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“Gold cannot be pure, and people cannot be perfect”, Pt IV
2004-11-12 22:29
by Mike Carminati

Parts I, II, and III

In our final analysis of the putrescence of the 2004 AL Gold Glove awards, I have factored in Baseball Prospectus' fielding stats to the mix. The qualifying players will be ranked by Zone Rating, Range Factor, and Fielding Win Shares as they were in the previous study, but now BP's Fielding Rate and Fielding Runs Above Replacement (FRAR) has been factored in. The players will be seeded by position based on the average rating from the stats above. (Catchers also catcher's ERA and the percentage of runners caught stealing as factors. Also, pitchers are not awarded Fielding Win Shares.)

In Part III, we looked at shortstop, and again found that Derek Jeter, while being certainly not the best choice for a Gold Glove, was a much improved defender over his past reputation. As we'll see he also was not the worst choice made by the voters, even though his award has gotten the bulk of the press.

Here are the players per position with the award winners bolded:

Carlos Delgado, Tor9.7810.85831.9310911822.00
Mark Teixeira, Tex9.6320.85922.8110551632.60
Darin Erstad, Ana8.8990.85142.3210731634.20
Rafael Palmeiro, Bal9.3780.82881.6710911915.00
Tino Martinez, TB8.84100.87811.5810641355.60
Ben Broussard, Cle9.4350.826101.7510471266.60
Scott Hatteberg, Oak9.6130.82791.75969386.80
Doug Mientkiewicz, Bos/Min9.4350.85141.11010082107.40
Carlos Pena, Det9.4640.83371.39969387.40
John Olerud, NYY/Sea8.56110.84960.7111055878.00
Paul Konerko, CWS9.3870.808111.939211-2118.60

Delgado and Teixeira swapped positions from the previous ranking, but the award-winner, Erstad, remained in third place.

Orlando Hudson, Tor5.8010.83046.6111333512.00
Luis Rivas, Min5.1650.781166.5211623025.40
Tony Graffanino, KC5.7720.80492.71511812436.00
Marco Scutaro, Oak5.0480.799105.7410281957.00
Rey Sanchez, TB5.0670.89812.61610541677.00
Juan Uribe, CHW5.2140.792145.83104613117.60
Adam Kennedy, Ana4.72130.84725.0696121678.00
Willie Harris, CHW5.1650.82284.11110371498.00
Ronnie Belliard, Cle4.80120.82464.8897111868.60
Brian Roberts, Bal4.50150.82374.31098102049.20
Omar Infante, Det5.0480.799123.31299914910.00
Mark Bellhorn, Bos4.64140.84334.97921391310.00
Alfonso Soriano, Tex5.2430.799104.88901681410.20
Miguel Cairo, NYY4.94100.795135.15921361611.40
Enrique Wilson, NYY4.83110.82553.312861701712.40
Mark McLemore, Oak4.28170.743172.814105481413.20
Bret Boone, Sea4.33160.790152.1179115101215.00

There's not much change here. Hudson is still the obvious choice; Boone is still a horrifically bad choice, 17th best in a 14-team league. The could have gone with either subpar Yankee second-sacker and made a better choice.

Eric Chavez, Oak3.1010.79313.7410812211.60
Joe Randa, KC2.8730.78823.3810721843.80
Alex Rodriguez, NYY2.39110.78635.8110542124.20
Hank Blalock, Tex2.5080.75655.5210261845.00
Bill Mueller, Bos2.5370.72093.6510721565.80
Eric Hinske, Tor2.40100.707123.6510452037.00
Brandon Inge, Det2.9720.710113.191026677.00
Chone Figgins, Ana2.37120.74274.43968497.80
Corey Koskie, Min2.5660.77942.6119493108.00
Joe Crede, CWS2.4390.74183.19949588.60
Casey Blake, Cle2.6450.718103.5792112118.80
Melvin Mora, Bal2.8340.74662.4129012-1129.20

Chavez is still the best choice of the bunch. He gets even better with the BP stats.

Carl Crawford, TB2.4910.92214.3110721621.40
Carlos Lee, CWS2.0660.87543.5410912413.20
Lew Ford, Min (LF-CF)2.2430.90324.22978684.60
Jose Guillen, Ana2.1440.84363.2610341344.80
Raul Ibanez, Sea2.2520.86752.31010251055.40
Matt Lawton, Cle2.0080.79893.4510531435.60
Larry Bigbie, Bal2.1350.89433.17997775.80
Eric Byrnes, Oak1.8590.83173.931016966.20
Hideki Matsui, NYY2.0270.82982.78969598.20
Manny Ramirez, Bos1.67100.750102.7893100109.60

BP prefers Carlos Lee but Carl Crawford is still ranked number one. It doesn't really matter since no left fielder was awarded an Auric Mitt anyway.

