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Best defensive shortstops in 2010

Posted by Andy on November 10, 2010

Here's an updated list of shortstops from 2010 ranked by best fielding runs (minimum 100 games played, at least half at SS.) Sean fixed a bug that prevented players who appeared with more than 1 team from showing up in the list. I included OPS+ too so we could get a sense of what each player did with his bat.

Rk Player Rfield OPS+ G Age Tm
1 Brendan Ryan 15 57 139 28 STL
2 Alex Gonzalez 13 99 157 33 TOT
3 Josh Wilson 12 62 108 29 SEA
4 Troy Tulowitzki 12 138 122 25 COL
5 Ramon Santiago 12 82 112 30 DET
6 Wilson Valdez 12 79 111 32 PHI
7 Cliff Pennington 11 88 156 26 OAK
8 Alexei Ramirez 9 97 156 28 CHW
9 Yunel Escobar 8 80 135 27 TOT
10 Jamey Carroll 7 101 133 36 LAD
11 Cesar Izturis 6 50 150 30 BAL
12 Elvis Andrus 2 75 148 21 TEX
13 Juan Uribe 2 99 148 30 SFG
14 Marco Scutaro 1 92 150 34 BOS
15 J.J. Hardy 0 93 101 27 MIN
16 Stephen Drew 0 113 151 27 ARI
17 Yuniesky Betancourt -2 88 151 28 KCR
18 Orlando Cabrera -2 78 123 35 CIN
19 Jason Bartlett -3 88 135 30 TBR
20 Jerry Hairston -3 83 119 34 SDP
21 Alcides Escobar -3 67 145 23 MIL
22 Ronny Cedeno -4 82 139 27 PIT
23 Erick Aybar -4 76 138 26 LAA
24 Jose Reyes -4 103 133 27 NYM
25 Ian Desmond -9 89 154 24 WSN
Rk Player Rfield OPS+ G Age Tm
26 Hanley Ramirez -10 124 142 26 FLA
27 Derek Jeter -10 90 157 36 NYY
28 Starlin Castro -12 97 125 20 CHC
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/10/2010.

Tulo comes up as the big winner here, with the best OPS+ and one of the best fielding run totals as well.

There's your AL Gold Glove winner, Derek Jeter, nearly dead last on the list with -10 fielding runs and a 90 OPS+ to boot.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 at 9:48 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

74 Responses to “Best defensive shortstops in 2010”

  1. Well, he's dead last in the AL.

  2. Thanks Andy.

    I guess major league managers and coaches, who vote the gold gloves, don't know baseball the way you do. Good luck in securing the Mets' managerial position -- they'll be soooo lucky to have a great baseball mind like yours leading the way.

  3. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    I gotta admit that I was sort of surprised be Cabrera; I figured him to be closer to bottom of the list than that. Please, Chris Valaika, develop quickly!

  4. Paul--your comment seems to be dripping with sarcasm. Why? My post above is just a bunch of facts. I didn't put any opinion in there, except that Tulowitzki seems to be the best of the bunch.

    By the way, as I've discussed many times on this blog, I fully appreciate the fact that the stats-based approach we take on this blog is only one side of the game. Effort, communication, attitude, skills, and lots of other things we can't easily quantify have a lot to do with how valuable a player is...I don't profess to be so smart.

  5. You can provide any stat you want. Outside of Andrus, HanRam, and Tulowitzki, I would take Jeter in a heartbeat over any one of those shortstops.

  6. @5

    Agreed. I'd even take him over Andrus. Andrus was better defensively but put together a pretty putrid year offensively. Even worse than Jeter's. Everyone's obsessing over Andrus because he put together a good run in the first two playoff rounds.

    This 'whole internet obsessing over Jeter's GG' is getting comical. People much more established in baseball than anyone on the internet choose it. They obviously saw something the rest of us didn't.

    Either that, or it's a conspiracy by AL Managers to give Jeter more awards so the Yankees are forced to lock him up to longer than a three year deal and handcuff them in the future. One or the other.

    As snobby as that all sounded... I do love this site. So thank you for your continued blog posts and timely updating of stats.

