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John Dewan's Stat of the Week

Who are the 2017 Fielding Bible Award/Gold Glove Contenders? (Part II)

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Who are the 2017 Fielding Bible Award/Gold Glove Contenders? (Part II)

October 19, 2017

Last week, we looked at the favorites and contenders for the 2017 Fielding Bible Awards and the Gold Glove Awards for catchers and infielders. This week, we will do the same for the outfield, pitchers, and the Multi-Position Fielding Bible Award. As in Part I, please note in all of the tables below, the numbers in parentheses next to the players’ names represent their Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) totals at their primary position (with the exception of the Multi-Position section).

Left Fielder:

Starling Marte’s bid to win his third consecutive Fielding Bible Award was derailed early in the 2017 season when he was dealt an 80-game suspension after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. As a result of Marte’s absence, the competition for the award was thrown into flux and an old reliable was able to take advantage. Brett Gardner, who won consecutive Fielding Bible Awards in left field from 2010-2011, is the favorite to take home the 2017 award. Gardner was the only outfielder in 2017 to save at least three runs from each of the three DRS components that apply to outfielders: Range and Positioning, Throwing, and GFP/DME.

Favorite Other Contenders
Fielding Bible Award Brett Gardner (17) Marcell Ozuna (11)
Tommy Pham (10)
AL Gold Glove Brett Gardner (17) Alex Gordon (9)
Andrew Benintendi (9)
NL Gold Glove Marcell Ozuna (11) Adam Duvall (9)
Tommy Pham (10)

Center Fielder:

After saving a record 42 runs in 2015 and winning his first Fielding Bible Award, it appeared Kevin Kiermaier was going to sit atop the defensive center field throne for much of the next decade. However, AL East center field rival Kevin Pillar narrowly won the Fielding Bible Award last year, and this year another young center fielder has surpassed them both as the favorite to win the 2017 award. In his first full season at the major league level, Byron Buxton led all center fielders with 24 DRS, while Kiermaier finished second with 22 Runs Saved. This is just the second time since 2003 that two center fielders have saved at least 22 runs (the other being in 2013).

Favorite Other Contenders
Fielding Bible Award Byron Buxton (24) Kevin Kiermaier (22)
Kevin Pillar (15)
AL Gold Glove Byron Buxton (24) Kevin Kiermaier (22)
Kevin Pillar (15)
NL Gold Glove Billy Hamilton (9) Ender Inciarte (5)
A.J. Pollock (8)

Right Fielder:

It looks like it’s going to be back-to-back Fielding Bible Awards for Mookie Betts. For the second consecutive year Betts led all outfielders in DRS. This year Betts was able to save 31 runs, 13 more than the next-closest right field competitor. The 63 runs Betts saved the Red Sox from 2016-2017 are the second most ever by an outfielder in a two year stretch, behind only Kevin Kiermaier’s immaculate 2015-2016 stretch. Betts essentially is a center fielder who happens to play right field. The main contributor to the Red Sox right fielder's overall DRS was the 27 runs he saved with his range and positioning, which itself was 13 more than the next-closest competitor.

Favorite Other Contenders
Fielding Bible Award Mookie Betts (31) Yasiel Puig (18)
Jason Heyward (18)
AL Gold Glove Mookie Betts (31) Aaron Judge (9)
Steven Souza Jr. (7)
NL Gold Glove Jason Heyward (18) Yasiel Puig (18)
Giancarlo Stanton (10)

Pitcher:

Yet again there is no clear-cut favorite for the Fielding Bible Award for pitcher this season. Tyler Chatwood and Dallas Keuchel led the way with nine Runs Saved, but there were six other pitchers that finished with at least six Runs Saved. Since the pitchers are so closely packed together with no obvious leader, voters may rely on their opinions of how each pitcher has performed defensively in the past. This could mean that for the fourth season in a row, Dallas Keuchel will win the Fielding Bible Award and the AL Gold Glove, and Zack Greinke will be the Gold Glove winner for the NL. These two pitchers have saved the most runs from 2014-2017, with Keuchel saving 39 runs and Greinke saving 25.

Favorite Other Contenders
Fielding Bible Award Dallas Keuchel (9) Tyler Chatwood (9)
Mike Leake (8)
AL Gold Glove Dallas Keuchel (9) Alex Cobb (6)
Marcus Stroman (5)
NL Gold Glove Zack Greinke (4) Jhoulys Chacin (7)
R.A. Dickey (7)

Multi-Position:

This season’s multi-position award will likely be a close race between Aaron Hicks, Yolmer Sanchez, and Javier Baez. All three have had exceptional seasons while being juggled between various infield and outfield positions. Sanchez is only the second infielder ever to save at least eight runs at two different positions (second base and third base) in a single season (Addison Russell - 2015). Hicks, meanwhile, saved the Yankees 15 runs across all three outfield positions, and was one of only six qualified outfielders (minimum 600 IP) in 2017 to save at least three runs at two different positions. Defending Fielding Bible Award winner Javier Baez was no slouch either, as he appeared at all four infield positions for the second consecutive year, and was able to save runs at both second base and shortstop in 2017.

Favorite Other Contenders
Fielding Bible Award Yolmer Sanchez (15) Aaron Hicks (15)
Javier Baez (5)

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