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Mauer Snubbed In Gold Glove Voting

Today, Rawlings released the finalists for the American and National League Gold Glove Award. The awards are voted on by each manager and their coaching staff via a balloting process. Over the years, the award has drawn plenty of criticism for poor selections, and too much of an offensive focus. For 2017, that couldn't be more true as Joe Mauer was omitted.
Image courtesy of © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, you read that correctly. Mauer not only didn't win the award, he wasn't even named a finalist.

Among the trio up for the award, you have the Red Sox Mitch Moreland, Indians Carlos Santana, and Royals Eric Hosmer. As I have been suggesting all year on Twitter, Mauer should've been considered a near favorite. The first two members of the trio were his competition, and Eric Hosmer belonged nowhere near the finish line.

While defensive metrics are hardly the sole criteria for the award, a defensively focused acknowledgment should account for them. Across the board, Mauer seemed to lead the pack. Here's how he ranked among his competition (note: There were 12 qualified 1B in the AL during 2017):
  • Joe Mauer DRS t-2nd (7), UZR/150 1st (9.1), UZR 1st (7.1), RngR 1st (3.9)
  • Mitch Moreland DRS 1st (10), UZR/150 2nd (5.8), UZR 3rd (4.0), RngR 3rd (2.4)
  • Carlos Santana DRS 1st (10), UZR/150 3rd (4.7), UZR 2nd (4.8), RngR 4th (1.4)
  • Eric Hosmer DRS 10th (-7), UZR/150 9th (-7), UZR 9th (-0.3), RngR 12th (-4.4)
Looking at the defensive metrics above, Mauer is evidently better across the board than each of his peers. While both Moreland and Santana come in close, it would seem that the overall strength of his range and ability make Mauer the favorite to win the 2017 Gold Glove. Although he doesn't see him as the favorite (Moreland is), Bill James also notes that the three finalists for the award are clearly Santana, Moreland, and Mauer.

Often, the debate whether or not hitting production be brought into the Gold Glove award is a talking point. Given the reality that the acknowledgment is for defensive prowess, it seems an odd proposition. For context though, here's how the four players looked offensively in 2017:
  • Mauer .801 OPS 7 HR
  • Moreland .769 OPS 22 HR
  • Santana .818 OPS 23 HR
  • Hosmer .882 OPS 25 HR
From a slugging perspective, Mauer has never (and will never) be the hulking first basemen type. He isn't going to launch 15-plus homers in his career ever again, and his offensive ability will forever be tied to his plate discipline and ability to get on base. Again however, the Gold Glove Award isn't supposed to be designed as a reflection of the total production from any position player.

At the end of the day, fans around Twins Territory have a legitimate gripe, and managers across baseball should be ashamed of their choices. Whether or not you put stock in sabermetrics, there isn't a single defensive statistic that views the Royals first basemen as anything but the lowest tier with his glove. While he does present a legitimate power bat, the Silver Slugger award shouldn't be carried into other voting circles.

Sometime following the World Series, an American League first basemen will be awarded the Gold Glove. With it not going to Mauer, a repeat performance for Mitch Moreland seems appropriate. Being robbed of the 1st catcher to ever win a Gold Glove at another position, and just the third player in baseball history to win the award at two positions, it's tough to see Mauer dealt this hand.

The evidence pointing towards Mauer being the American League's most elite first basemen was prevalent all throughout 2017. It's discouraging that coaches across the big leagues apparently missed that boat. Then again, Eric Hosmer has the name and the sexy numbers, so he tends to draw extra attention.

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51 Comments

Well, that sucks!

    • Jerr, wavedog, Oldgoat_MN and 3 others like this

Is there any award that has less value or less recognition than gold glove.It always has been a farce. The most important recognition is with the team and the fact that he had his best year since his concussion.

    • Jerr, Mike Sixel, dgwills and 5 others like this

Mauer should probably be there ahead of Hosmer, but I wonder if innings played would say otherwise.

