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Harold Baines and Lee Smith are Hall of Famers

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Non-Twins Off-season news, tidbits and transactions

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Buxton and Dozier Gold Glove Finalists

As Rawlings Sports tweeted out the finalists for the American and National League Gold Glove award winners today, there was early frustration for Twins fans. Despite looking like a potential front runner, Joe Mauer wasn’t even mentioned as a finalist. As disheartening as that was, things got better as the positions continued to be revealed. Both Brian Dozier and Byron Buxton got their due.
Image courtesy of © David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
At second base, Dozier’s inclusion seems a bit odd on the surface, but it highlights a bit of what the Gold Glove has turned into. Despite defensive metrics not being the only criteria worth noting, they should hold substantial value for what is certainly a defensive award. Looking at the metrics though, they don’t view the Twins second basemen favorably. Among nine qualified second basemen in the American League, here’s how Dozier ranked:
  • DRS- 8th (-4)
  • UZR/150- 5th (-1.2)
  • UZR- 5th (-1.3)
  • RngR- 8th (-4.2)
Whether deciphering between what the numbers tell us (that there wasn’t much range, or exceptional ability) or positioning among peers (middle-to-bottom-half), Dozier’s defense seems to raise an eyebrow. With the bat however, his .853 OPS was third among AL two-baggers, and his 34 homers paced the group. Again, a defensive award, but it sure appears that the Gold Glove tends to cross into Silver Slugger territory.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Byron Buxton had to be an easy inclusion. Among American League center fielders (6), there wasn’t a metric that the Twins center fielder didn’t lead. He posted 24 DRS, owned a 13.1 UZR/150, 9.9 UZR, and a 12.6 RngR. Simply put, he could be counted on to cover the most ground, and save the most runs for any center fielder in the league (and the National League for that matter).

As discussed above, offensive production likely comes into play during the Gold Glove voting process far more than it should, but center field stymies its effect somewhat. Kevin Pillar, another finalist, owned just a .704 OPS. Lorenzo Cain’s .803 OPS is the best among the trio, but Buxton’s .728 OPS hardly tells the tale of a guy who owned a .796 OPS from June 1st onward.

The expectation should be that Buxton wins the award running away. There’s no other way to put it than that the Twins center fielder was the most exceptional player at the position in all of baseball. Both Cain and Pillar has respectable numbers, but they lag significantly behind the speedy outfielder.

Dozier is a nice inclusion, if not an unexpected one, but going up against Ian Kinsler and Dustin Pedroia, he really shouldn’t have much of a chance. It will be interesting to see how that trio sorts itself out however.

What can be taken away from what’s become a relatively watered down award is that the Twins are once again trending towards having difference makers around the diamond. That’s hardly a bad thing for the future.


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35 Comments

 

Dozier’s inclusion seems a bit odd on the surface, but it highlights a bit of what the Gold Glove has turned into.

 

I think that the Gold Glove has become much better than what it was 15+ years ago. Then it almost was the same as the Silver Slugger. Now at least some thought goes into it. It's gotten better, but there are still some strange things. 

    • Blake, Jerr, Danchat and 4 others like this
It is absolutely absurd that Mauer isn't a finalist.

If Buxton doesn't get one this year, it officially means nothing.
    • Jerr, Twins33, jbissell and 7 others like this
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Deduno Abides
Oct 26 2017 01:59 PM
Does this mean Dozier now can be traded straight up for Luis Severino?
    • Platoon likes this

Ya, if people are going to rip the Mauer thing, they should also rip the Dozier thing.....

    • Twins33, h2oface, notoriousgod71 and 4 others like this

Dozier is a defensively OK 2B who might be a bit below average... so he shouldn't be a finalist for the Gold Glove, but I guess hitting is still a factor, even if it's small. I can't understand how Mauer isn't even in the conversation... I've never liked the Gold Glove awards and they haven't done anything to change my mind.

 

Ya, if people are going to rip the Mauer thing, they should also rip the Dozier thing.....

I'm fine with that. If the award is to mean anything both things should be ripped.... and shredded.Seriously, I don't know how Mauer did with runs above replacement but considering every time he sat it seemed like errors and mistakes were made over there so runs above OUR replacements was probably better than Buxton's. Buxton should have run away with it and from what I actually witnessed among other first basemen when we played them, Mauer should have been comfortably ahead there also. Yeah, Dozier being a finalist feels a little like Melanie Griffith getting a nomination for an Oscar.OK maybe that dates me and is a little extreme but still.

    • Mike Sixel likes this
This is silly! You don't need advanced metrics to see how ridiculous this is. Without Mauer the Twins IF becomes below mediocre, it seemed half the throws to 1B were in the dirt. Maybe they should change the award to the Gold Batting Gloves Award!
    • Dantes929, bluechipper and Sconnie like this
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pierre75275
Oct 26 2017 03:44 PM
Who was a finalist instead of Mauer?
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Bill Brown69
Oct 26 2017 03:49 PM

Dozier makes enough diving plays to pass the casual eye test. I can easily see how he was included just from highlight reel footage. Mauer didn't make a lot of noise on the highlight reel but when you watch the games you realize that you might be watching the steadiest 1B in the game over the last 15 years. Nobody had any thought about "do I throw it" if it was a maybe play and it might be in the dirt. The infielders were able to just play and throw it when they got to it because the "Joe Wall" was there to make sure it wasn't a wreck.

