Fielding Bible Award

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Former St. Louis Cardinals teammates Yadier Molina (left) and Albert Pujols (right) have been frequent winners of the Fielding Bible Award.

A Fielding Bible Award recognizes the best defensive player for each fielding position in Major League Baseball (MLB) based on statistical analysis.[1][2] John Dewan and Baseball Info Solutions conduct the annual selection process, which commenced in 2006.[3] The awards are voted on by 10 sabermetrically inclined journalists and bloggers including Dewan, sabermetric pioneer Bill James, and writers such as Peter Gammons, NBC Sports' Joe Posnanski, SB Nation editor Rob Neyer, and ESPN analyst Doug Glanville.[4][5][6] The awards have historically been announced before the Gold Glove Awards, the traditional measurement of fielding excellence.[7] Dewan wrote that this award cannot equal the prestige of the Gold Glove, which started 50 years earlier, but it provides an alternative.[8]

Voting process[edit]

Dewan felt that statistics in addition to visual observation and subjective judgment are integral in determining the best defensive players. The Fielding Bible Award attempts to address the deficiencies Dewan saw with the Gold Glove Award, previously the only organized subjective judgment of fielding. The voting for the Fielding Bible Awards are for the entire MLB, and not separated between the National League and the American League; playing defense was not perceived to be any different between the two leagues. The voters select the best defensive player at each position with the best player given 10 points, the second best nine points and so forth.[9] From the award's inception, the specific outfield positions have been picked individually instead of choosing three generic outfielders,[10] a practice employed by the Gold Glove Awards from 1961 to 2010.[11] Each voter selects 10 players for each position. The candidates for each position are defined beforehand to eliminate the possibility of a vote going to player who was not really playing the position.[9] (Rafael Palmeiro won the 1999 AL Gold Glove at first base despite being primarily a designated hitter and appearing in only 28 games as a first baseman that season.[12]) In 2014, a multi-position award was introduced to honor a player who plays multiple positions, with a minimum of 600 innings played at any position but no more than 70 percent of those innings at a specific position.[13] The voting for awards is summarized and published for each position, identifying who everybody voted for. This aims to instill accountability among the voters and provide insight into the process to the public.[9]

Voters use sabermetrics to account for a defenders' range. The traditional standard of a high fielding percentage could be impacted by a player who does not make many errors but also does not get to many balls.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

There have been some major differences between the player selections made for the Fielding Bible Awards and the Gold Glove Awards.[15][16][17] The Boston Globe writer Peter Abraham said the Fielding Bible Awards "are far more accurate (and accountable)" than the Gold Glove awards since statistics are used along with the opinions of the expert panel. The Gold Gloves are selected by managers and coaches that may have seen a player as few as six times all season.[18] Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times said the votes for the Gold Gloves rely largely on a player's past reputation.[2] Jeff Wilson of The Southern Illinoisan believes that Gold Glove results are unduly influenced by a player's offensive prowess.[14] Derek Jeter, winner of multiple Gold Gloves, believes that many defensive factors cannot be quantified.[19] Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star noted that people "point out the primitive nature of defensive stats — even if that's more perception now than reality."[20]

In 2013, the Gold Glove award partnered with Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) to add a sabermetric component to its vote. Afterwards, Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated wrote that the Gold Gloves "appear to have significantly closed the gap on their more statistically-driven counterparts."[21]

Past winners[edit]