  7. Looks like a lot of Yankee fanboys trolling the posts today. Can't even New Yorkers be objective for once? He is declining. Period.

  8. Justin Bailey Says:

    @5 - I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you...

  9. Fixed a big ? That must be another one.

  10. Don't you know the difference between a bug and a typo? :)

    Fixed it, thanks.

  11. @2 / @6 -- You seem to think that (a) the Gold Glove voters put significant thought into their votes, and (b) that their status as MLB insiders gives them special insight into who the best fielders really are.

    I think that neither of those things are true. Anyone who has followed the Gold Glove awards over time cannot possibly doubt that there are at least 3 large biases in the results: Household names are favored over non-"stars"; established winners tend to repeat, regardless of their actual performance; and having a good year at bat gives a big boost to one's GG odds.

    The idea that GG voters "obviously saw something the rest of us didn't" -- and, by implication, that such observations are actually meaningful -- is more comical than the phenomenon of "internet obsessing over Jeter's GG". When it comes to evaluating defense, eyewitness impressions are of little value. Plays that stand out to the observer are the ones a player makes (or fails to make) right at the limit of his range, and of course errors (which have become so few as to make the difference between players almost meaningless). There's no way that visual observation alone can provide a sense of the fielder's range on a consistent basis, especially in comparison to others at the position. You just can't, from watching alone, get a sense of how well the fielder positions himself based on knowledge of the hitter and pitcher; nor of the speed of his reactions.

    To those who seem to resent the attempts to quantify defensive ability, I ask -- Would you also like the batting titles awarded by a vote of who has the prettiest swing or who hits the most line drives?

    Leaving all that aside, I find it hard to believe that any objective person who actually watched Jeter's defense on a regular basis this year truly believes that he was even a good fielder, much less the best. On several occasions, I even heard the Yankees' TV announcers acknowledge that his range had regressed. What did they see (every day) that the GG voters didn't?

  12. Andy-

    Facts, you say?!?!

    Here's a fact: MLB managers and coaches, who see every game, and know the game better than you and I could ever imagine, concluded the following: Jeter was the best defensive SS in the AL in 2010.

    Now THAT'S a FACT.

  13. Paul,

    Major league coaches don't take their gold glove voting duties very seriously. The Gold Glove is essentially a meaningless award. Its like giving an award for the "Nicest Swing" or "Nicest Windup".

    Roberto Alomar won 10 GG and at best he was a slightly above average fielder, most of his career he was average to a below average fielder.

    Jeter was a well below average defender for most of his career and didn't deserve ANY Gold Glove Awards. The only way the Yankees could have Jeter playing SS was to have excellent defenders like Brosius and Ventura play 3b and finally they had a SS play 3b in A-Rod.

    That Jeter has MORE GG than Tony Fernandez and Alan Trammell is just a complete joke.

  14. Paul--agreed: it's a fact that MLB managers and coaches had the opinion that Jeter was the best Al shortstop in 2010.

  15. Here's my take, having looked into this whole Gold Glove voting thing as a project in my first year in grad school some time back. There is a HUGE - HUGE - HUGE incumbency or past winner effect. HUGE. You can look at this reference as well (not me): Robert Reynolds, Steven Day and David Paculdo: "Deconstructing the Midas Touch: Gold Glove Award Voting, 1965-2004", in The Baseball Research Journal, #34 (December 2005) SABR, Cleveland, OH, pp. 101-109. Same basic results I found - I'm not entirely on board with the methodology (though it's similar to what I did in grad school) mainly because of some of the structure of the data, but nonetheless I think even with a better econometric method the same basic results would hold up.

