Congratulations to Matt Wieters on winning a well deserved Gold Glove. The awards are obviously kinda dumb (Rafael Plameiro winning with only 28 games played at first, Derek Jeter having 5), but the certainly got it right in this case. Matt Klaassen from his recent Beyond the Box Score article:
“The overall leader is the same guy who has been running away with it all season, Matt Wieters, who dominated these leader boards like he was supposed to dominate major-league pitching immediately upon his promotion in 2009. He is not just the overall leader, but also the best at blocking pitches and catching base stealers according to these rankings. His offense may not ever reach expectations, but by itself it was good enough relative to his position without good defense. With his defense, he probably had a better than five-win season. Maybe it is not the way Orioles fans envisioned, but Wieters has become a star, even if it is mostly going unnoticed.”
Final tally? More than 15 runs saved above average – about twice the 2nd place player. Dude’s awesome, and I don’t think this will be his last piece of hardware.
Nick Markakis winning – something that O’s fans have been clamoring for for years – is less legit (-5 UZR, -4 DRS, -4 Total Zone). Markakis had a great arm, but it’s seemed to me that it’s more just good at this point. And his range has been only so-so for a while now. He’ll make a diving catch every now and again, but a lot of those balls a truely great outfielder would have caught with the exceptional effort. Too many balls fall in around Markakis for him to really be worthy of a Gold Glove (I probably would have gone with David DeJesus).
JJ Hardy had a solid argument for the Gold Glove at the shortstop position, though I personally would have likely chosen Alexei Ramirez. Neither player won though (Erick Aybar).