Key
C Catcher
1B First baseman
2B Second baseman
3B Third baseman
SS Shortstop
LF Left Fielder
CF Center fielder
RF Right fielder
P Pitcher
MP Multi-position
Player Name (#) Name of winner (# times won if repeat winner)
Year C 1B 2B 3B SS LF CF RF P MP Ref
2006 Rodríguez, IvánIván Rodríguez Pujols, AlbertAlbert Pujols Hudson, OrlandoOrlando Hudson Beltré, AdriánAdrián Beltré Everett, AdamAdam Everett Crawford, CarlCarl Crawford Beltrán, CarlosCarlos Beltrán Suzuki, IchiroIchiro Suzuki Maddux, GregGreg Maddux N/A [22]
2007 Molina, YadierYadier Molina Pujols, AlbertAlbert Pujols (2) Hill, AaronAaron Hill Feliz, PedroPedro Feliz Tulowitzki, TroyTroy Tulowitzki Byrnes, EricEric Byrnes Jones, AndruwAndruw Jones Ríos, AlexAlex Ríos Santana, JohanJohan Santana N/A [23]
2008 Molina, YadierYadier Molina (2) Pujols, AlbertAlbert Pujols (3) Phillips, BrandonBrandon Phillips Beltré, AdriánAdrián Beltré (2) Rollins, JimmyJimmy Rollins Crawford, CarlCarl Crawford (2) Beltrán, CarlosCarlos Beltrán (2) Gutiérrez, FranklinFranklin Gutiérrez Rogers, KennyKenny Rogers N/A [24]
2009 Molina, YadierYadier Molina (3) Pujols, AlbertAlbert Pujols (4) Hill, AaronAaron Hill (2) Zimmerman, RyanRyan Zimmerman Wilson, JackJack Wilson Crawford, CarlCarl Crawford (3) Gutiérrez, FranklinFranklin Gutiérrez Suzuki, IchiroIchiro Suzuki (2) Buehrle, MarkMark Buehrle N/A [25]
2010 Molina, YadierYadier Molina (4) Barton, DaricDaric Barton Utley, ChaseChase Utley Longoria, EvanEvan Longoria Tulowitzki, TroyTroy Tulowitzki (2) Gardner, BrettBrett Gardner Bourn, MichaelMichael Bourn Suzuki, IchiroIchiro Suzuki (3) Buehrle, MarkMark Buehrle (2) N/A [26]
2011 Wieters, MattMatt Wieters Pujols, AlbertAlbert Pujols (5) Pedroia, DustinDustin Pedroia Beltré, AdriánAdrián Beltré (3) Tulowitzki, TroyTroy Tulowitzki (3) Gardner, BrettBrett Gardner (2) Jackson, AustinAustin Jackson Upton, JustinJustin Upton Buehrle, MarkMark Buehrle (3) N/A [27]
2012 Molina, YadierYadier Molina (5) Teixeira, MarkMark Teixeira Barney, DarwinDarwin Barney Beltré, AdriánAdrián Beltré (4) Ryan, BrendanBrendan Ryan Gordon, AlexAlex Gordon Trout, MikeMike Trout Heyward, JasonJason Heyward Buehrle, MarkMark Buehrle (4) N/A [28]
2013 Molina, YadierYadier Molina (6) Goldschmidt, PaulPaul Goldschmidt Pedroia, DustinDustin Pedroia (2) Machado, MannyManny Machado Simmons, AndreltonAndrelton Simmons Gordon, AlexAlex Gordon (2) Gomez, CarlosCarlos Gomez Parra, GerardoGerardo Parra Dickey, R.A.R.A. Dickey N/A [29]
2014 Lucroy, JonathanJonathan Lucroy Gonzalez, AdrianAdrian Gonzalez Pedroia, DustinDustin Pedroia (3) Donaldson, JoshJosh Donaldson Simmons, AndreltonAndrelton Simmons (2) Gordon, AlexAlex Gordon (3) Lagares, JuanJuan Lagares Heyward, JasonJason Heyward (2) Keuchel, DallasDallas Keuchel Cain, LorenzoLorenzo Cain [30]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (2010-11-01). "Yadier Molina leads fifth annual “Fielding Bible Awards”". NBCSports.com. Retrieved 2010-11-10. Voted on by a 10-person panel that includes Bill James, Peter Gammons, Joe Posnanski, Rob Neyer, and John Dewan as well as the entire video scouting team at Baseball Info Solutions, the award sets out to recognize the best defensive player at each position, regardless of league. 
  2. ^ a b Baker, Geoff (2010-11-01). "Mariners eye Durham, Datz for coaching positions; Ichiro wins Fielding Bible Award". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-11-11. Unlike the Gold Glove awards, chosen by coaches and based largely on reputation, the Fielding Bible Awards are picked by a panel of experts relying heavily on new-wave statistical analysis for defense. 
  3. ^ Neyer, Rob (2010-11-09). "Gold Glove results mixed, as usual". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2010-11-10. Every year, John Dewan and Baseball Info Solutions conduct their own process, the Fielding Bible Awards. 
  4. ^ Kilgore, Adam (2010-11-09). "As award season dawns, more Silver and Gold for Zimmerman?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-11-10. And in The Fielding Bible Awards, a vote by various sabermetrically inclined journalists and bloggers, Zimmerman narrowly lost out to Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria (voters didn't differentiate between leagues). 
