With the off day in the World Series, the 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalists were announced. Four KC Royals are among the finalists, with three of them being the reigning winners at their respective positions.
Left fielder Alex Gordon, who has won four straight Gold Gloves, is once again a finalist. I think being the reigning champion and normally being one of the best outfielders in the game has Gordon a finalist this season. It was a down year, as he only played 101 games (the lowest total since becoming a full-time outfielder in 2011). While he did not commit an error, he only had four outfield assists (half as many as in 2014).
His competition is Brett Gardner of the NY Yankees (six assists to zero errors) and Yoenis Cespedes, now with the NY Mets.
First baseman Eric Hosmer has won two straight Gold Gloves. This season, he played in 154 games and committed just four errors. It is the least amount of errors he has committed since arriving in the big leagues in 2011.
His competition is Mike Napoli of Texas (who didn’t even start every game in the postseason at first base) and Mark Teixeira of the NY Yankees (who didn’t play the final month of the season).
Catcher Salvador Perez has also won the last two Gold Gloves. This season (139 games), he committed four errors (his least since breaking into the big leagues in 2011) and was a part of ten double plays. Perez had four passed balls and 49 wild pitches. Though he did allow the most stolen bases of his career (66), he did throw out 29 (the most of his career).
His competition is Jason Castro of Houston and Russell Martin of Toronto. I think Martin could unseat Perez. He threw out 32 base stealers and only allowed 44 stolen bases. You can’t completely punish Martin for the high amount of passed balls (19) because he caught knuckleballer RA Dickey.
The newest Royal on the Gold Glove finalist list is shortstop Alcides Escobar, who I thought was deserving last season. Now he is finally getting his due. It doesn’t hurt that he has gotten to showcase his defensive prowess on national television the last two seasons, with the Royals going to the World Series. In 148 games this season, he committed 13 errors and was a part of 80 double plays.
Esky’s competition is Xander Bogaerts of Boston and Didi Gregorious of the NY Yankees.
*The Royals are back in action on Friday night in Game 3 of the World Series.