The 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were announced on Tuesday evening and Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan was not among the winners. It's disappointing because there is little doubt that Ryan is simply the best defensive shortstop not just in the American League, but in all of baseball. It's not surprising when you look at past Gold Glove Awards. In the past, it seems as though offensive statistics have crept into the voting process.
How is it voted on? Each manager and up to six (6) coaches on his staff voted from a pool of qualified players in their League, and were not able to vote for players on their own team.
J.J. Hardy is a very good defensive shortstop, but in my opinion Ryan was better.
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In what I believe is the most definitive defensive measure, Ryan was the best defensive shortstop. He had the highest UZR and UZR/150. He was third in fielding percentage. Hardy was first. Baseball-Reference uses a few other metrics. Ryan led in runs saved at 27.
You'd like to think the fact that Ryan hit .194 this season didn't play into an award that is supposed to be based solely on defensive prowess. But I think we know that likely isn't true.
Either way, he had a great defensive season.
P —Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay and Jake Peavy, Chicago White Sox
C — Matt Wieters, Baltimore
1B — Mark Teixeira, N.Y. Yankees
2B — Robinson Cano, N.Y. Yankees
SS — J.J. Hardy, Baltimore
3B — Adrian Beltre, Texas
LF — Alex Gordon, Kansas City
CF — Adam Jones, Baltimore
RF — Josh Reddick, Oakland
P — Mark Buehrle, Miami
C — Yadier Molina, St. Louis
1B — Adam LaRoche, Washington
2B — Darwin Barney, Chicago Cubs
SS — Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia
3B — Chase Headley, San Diego
LF — Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado
CF — Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh
RF — Jason Heyward, Atlanta