The Cincinnati Reds may be an underachieving team when it comes to wins and losses (19-21), but when it comes to playing the field, no team is better than the Reds and no player plays a position with more dazzle and daring than second baseman Brandon Phillips.
The Reds lead MLB overall with a .991 fielding percentage through 40 games, having committed just 13 errors in 1,485 total chances. Besides the Reds, only the Baltimore Orioles have made fewer than 20 errors this year.
The Reds are exceptional defensively up the middle with Phillips, shortstop Zack Cozart and wide-ranging center fielder Billy Hamilton, whose defensive prowess rivals his importance as a base-stealing machine.
All three up-the-middle defenders have committed just one error each. While Hamilton will likely find himself in the running for Gold Glove status at some point during his career, Cozart may always remain underrated and in the NL shadow of Andrelton Simmons.
Phillips has won Gold Gloves in four of the last six years (including last year) and barring a total meltdown in the field should be a shoo-in for another. Phillips has dazzled spectators for years now with a highlight reel of seemingly impossible throws, flips and stabs. This year has been more of the same spectacular play in the field from Phillips.
Besides Phillips, only first basemen Joey Votto has won a Gold Glove (2011) among Reds’s regulars. Right fielder Jay Bruce has shown he is deserving of the highest award recognition for his glove work but has not won a Gold Glove yet.
Third baseman Todd Frazier has committed more errors (4) than any Reds’ fielder but has shown continued development into a reliable hot corner defender. The Reds’ rotation and bullpen have made just one miscue in the field each, and the catching trio of Devin Mesoraco, Brayan Pena and Tucker Barnhart have proven to be not only sound with the mitt but also at the top of their craft with the arm in allowing the second fewest stolen bases (12) in the majors this year.