  5. ^ Levine, Zachary (2010-11-02). "On Giants, free agents, Bourn's award and bad predictions". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-11-11. From a news release, here's the makeup of the group that gave Bourn his award in a statistically-guided decision as Bourn is figured to have saved the Astros 16 runs. 
  6. ^ "The Panel". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 1, 2011. 
  7. ^ Hickey, John (November 1, 2010). "Ichiro wins third Fielding Bible award for defensive prowess". Seattle PostGlobe. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010. The awards have historically been announced before the Gold Glove awards, which are the traditional barometer for fielding excellence. 
  8. ^ James 2006, p.14
  9. ^ a b c James 2006, p.13
  10. ^ Dutton, Bob (2010-11-01). "No talks yet with Chen on new deal". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2010-11-11. The three outfield positions are judged separately instead of simply choosing three outfielders. 
  11. ^ Connolly, Dan (November 1, 2011). "Orioles' Markakis and Wieters win Gold Gloves". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. 
  12. ^ Luft, Jacob (September 17, 2003). "Baseball's rubber stamp". SI.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 
  13. ^ Short, D. J. (October 30, 2014). "2014 Fielding Bible Award winners announced". NBCSports.com. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Wilson, Jeff (November 2, 2012). "Offense has no place in Gold Gloves". The Southern Illinoisan. Archived from the original on November 21, 2012. 
  15. ^ Wolfley, Bob (November 15, 2010). "Baseball voting all over the field". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010. There is a profound disconnect between those who vote for the Gold Glove Awards, Major League Baseball managers and coaches, and those who vote for the Fielding Bible Awards, 10 expert baseball observers, some of whom favor a sabermetrics approach to the game. 
  16. ^ Simon, Mark (November 1, 2011). "Gold Glove voters miss on Brett Gardner". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. 
  17. ^ Jedlovec, Ben (November 2, 2011). "The worst Gold Glove selections". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 3, 2011. (subscription required)
  18. ^ Abraham, Peter (2010-11-01). "Yadier Molina leads fifth annual “Fielding Bible Awards”". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-11-10. These awards are far more accurate (and accountable) than the Gold Gloves in that statistics are employed along with the opinions of a large panel of experts. 
  19. ^ Kepner, Tyler (2010-11-10). "Jeter's Gold Glove an Error, Metric Indicates". The New York Times. p. B19. Retrieved 2010-11-10. Jeter — like many players — dismisses defensive statistics as meaningless because of the many factors that cannot be quantified. 
  20. ^ Dodd, Rustin (November 2, 2011). "Gordon, awards and a transformation". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. 
  21. ^ Jaffe, Jeff (October 30, 2013). "Gold Gloves join the stat revolution and it's harder to quibble with the winners". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on October 11, 2014. 
  22. ^ "The 2006 Fielding Bible Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 
  23. ^ "The 2007 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 
  24. ^ "The 2008 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 
  25. ^ "The 2009 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 
  26. ^ "The 2010 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 
  27. ^ "The 2011 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 1, 2011. 
  28. ^ "The 2012 Awards". ACTA Sports. October 25, 2012. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. 
  29. ^ "The 2013 Awards". The Fielding Bible. October 28, 2013. Archived from the original on March 7, 2014. 
  30. ^ "The 2014 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. 

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]