Can’t get enough of the Giants this offseason? As if the Affeldt and Lopez signings weren’t exciting enough, ESPN is gearing up to televise the 2011 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards—and both Pablo Sandoval and Carlos Beltran are nominees.
Now, there are no clear stipulations regarding the voting process for the Gold Glove Awards. Yes, voting is limited to managers and coaches, and no, they cannot vote for their own players or players outside their league. Beyond that, however, many factors may play into the support of one defensive player over another, including popularity, fielding average, or even arguably irrelevant statistics such as batting average.
Let’s take a look at some of the Giants’ competition for this year’s awards.
At third base, Pablo faces off against Philadelphia’s Placido Polanco and St. Louis’s Daniel Descalso. Sandoval finished the year with 904.2 innings played, 22 DRS (defensive runs saved), 12 double plays of 71 putouts, and 10 errors. Polanco played 1044.2 innings, with 16 DRS, 14 DP of 78 PO, and 8 errors. Descalso falls a bit short with 666.0 innings, -2 DRS, 13 DP of 51 PO, and only 6 errors.
In right field, Carlos Beltran represents both the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants, as he competes against LA’s Andre Ethier and Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce. Andre takes the lead with 1091.1 innings, 5 DRS, 243 putouts, and 0 errors. Bruce follows with 1371.0 innings, -4 DRS, 306 PO, AND 4 errors. And for Beltran: 1153.2 innings, 2 DRS, 230 PO, and 1 error.
The question is, which numbers do you value the most when it comes to awarding a player for “superior individual fielding performance”? Do you look at the errors he’s collected? The runs he’s prevented? Or is it more of an intangible quality, his aggressiveness during plays or the way he leads the team on the field?
These aren’t easy decisions—and thankfully, they’re not ours to make. While we wait for the results of the Gold Glove Awards, go to MLB.com and vote for Ryan Vogelsong (Breakout Player of the Year) and Sandoval’s voodoo homers (Oddity of the Year—I wish I were making that up) in this year’s GIBBY Awards.