awards heading into 2014, and at his current pace, he’ll have No. 5 when the season is over. Gordon has three outfield assists already and is third overall in MLB among all defenders with a 7.5 UZR. With his continued brilliance in the outfield, Gordon should have no problem sustaining his streak of Gold Glove Awards.
Currently Troy Tulowitzki has been better at the shortstop position than Andrelton Simmons, but it will be difficult to unseat Simmons as the National League Gold Glove Award winner at shortstop after his historic season on defense in 2013. While Simmons has been solid this season (3.0 UZR, two DRS), Tulowitzki has been incredible in the field so far with 10 Defensive Runs Saved and a 4.8 UZR.
Erick Aybar has not yet made an error this season at shortstop for the Angels, and at this rate he should have no problem unseating J.J. Hardy as the American League Gold Glove Award winner at short.
Jason Heyward is the total package in the outfield. He makes peerless jumps on the ball in the outfield and shows off an excellent arm in addition to his incredible range. He is currently No. 1 in baseball with a 10.0 UZR. He also has three outfield assists with nine Defensive Runs Saved and should win his second Gold Glove Award this year to begin a long consecutive run in the National League.
It’s hard to believe, but Mike Trout has not yet won a Gold Glove Award; 2014 should be his first. Trout is the top ranked defender in MLB according to FanGraphs, and his UZR of 8.5 puts him behind just Jason Heyward. Trout is a prolific defender and should break through this season for a well-deserved Gold Glove Award in the American League.
July 31, 2015 by Evan Massey
The Chicago Cubs are reportedly aggressively pursuing Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo, and he would help their playoff push in a big way. Read More
July 31, 2015 by Christopher Nicastro
The Texas Rangers getting Cole Hamels means they'll look to clean up their pitching staff. Here's why Yovani Gallardo is on the chopping block. Read More
July 31, 2015 by Jacob Kornhauser
The Milwaukee Brewers dealt outfielder Carlos Gomez to the Astros on Thursday. The prospects they got in return will help reshape their farm system. Read More
July 31, 2015 by Barry Holmes
With the Reds making the offer of Wheeler for Bruce, it's on the New York Mets to accept. Read More
Of all the American League teams, the teams of these three managers have been the most impressive. The managers of the clubs should be considered for AL Manager of the Year. Read More
Entering August, the field for AL Rookie of the Year is getting slimmer. Here are the five most talked about contenders ranked. Read More
There have been several impressive teams in the National League this season. The men at the helm of these three teams deserve consideration for NL Coach of the Year for their teams' performances. Read More
The National League has some pretty impressive young talent this season. These five players have stood out and are the favorites to win the league's Rookie of the Year award. Read More