    And look at the AL crop of SS in that list. There is not a single AL SS with an OPS+ over 100. The guys at the top of the Rfield list in the AL are Wilson, Santiago, Pennington, Alexei Ramirez. None of those guys are Cal Ripken (a better defensive SS than I think most give him credit for) let alone Ozzie Smith (who everyone - stats people, I know greatness when I see it people, managers - agrees is an incredible defensive SS). So if you are an AL manager and you see:

    Elvis Andrus
    Erick Aybar
    Jason Bartlett
    Yuniesky Betancourt
    Escobar/Gonzalez (whoever you want to count as the AL guy)
    JJ Hardy
    Cesar Izturis
    Derek Jeter
    Cliff Pennington
    Alexei Ramirez
    Ramon Santiago
    Marco Scutaro
    Josh Wilson

    on the ballot (I'm assuming they have ballots - I've asked this question before on the SABR mailing list and never gotten a response - I'd actually like to know if there is a ballot like this) who are you going to pick? That's a pretty unimpressive list of names. If there isn't a ballot and they just say "Write down who you think the Gold Glove winner is", well, Jeter's the only name player at SS.

    My basic point (which I know I've failed to make so far) is that I do not think Jeter is a great defensive SS, I do not think he should have won the Gold Glove award, I do not think the managers really believe he is a great defensive SS - but when it comes time to vote and they are asked to vote for someone and they have other pressing issues (who to start in RF, which relievers can I bring in and when, how do I answer this reporter's question, etc.) I don't really see it as a big leap that Jeter won since (1) he's won it before and (2) no one else really had a "WOW" season (either offensively or defensively - no "breakthrough performer" if you will"). So it's easy for me to see how Jeter won, though I don't think he really should have won - even my friends who are Yankee fans make the joke that: What do you call a ball hit to Jeter's left? A single. And to his right? A single. And that was 5 years ago when they made that joke. It's hard for me to believe a 36 year old SS has gotten that much better in 5 years, particularly since Jeter has always seemed to have a great baseball IQ and so it's hard to believe he's gotten that much smarter in the last few years to compensate what is most certainly declining skills.

    But it could have been worse - Omar Vizquel was in the AL and started 8 games at SS :)

  16. I could stand at SS and catch only line drives hit directly at me. I would never make an error. Would that mean I could win a GG? Apparently if I can hit (see below) or am popular as others have posted.

    Cal Ripken set a fielding record for SS in 1990 with only 3 errors. His range was below the league average (if I'm looking at it right) and he did not win the GG. In 1991 he had a decent glove season but not spectacular, made 11 errors with an above average range, but won the GG.

    The difference? Try .250/21/84 in '90 and an MVP .323/34/113 in '91. This is just one of many examples.

    Want the GG to mean something? Make the GG for value added strictly by fielding. Not a popularity contest, and not linked to hitting. Baseball is not alone though, the Norris Trophy goes to the best defenseman, but is usually given to the player with top or near-top offensive stats, regardless of how good his defense is.

  17. "Here's a fact: MLB managers and coaches, who see every game, and know the game better than you and I could ever imagine, concluded the following: Jeter was the best defensive SS in the AL in 2010."- Paul

    Hey Paul,

    Did the managers who know the game better than all of us in 1999 when they gave Rafael Palmeiro a gold glove at first base. You know, when he played 138 games at DH and 28 at first base? The gold glove has long been wrought with terrible choices, and this example shows just how much attention gold glove voters actually pay to someone's defense.

    Oh, and Palmeiro getting the gold glove IS A FACT!

  18. [...] I actually think 20 million per is low; would he really take less money than he made this year? Best defensive shortstops in 2010 There's your AL Gold Glove winner, Derek Jeter, nearly dead last on the list with -10 [...]

  19. Just want to point out the the GG voting DOES not require a majority of the votes to declare a winner. Rawlings awards the GG to the player with the most votes. Big difference and it does make the award prone to some miscues, by giving an advantage to name recognition and previous winners. I don't think you can say that ALL ML coaches and managers don't take their GG voting duties seriously. Its just a badly thought out voting procedure.

  20. If Jeter was as Great a defender as he is made out to be, he would literally be one of the Top 15 players in baseball history.

