Despite leading all MLB teams with 6 finalists, the Cincinnati Reds were completely shutout of receiving any of the league’s defensive recognition hardware. If I may, I would like to mention a couple of things from the other day when the finalists were announced.
One, I stated I would not be surprised if the Reds were shutout of the awards. The one I felt a Reds player had the best shot of winning is not the one Reds fans have been screaming about either. Considering the winner at shortstop, Zack Cozart was the Reds player that was deserving, yet did not.
Again, I called it. I said Jimmy Rollins would win…due in part because Rollins is a previous winner. You go anywhere in which there are any type of defensive statistics, and Cozart, hands down, had a better defensive season than Rollins. In fact, I can say that Ian Desomnd of the Nationals was a better defensive player than Rollins.
And I’m not the only one that feels Rollins was not deserving and Cozart should have won…
NL Gold Glove at shortstop: Rollins. No way, not over Cozart and Crawford. Crawford is the NL’s version of Ryan – didn’t hit enough to win.
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) October 31, 2012
For the record, Brandon Crawford was not even among the finalists, another huge oversight. And Law would go on to tweet he was being sarcastic about the Ryan reference. But it does fit when you consider one of the responses Law got to this tweet. Yes, someone did state Rollins deserved the Gold Glove because of his season at the plate. Don’t know if that was sarcasm. No hashtag provided, so I will guess it wasn’t.
While Gold Gloves are not supposed to be based on offensive numbers, I can see where those numbers could have an influence. On this topic, many will merely mention the name Derek Jeter and, well, you get the picture.
Anyway, here’s a look at some of Cozart’s and J-Roll’s defensive numbers from the past season. Tell me what you think…
Rtot, Rdrs, Rtot/yr, Rdrs/yr, RF/9, and RF/G taken from Baseball Reference. UZR, UZR/150, RZR, OOZ taken from Fangraphs. Rtot and Rdrs (and variables) reflect runs saved. RF refers to a player’s range. UZR is Ultimate Zone Rating which has a “primer” course on Fangraphs.
I will state that there is a feeling that defensive metrics aren’t quite on par with what can be derived from an offensive standpoint. I feel this is evolving, and we may eventually get that point where we can look at a few “stats” and see a player’s “true” defensive measure. Still, there will be some (not sure how many though) that will never take any metric to any seriousness. There are some that think we already are there.
I also said I would have no issue with Darwin Barney beating out Brandon Phillips and being named the winner at second base. Even today, I don’t. You can holler all you want that BP got screwed, hosed, shafted, whichever adjective you’d like to attach. You can attempt to downplay Darwin Barney’s game (yes, some Reds fans have resulted to this, and quite frankly, it’s disgusting.) BP speaks (well, tweets anyway) of truth.
Okay. Here goes. Truth is, Barney deserved it. Again, I’ll refer to the same place I utilized with the Cozart-Rollins comparison above. You will see that Barney was better.
In only RZR (which is the percentage of ball played within a player’s zone) is BP better…and only by 4 points. But look at OOZ, or Out of Zone. Barney netted 20 more. Look at all the others. Who has the better numbers? Barney.
Stop the nonsense about how opposing teams (and maybe even some writers) do not like the way BP plays the game and that is why he didn’t win. This is merely an excuse, an excuse you needn’t make. Claiming that as the reason Barney was tabbed over BP is pure BS. First, players have no vote. Second, writers have no vote. Voting for the Gold Glove is done by managers and coaches. There may be a bias there, granted, but if you truly believe that, please explain how Phillips had won three of the previous four NL 2B Gold Gloves. You can’t. If you want to continue to subscribe to that theory, it’s what some may call…a conspiracy. It doesn’t wash.
And, please, for the love of all that is good, stop referring to “web gems”. Any player can have at least one. If you feel moved to do so, all I can say is…Yuniesky Betancourt.
Watch this video…
Now go check Betancourt’s defensive numbers…