The fourth-annual Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards were announced last night, recognizing the best defensive player in each league. Royals left fielder Alex Gordon took home the honors for the American League while Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina won the award for the National League.
Only those won the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were eligible for the Platinum Glove Award. The winners were determined by a combination of a fan vote and SABR’s Defensive Index metric.
Mark Newman of MLB.com writes that Gordon finished with 21.6 percent of the vote in the AL, topping teammate Salvador Perez (15.9 percent) and Dustin Pedroia (13.2 percent). Things were a bit closer in the National League, as Molina got 20.6 percent vote, just ahead of Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (17.7 percent), and Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (15.5).
This is Molina’s third Platinum Glove Award in the four-year history of the award. Simmons won for the National League last year.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia played through a wrist injury for most of the season before finally shutting things down and undergoing surgery in mid-September, finishing with career-lows in batting average (.278), on-base percentage (.337), and slugging percentage (.376).
During a radio interview Pedroia told WEEI in Boston that he’s “100 percent” recovered from the surgery to repair a tendon in his left wrist, adding:
Now that it’s fixed, it’s night and day. I can already tell that. There’s a lot of IOU’s to hand out to people, so I’m pretty excited about it. I feel great. I’m back to a hundred percent. I’m doing all my lifts and everything. My rehab’s going good. I’m full strength and I’m pretty excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve been myself. It’s going to be a lot of fun next year.
Pedroia has been banged up a lot in recent years and because of it the former MVP’s performance has varied wildly, with lots of unproductive stretches. He topped an .800 OPS each season from 2007 to 2011, but during the past four seasons his OPS has fallen from .861 to .797 to .787 to .712.
Pedroia, now 31 years old, has seven seasons and $97 million remaining on his contract.
The 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award recipients are being revealed during an hour-long special airing right now (7:00 p.m. ET) on ESPN2. We will list all of the winners here, position-by-position, as they are announced by the Baseball Tonight crew …
C Yadier Molina, Cardinals
1B Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers
2B DJ LeMahieu, Rockies
3B Nolan Arenado, Rockies
SS Andrelton Simmons, Braves
LF Christian Yelich, Marlins
CF Juan Lagares, Mets
RF Jason Heyward, Braves
P Zack Greinke, Dodgers
C Salvador Perez, Royals
1B Eric Hosmer, Royals
2B Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
3B Kyle Seager, Mariners
SS J.J. Hardy, Orioles
LF Alex Gordon, Royals
CF Adam Jones, Orioles
RF Nick Markakis, Orioles
P Dallas Keuchel, Astros
Gold Glove Awards are voted on by the managers and coaches in each league. A sabermetric component was added in 2013, providing a statistical research guide from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) to the voters, but there are obviously still deep flaws. Leave some outrage in the comments if you’d like.