    • Blake, Dantes929, 70charger and 1 other like this
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Lee-The-Twins-Fan
Oct 26 2017 03:58 PM

Another reason Mauer was snubbed: Lack of errors. Mauer had two errors all season long - Hosmer had 4, Santana and Moreland 5 each. Mauer was robbed!

    • bluechipper likes this
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Lee-The-Twins-Fan
Oct 26 2017 04:29 PM

In defense of Dozier, (I know, I know, this is old school) he does have the best fielding percentage among QUALIFYING 2B, at .993 – with only 5 errors. Pedroia had a better fielding percentage - .995, with only 2 errors, but in only 98 games - compared to 152 games for Dozier. 

 

(A batter must have 3.1 plate appearances per team game played (1.86 PA during spring training) to qualify for league leadership in AVG, OBP or SLG). I'd say that should also be true for Gold Glove awards – or base it on innings at the position. 

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Don Walcott
Oct 26 2017 04:35 PM

 

I think that the Gold Glove has become much better than what it was 15+ years ago. Then it almost was the same as the Silver Slugger. Now at least some thought goes into it. It's gotten better, but there are still some strange things. 

Remember when Mark McGwire won the Gold Glove over Hrbek?

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Don Walcott
Oct 26 2017 04:40 PM

Dozier won't win. Mauer at least had two close competitors, though he deserves to be a finalist.

 

Now, if Buxton doesn't win, that will be a very sad day for the Gold Glove Awards.

    • Mike Sixel, beckmt, 70charger and 1 other like this

Having someone who was below average defensively as a finalist is laughable; however since it increases Dozier's trade value, I am all for it...

 

Another reason Mauer was snubbed: Lack of errors. Mauer had two errors all season long - Hosmer had 4, Santana and Moreland 5 each. Mauer was robbed!

 

I wonder if his very conspicuous and very costly error in Yankee Stadium had an outsized influence. Is the voting group NY-heavy? Would more voters have been watching that game? 

 

(I admit to not knowing exactly who votes on these finalists.)

I guess the GG process hasn't made the progress that I thought it had.
I can go back to viewing it as completely irrelevant I guess.

 

Remember when Mark McGwire won the Gold Glove over Hrbek?

 

Yeah, I'm old enough... and again, that was over 15 years ago... 

 

Who was a finalist instead of Mauer?

 

Carlos Santana

Erik Hosmer

Mitch Moreland

Moreland and Santana had better numbers. Hosmer has the reputation. Defensive metrics are interesting in that even over a season, we're largely dealing with small sample sizes. It really doesn't make sense that Hos would be elite 1 year and not the next.

That said, Mauer passed the eye test over the course of the season, but any single game, he rarely made spectacular plays. He was average chasing down foul pops. Often took safe routes on ground balls and took safe outs over double plays or getting the lead runner.

I believe Mauer has gotten better across the board at first base with the exception of chasing down fly balls. But I don't consider it robbery that he wasn't a finalist.
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nicksaviking
Oct 27 2017 10:18 AM
All three 1B finalists are free agents. If I was a conspiracy nut I'd think the MLBPA gave the BBWA recommendations of who to choose to try to help inflate the importance of a position that in recent years has seen a decrease in value and pay due to it's perception of being minimally important in this new era of focusing on defense.

Good thing I'm not a conspiracy nut! But good news for those of you that are, Mauer is a lock for the award next year!
    • 70charger likes this

No, I agree with this. I don't think he will win but I remember saying earlier this season that Dozier is a better second baseman than people give him credit for. And he's out there busting it every day - I can't remember a game this season when he didn't play. Nice to see him getting some recognition for this underrated part of his game. 

    • sftwinsfan likes this

Moreland and Santana had better numbers. Hosmer has the reputation. Defensive metrics are interesting in that even over a season, we're largely dealing with small sample sizes. It really doesn't make sense that Hos would be elite 1 year and not the next.

That said, Mauer passed the eye test over the course of the season, but any single game, he rarely made spectacular plays. He was average chasing down foul pops. Often took safe routes on ground balls and took safe outs over double plays or getting the lead runner.

I believe Mauer has gotten better across the board at first base with the exception of chasing down fly balls. But I don't consider it robbery that he wasn't a finalist.


It makes perfect sense that a guy could have an up or down year defensively. No different whatsoever than a hitter or pitcher having an up or down year.

Hosmer has NEVER been a real quality defensive 1B.Ever.Where he got that rep is beyond me.Has never deserved a GG.Ever.

Congrats to both Dozier and Buxton.

    • USAFChief and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

It makes perfect sense that a guy could have an up or down year defensively. No different whatsoever than a hitter or pitcher having an up or down year.


I read this a lot, but I question it. Defensive ability should be pretty stable, IMO. At least way more stable than 1 yr of hitting or pitching results.

It's just another reason I'm very skeptical about current publicly available defensive metrics.

I might be proven wrong someday, of course.
    • 70charger likes this

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