Outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick of the Oakland Athletics were named finalists Friday for the Rawlings Gold Gloves at their respective American League positions.
Rawlings made the announcement, with the winners to be named on an hour-long “Baseball Tonight” special on Tuesday at 5 p.m. PDT. Reddick won the award in 2012.
No San Francisco Giants were among the finalists in the National League. The Baltimore Orioles led all of baseball with six finalists, with the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers next on the list with five.
Notably, the entire Tampa Bay Rays’ infield of first baseman James Loney, second baseman Ben Zobrist, shortstop Yunel Escobar and third baseman Evan Longoria are finalists at their respective spots.
Cespedes was one of three finalists for the AL Gold Glove in left field, along with Andy Dirks of the Detroit Tigers and Alex Gordon of the Royals.
Reddick is joined among the finalists in right field by Baltimore’s Nick Markakis and Shane Victorino of the Boston Red Sox.
Rawlings announced this spring that it was adding a sabermetrics component to the Gold Glove selection process, per Yahoo Sports.
The company that has sponsored the award since 1957 felt focusing more on the defensive aspect would be a good thing for an award that has been perceived for years as a quasi lifetime achievement/offensive achievement/simply being famous honor.
Rawlings has partnered with the Society for American Baseball Research, which created a Fielding Research Committee to develop a proprietary new defensive analytic called the SABR Defensive Index (SDI).
Managers and coaches will still be in the mix and will constitute a majority of the final tally for the award, but the SDI will be part of the total, as well.
Among the 13 American League left fielders with at least 500 innings, FanGraphs.com ranks Dirks second, Gordon third and Cespedes fourth in Ultimate Zone Rating.
Victorino ranked first, Reddick second and Markakis 13th among 13 right fielders with more than 500 innings at the position.
Were I to guess, my gut says Gordon wins in left field (lots of cool highlights this year and the managers and coaches are still voting), but I think Reddick has a decent shot at taking home a second straight Gold Glove.
For the record, the last Giant to win a Gold Glove was shortstop Omar Vizquel, who went back-to-back in 2005 and 2006.