Mark Kotsay, Oak2.5760.89335.9211113312.60
Johnny Damon, Bos2.5470.87977.1110522523.80
Randy Winn, Sea2.9220.88854.6610331733.80
Vernon Wells, Tor2.6330.91225.1410061643.80
Rocco Baldelli, TB3.0310.88265.1410141554.00
Aaron Rowand, CWS2.6330.92114.2810141554.20
Torii Hunter, Min2.5950.89045.339681085.60
Laynce Nix, Tex2.3280.84984.3710061277.20

I don’t know why they just don't pick three center fielders given the silly rules that lump all outfielders together. However, if they are going to take two, they should have done better than they did here. Wells had been number one in the pre-BP rankings and Hunter fourth. They both plummet here. Kotsay has gone from second to first.

Gary Matthews Jr., Tex (RF-CF)2.5810.91224.5211011431.80
Jacque Jones, Min2.3240.87944.8110421822.60
Ichiro Suzuki, Sea2.4620.86383.6510341914.00
Vladimir Guerrero, Ana2.3430.87163.7410161434.40
Kevin Mench, Tex (RF-LF)2.2070.86474.4310421254.80
Jody Gerut, Cle2.2260.86093.3710251256.40
Bobby Higginson, Det2.1780.91511.91010161186.60
Jose Cruz Jr., TB2.2350.87853.469010-2107.20
Jermaine Dye, Oak1.99100.91223.289991097.60
Gary Sheffield, NYY2.1590.856102.5910081258.20

Matthews and Jones are still numbers one and two, but Ichiro has moved up to third. I still can't support Matthews as a Gold Glove winner given that he split time between center and right and wasn't really a starter at either.

I'm going to split the catchers table in two:

Damian Miller,Oak7.00101.00017.911093302
Henry Blanco,Min7.5340.833144.761142321
Jason Varitek,Bos7.8721.00014.671034263
Jose Molina, Ana8.2010.857133.9111171207
Rod Barajas,Tex6.73121.00014.381034224
Toby Hall,TB6.44141.00015.331007215
Javy Lopez,Bal7.3961.00015.24979198
Jorge Posada,NYY7.2571.00014.29988215
Dan Wilson,Sea7.0680.889115.9210161810
Bengie Molina,Ana7.7130.889114.9595111212
Ivan Rodriguez,Det7.0490.933104.29979198
Gregg Zaun,Tor6.76111.00013.61495111212
Victor Martinez,Cle7.5251.00013.71394131611
Miguel Olivo,CWS/Sea6.39151.00012.7159315515
Adam Melhuse, Oak6.71130.800153.8129413814

Damian Miller,Oak46350.43234.2433.29
Henry Blanco,Min31300.49214.2544.57
Jason Varitek,Bos77230.23154.1824.86
Jose Molina, Ana23220.48924.3155.71
Rod Barajas,Tex42220.34454.575.86
Toby Hall,TB44230.34364.72116.71
Javy Lopez,Bal68260.277104.67106.86
Jorge Posada,NYY67250.272124.6597.29
Dan Wilson,Sea44220.33374.83138.14
Bengie Molina,Ana51180.261134.3158.57
Ivan Rodriguez,Det40190.32294.86149.71
Gregg Zaun,Tor60230.277104.761210.14
Victor Martinez,Cle89300.252144.981510.29
Miguel Olivo,CWS/Sea32170.34744.53810.43
Adam Melhuse, Oak27130.32584.05110.86

Miller is still the best. Pudge moves from 16th to 12th. Yes, he's a terrible choice by any assessment that one can make other than reputation. At least he's not as bad as Bret Boone.

Kenny Rogers, Tex2.7630.97871201613.00
Jake Westbrook, Cle3.0510.962111201613.50
Freddy Garcia, CWS/Sea2.06101.00011164344.75
Derek Lowe, Bos3.0120.907131193535.25
Mike Maroth, Det1.99121.00011076345.75
Ryan Drese, Tex1.99121.00011076345.75
Mark Buehrle, CWS2.4640.97961069345.75
Javier Vazquez, NYY2.0990.97091085346.75
Mark Mulder, Oak2.2770.955121076347.25
Miguel Batista, Tor2.1781.0001103112107.50
Tim Hudson, Oak2.3450.96310104102108.75
Jon Garland, CWS2.3260.9768103112108.75
Sidney Ponson, Bal2.04111.000199131139.50

You have to hand it to the voters for getting the least important choice right, especially when it's arguably one of only two that they did get right.

So there you are. I see no way to defend many of the choices that they made. Some were just unremarkable defenders (Jeter, Erstad). Others were among the worst defensive players at their positions in the league (Boone and Pudge). They ran the gamut, which tells me that the voters made no further assessment than to pick black or red before they threw the darts with which they made their selections. At least they didn’t vote for a DH who played just 28 games in the field this time. I guess hoping that they divide the outfield Gloves up by defensive position is out of the question.

Anyway, here's my revised 2004 AL Gold Glove team:

P—Kenny Rogers

C—Damian Miller

1B—Carlos Delgado

2B—Orlando Hudson

3B—Eric Chavez

SS—Miguel Tejada

LF—Carl Crawford

CF—Mark Kotsay

RF—Jacque Jones

Again, thanks to Clay Davenport for the BP fielding data.

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