 

Mauer 1040.2 innings

Moreland 1170 innings

Santana 1225.2 innings

Hosmer 1338 innings

 

Mauer is more than 14 full games behind the next guy on the list, and 33 games behind Hosmer. That does matter.

    • USAFChief, Jerr, mikelink45 and 3 others like this

 

Mauer should probably be there ahead of Hosmer, but I wonder if innings played would say otherwise.

 

Mauer 1040.2 innings

Moreland 1170 innings

Santana 1225.2 innings

Hosmer 1338 innings

 

Mauer is more than 14 full games behind the next guy on the list, and 33 games behind Hosmer. That does matter.

 

This is a fair point... 

    • Jerr and verninski like this
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TwinkiePower
Oct 26 2017 01:51 PM

 

This is a fair point... 

If that's the case, then why the hell is Zobrist on the list? He only played 81 games at 2B.

    • Jerr, Monkeypaws and caninatl04 like this
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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 26 2017 02:03 PM

 

Mauer should probably be there ahead of Hosmer, but I wonder if innings played would say otherwise.

 

Mauer 1040.2 innings

Moreland 1170 innings

Santana 1225.2 innings

Hosmer 1338 innings

 

Mauer is more than 14 full games behind the next guy on the list, and 33 games behind Hosmer. That does matter.

At some point, that can't factor in when you have a qualifier. If you're qualified, it doesn't really matter what you've played. You met the threshold. Also, the extra innings only draw him closer in DRS and pull away more in other metrics.

    • Carole Keller, James, Mike Frasier Law and 2 others like this
Dozier makes it and Mauer doesnt. They might as well stop with this farce.
    • Carole Keller, Thrylos, Jerr and 8 others like this

And yet, people will post how so and so won X award, as if it proves something.....like manager of the year, or gold glove.....No one even knows how to measure managers, yet people site that all the time....at least with GG we have decent measures (that show Mauer should be a finalist).

    • Carole Keller, Jerr, Mike Frasier Law and 3 others like this
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Bill Brown69
Oct 26 2017 03:41 PM

I really wanted Mauer to get the attention he deserved but it is nothing new for a no brainer candidate to not win. 

 

I have stated before IF Mauer would have transitioned to first when he was 20something he would be regarded as the best defensive 1B of all time. If Buxton can play healthy another 10 years he will be regarded as the best CF of all time.

 

Enjoy the ride guys, because if this team stays together for another 2-3 years it may well be the the best defensive team of all time. 

    • 70charger likes this
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Lee-The-Twins-Fan
Oct 26 2017 03:47 PM

Another reason Mauer should be on the list: Lack of errors. He had 2 errors all season – Hosmer had 4 errors and Moreland and Santana each had 5 errors. A steady defender all season long... Mauer got robbed.

    • Jerr, 70charger and caninatl04 like this
Absolutely ridiculous.

It reminds me of when I started playing varsity ball as a freshman in high school. Coaches vote on All-Conference players at the end of the year at a meeting. My coach called me into his office during school the day after the vote, and explained to me that although all the coaches in the conference agreed I was the better player, they opted to give the award to a senior and slide me down to honorable mention, because it was his last crack at it and I'll have three more years.

Some of these professional awards are determined in the same manner. More things aside from plain-old "who is the best" goes into it.

That's why it won't surprise me if Buxton doesnt get the award. They'll give it to someone else under the assumption that Buxton will be entrenched there for the next decade. Better give someone else the participation trophy while they can.

Another reason Mauer should be on the list: Lack of errors. He had 2 errors all season – Hosmer had 4 errors and Moreland and Santana each had 5 errors. A steady defender all season long... Mauer got robbed.


Agreed. First base should be a place where errors are heavily weighted, IMO. The level of difficulty, in comparison to say shortstop, just isn't there.
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Lee-The-Twins-Fan
Oct 26 2017 03:56 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!