  21. Agreed with 13 & 14. The fact is, MLB managers and coaches DON'T see every single game. Only the players, the managers and coaches, and a few die-hard fans see even all of their TEAM'S own games. There is absolutely no way that anyone saw every single game played in MLB last year. That's why we have statistics: to attempt to objectivize things that were not observable to everyone. By several metrics, Jeter was an adequate or even excellent fielder. By most metrics, particularly those which take into account range, Jeter was a putrid fielder. There's really no getting around that fact. This is not the worst moment in the history of the GG. There will be many more mistakes hereafter, plenty of them equally egregious, and likely even surpassing this one. Frankly, the GG isn't something I get worked up about, because we don't have a perfect defensive metric (or multiple metrics that add up to the quality of the offensive metrics we possess). It's just the opinion of some people who saw a couple of players a handful of times. It's probably no better and no worse than most of us would do picking based on those impressions. Did Jeter deserve the award? No. Am I sick of people complaining about it? Yes (please see the last THREE posts on this blog). Time to drop it, people. It was a bad choice, and if you can't see that, you're ignoring evidence. But at this point, I think it's time to focus on other things.

  22. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    Personally, I like to savor this irony: one stat that seems to be as brushed off or ignored by the "stat heads know nothing" crowd as any is the one that is purely based on distilling the average opinion of managers and GMs into a number, and makes no independent assumptions whatsoever about baseball value: Rpos.

    Statistical ignorance is not any more helpful than baseball ignorance.

  23. I was thinking about odd gold glove voting patterns and I was thinking of a strange one where Robin Ventura won 3 in a row from 1991-93 and then they gave the '94-95 GG to a 36-37 year old Wade Boggs.

  24. Now this just doesn't make any sense guys. Jeter just won a gold glove, and I'm sure the voters know better than the stats. You gotta recalculate this stuff before somebody believes it. ;-)

  25. I guess you have never watched Derek Jeter.
    He had a great year in the field.
    Stats are for nerds.

  26. On the 'stone cold' reliability, 'knowlege' and 'interest' (or lack of) by ML Mgrs. concerning the GG award. Look to Palmeiro (1999), Mr.I never did steroids, PERIOD. Won the GG for 1st base, And played only 28 games at first that year. It is a joke. I like Jeter, love the hustle and the poise, but he isn't anywhere near the best anymore.

  27. I'm not a Yankees fan but would you have seriously given the GG to Cliff Pennington or Alexei Ramirez? I don't think so. Btw, Jeter uses Rawlings gloves.

  28. The Jeter apologists - how do you allow yourself to find this site? This site - a site for objective thinking, a deliberate re-working of the old baseball dogma, a stat repository which allows us to shuffle our brains a little bit, to take the names and pinstripes off the uniforms and get clear-headed.

    It baffles me that the Jeterians won't back down even when our eyeballs told us the truth about his skills at SS this year.

    Why the managers chose Jeter we'll never know, and I don't care unless Josh Wilson's contract had a bonus for a GG. But what baffles me is how the Jeterists just can't say, "yeah, I love Jeter but the GG is a weird one."

  29. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    One thing that's interesting -- a lot of people who watch the yankees a lot seem to see Jeter's defense being significantly worse this year than it typically has been, and from the few games I've seen and the many I've heard called on the radio, that's my impression as well. But his Rfield number this year, while quite poor, is not as bad as it's been in the past. It's a huge drop from last year when he he was +4, and the year before when he was just mediocre (-5). In his prime, he had a lot of years <-10, but in the late 00s he's been better than that most year, including a number of positive years.

    If TZ is to be believed, Jeter has generally been a better fielder in the last 5-6 years and actually pretty good in 2009 and 2004 than he was 10-12 years ago.

    Now, IIRC Arod showed up in 2004, but there've been good defensive 3Bs for most of jeter's tenure as a yankee. I did look at some things that make me wonder if having good people adjacent is affecting his TZs. In years when Brosius was getting huge TZ ratings, jeter wasn't so bad either. When Brosius declined (according to TZ) to relatively average, Jeter had some of his worst Rfield seasons (early 2000s). Then ventura who was a lights out defender before he got to the yankees, was merely above average for his years playing next to Jeter, and again, dogmeat Rfield numbers for Jeter. Arod shows up in 2004, and suddenly Jeter's numbers look much better, and except for this year and 2007, Jeter doesn't look all that bad in Rfield since Arod showed up.

