The San Francisco Giants, who somehow went nearly a decade between Omar Vizquel and Brandon Crawford winning Gold Gloves, now have their best showing in two decades. Crawford, Buster Posey, and Joe Panik all won Gold Gloves on Tuesday, the first time three Giants won the award since 1994.
Crawford and Posey were expected. Panik was something of a surprise, but it’s a marvelous surprise.
Posey is a Rookie of the Year, Silver Slugger, Most Valuable Player, and World’s Champeen. All of these are very important, very precious. But he’s also the best pitch framer in baseball, and this year he led the National League in caught-stealing percentage, too. There was a lot of this:
Ignore that Gordon was called safe on the first one after a review. Posey impressed even himself:
Crawford won the award for the second time, though he faced stiff competition from Addison Russell. With Andrelton Simmons out of the NL, it looked like Crawford was going to win the award for the next few years, but Russell had to be a jerk and be really, really, really good. The Giants’ shortstop was still best by a lot of the advanced metrics, though, and he has reputation on his side now.
He also happens to be really, really, really, really good.
Ha ha haaaaaa, that one is still amusing to me. We’ll round up the best plays of the year in another post, but that might be my favorite of the year. It’s ballet.
This is a fun one for two reasons:
First, because it’s a great play. Second, because the runner Crawford throws out in that highlight is D.J. LeMahieu, who was the favorite to win the Gold Glove at second base. In both, we get to say “NOT SO FAST” in all caps. That award went to Panik, the tremendous ex-shortstop who is playing second only because Crawford is so good.
The SABR Defensive Index might be the reason he took the award:
The SABR Defensive Index draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts. The three metrics representing batted ball data include Defensive Runs Saved from Baseball Info Solutions, Ultimate Zone Rating developed by noted sabermetrician Mitchel Lichtman, and Runs Effectively Defended based on STATS Zone Rating and built by SABR Defensive Committee member Chris Dial. The two metrics included in the SDI originating from play-by-play data are Defensive Regression Analysis, created by committee member Michael Humphreys, and Total Zone Rating.
Panik missed a month of the season, but I’d like to think of it as Bruce Bochy sitting him so he would have the award locked up.
He’s a fine second baseman, and now we get to say this:
That there is two Gold Glove winners making one of the best plays we’ll ever see in the World Series.
Congratulations to all three Gold Glove-winning Giants! The last time we got to say that, we weren’t sure if baseball was going to be played again. This time it’s a much better feeling.