I always thought Gold Glove was glove first, bat second.

 

If the award was truly weighted that way, then Mauer should have won it easily.

 

As for Brian Dozier, I'm shocked Brian is even in the discussion for a Gold Glove. Don't get me wrong, I think he's a steady defender with an excellent bat. But I just don't see how the bat overcomes a mediocre glove.

    • Thrylos, Don Walcott and caninatl04 like this

Mauer not only led AL 1Bs in UZR, he led MLB 1Bs in UZR.3rd in DRS for AL 1Bs.3rd in the AL for RZR.

 

Can't even be a finalist?

 

Then there's the idea that Hosmer is in thee top 3. WOW!

    • Jerr, Mike Sixel, Mike Frasier Law and 2 others like this
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Winston Smith
Oct 26 2017 04:41 PM

Time has proved it to be a BS award, no sense getting upset about more BS!

    • Jerr, Mike Sixel, Dantes929 and 1 other like this

 

Time has proved it to be a BS award, no sense getting upset about more BS!

I guess Hrbek never getting one should have taught us that lesson.

    • Blake, Jerr, Monkeypaws and 1 other like this

He will just have to show them by winning the World Series MVP next year.

    • 70charger and Circus Boy like this

Here are the leaders in several metrics, old school, new school and in between, among qualified (per fangraphs) AL 1B, with Mauer's ranking also included:

 

Plus Minus: Moreland; Mauer 3rd
Defensive Runs Saved: Santana, Moreland tie; Mauer 3rd
RZR:Valencia (yes that one); Mauer 3rd
Out of Zone plays made: Smoak; Mauer 4th
UZR:Mauer 1st
Fangraphs Def: Mauer 1st
Fielding percentage: Valencia & Cabrera tie; Mauer 3rd
Inside Edge 90-100% plays made: Moreland; Mauer 6th
Range Factor: Abreu; Mauer 7th

 

Should Mauer objectively be a finalist:Probably.Was he outrageously snubbed?Not really.

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Carole Keller
Oct 26 2017 06:05 PM

 

Another reason Mauer should be on the list: Lack of errors. He had 2 errors all season – Hosmer had 4 errors and Moreland and Santana each had 5 errors. A steady defender all season long... Mauer got robbed.

But in how many chances?

 

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!

And wasn't one of the two errors on a foul ball when the batter eventually did not get on base?

    • Jerr likes this
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Carole Keller
Oct 26 2017 06:08 PM

 

Mauer should probably be there ahead of Hosmer, but I wonder if innings played would say otherwise.

 

Mauer 1040.2 innings

Moreland 1170 innings

Santana 1225.2 innings

Hosmer 1338 innings

 

Mauer is more than 14 full games behind the next guy on the list, and 33 games behind Hosmer. That does matter.

I do get the innings played and how that may have entered into the decision, and I think is a valid point for not winning, but that he didn't even make top of the list is more than surprising to me ... but then again, it just validates the worthlessness this award has become.

    • Jerr likes this
I understand it's the only data we have at the moment, but I suspect people are getting a little worked up about the top 3 when the winners will probably shake out in a perfectly acceptable manner.
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Old Twins Cap
Oct 26 2017 07:55 PM

No one has mentioned, but maybe it's just me or I don't understand, but if this is generated by coaches across the league, is Mauer liked as a player by other teams?

 

Not exactly someone who impresses at a cocktail party.

 

 

He does seem to talk a lot at first base - maybe he annoys the other players.(kidding - and I have heard he actually has a sense of humor in real life).

 

I suspect the players and coaches don't have a lot of time to watch the other players except when they are playing against them, don't study their stats from the current season, and vote more on the player's general reputation rather than who actually deserves if for the current season.I think that is why it sometimes takes a deserving player a few years to get in the running and why they often are still considered after their defense has slipped.

    • Circus Boy and Hosken Bombo Disco like this

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