Posted by John Dewan on October 28, 2016
THE 2016 FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS have been officially announced. Of the ten winners this season, four players are first-time Fielding Bible Award winners, while the other six have been honored for their defensive prowess before.
Dustin Pedroia and Andrelton Simmons both won their fourth Fielding Bible Awards. Pedroia reclaimed his title from Ian Kinsler for his fourth win in six seasons. Simmons won his fourth consecutive award despite missing playing time this season. This was the first time that he didn’t win unanimously, however, as he only narrowly beat out Brandon Crawford – 106 to 105 points in the voting.
The only unanimous vote this season was for catcher Buster Posey, who excelled in every defensive aspect of catching and finished with 10 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) more than second-place DRS finisher Yasmani Grandal. Nolan Arenado and Starling Marte were close to winning unanimously with only one voter ranking each player in second place. These are the second Fielding Bible Awards for Posey, Arenado, and Marte, all repeating their titles from last season.
Like Simmons, Dallas Keuchel barely came out on top in the voting for his position this season, winning his third consecutive pitcher Fielding Bible Award. He finished three points ahead of Zack Greinke, despite having only three of the 12 panelists rank him as the number one pitcher. He finished with the fewest points of any of the 2016 Fielding Bible Award winners.
There were four first-time winners in 2016: Center fielder Kevin Pillar, who narrowly beat the 2015 Fielding Bible Award winner Kevin Kiermaier; right fielder Mookie Betts, who led all of baseball in DRS with 32; and Cubs teammates first baseman Anthony Rizzo and multi-position player Javier Baez. The two Cubs helped lead their team to an outstanding 107 DRS, the most by any team since DRS tracking began in 2003.
A panel of 12 experts, listed below, examined the 2016 seasons of every defensive player in Major League Baseball and ranked the 10 best players at each position on a scale from 1 to 10. The same scoring technique as the Major League Baseball MVP voting was then used. First place votes received 10 points, second place 9 points, third place 8 points, etc. A perfect score is 120.
One important distinction that differentiates THE FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS from most other baseball awards, such as the Gold Gloves, is that there is only one winner at each position instead of separate winners for each league. The goal of THE FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS is to stand up and say: "Here is the best fielder at this position in Major League Baseball last season." Another key feature of the system is that it also recognizes the runners-up for each position. A complete record of the voting can be found in The Bill James Handbook 2017.
Here are the results of THE 2016 FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS:
|First Base||Anthony Rizzo||113|
|Second Base||Dustin Pedroia||114|
|Third Base||Nolan Arenado||119|
|Left Field||Starling Marte||119|
|Center Field||Kevin Pillar||109|
|Right Field||Mookie Betts||116|
A personal note: The winners of the Fielding Bible Awards all have extraordinary physical abilities. This weekend I am riding 115 miles in a fundraiser that helps those who are losing their physical abilities. I am riding for my friend Nancy who has MS. It’s called Bike MS and it raises funds for Multiple Sclerosis research. If you are moved to donate towards a cure for MS, you can support my ride at http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/JDrideforNANCY.