    But I wonder if something is going on where TZ isn't necessarily apportioning blame/credit correctly, so having a good fielder next to you can bump your rfield, and you can hurt theirs.

    Because I would have thought Jeter was doing worse this year than in the early 2000s. But his numbers were worse then, and brosius/ventura's numbers were better than Arod's. Maybe something about Arod's style of play tends to help Jeter's numbers and hurt his own? or vice versa with others? Or maybe something about Jeter's play then did that for others, and not so much now?

  30. "Saw every game." No they did not. The other AL East teams see the Yankees 19 games a year while for the Central and West it is about 8 games each. And I don't think they make up for with scouting because there is little to be gained from scouting the defense. It's not as if the batter could effectively say to himself, "Ozzie Smith is at short today so I'll hit everything to the right side".

    You cannot judge defense well without the numbers. The difference between the top of the list and the bottom is about 30 plays a season, or one additional ball fielded that would have been a single every 5 games. So, something like for every 35 balls hit toward shortstop, the very best will field 25 and the worst 24. That difference cannot reliably be seen by an observer who is not keeping track of the numbers. We have no reason to believe that the GG voters are looking at the relevant numbers. (Put-outs, Assists and Errors are not good enough to tell us what we want to know).

    With all the criticism we rightfully have of the BBWAA for the quality of their MVP, Cy Young and HoF selections, I think they would probably do a better job at the GGs than the managers and coaches. They are more likely to have paid attention to the defense of the different shortstops, and would have some awareness of the numbers.

  31. Jeter even w/ his OPS of 90 actually merits the SS silver slugger more than GG

  32. My namesake above beat me to the point, ever since a guy played 28 games at a position and the Managers and coaches voted him the GG, I have only regarded the GG announcements with humour. As in, "How dumb can they be this year!" The inclusion of facts around the selections only adds to the humour.

    The next 10 years of Andrus ought to be better than the next 10 years of Jeter.

  33. Why use the 100 games/50 at SS criteria? Why not just like at guys who played a certain amount of games or innings at SS? Is that a PI limitation? It just seems like this may be getting at something different. I realize that, in the abstract a guy who does well at SS likely will do elsewhere because of the position difficulty. But this doesn't necessarily tell us the best SS... jus the best defender who played a certain amount of time at SS.

  34. BSK, I'm not sure how to answer--I think the number given is the total Rfielding for the player, and so includes games at other positions. The only way to avoid that would be to set the specific requirement of games at shortstop to a higher number (and even then it would include contributions from any games at other positions.)

  35. That's total b*** s****! This site has hit a alltime low!

  36. Zack @ 27,

    You have to look at the other way also. There have been 2 straight posts (just about 2 whole days) dedicated to why Jeter should not have won the GG. You have to admit that non-Jeter fans are up in arms specifically because it was Jeter.

    There would not be this much discussion if it were someone else, even if it were just as ridiculous. Non-Jeter fans can't just chalk it up to another horrendous effort by the voters and move on.

    Andy called me out this morning for not letting someone have their opinion, no matter if it did not hold up to scrutiny, so the same should be allowed the other Jeter fans that think he should have won. People rooting (and perhaps turning a blind eye to the real statistical truth) for their favorite player is NOT a Jeter-only phenomenon. It applies to all players. Note all of the HOF polls, some of them are for players that don't seem to deserve real consideration (according to the results), but there are fans that truly believe their favorite player deserves enshrinement. There is no difference here.

  37. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I was thinking about odd gold glove voting patterns and I was thinking of a strange one where Robin Ventura won 3 in a row from 1991-93 and then they gave the '94-95 GG to a 36-37 year old Wade Boggs.

    Weird, I thought I replied to this before....

    I do think Boggs was a very good 3Bman at that time. It may seem strange, since he didn't come up with a very good reputation, and as you note was getting old by that time, but he had worked hard on his defense and I thought he played the position quite well with the Yankees. Did he deserve to win over Ventura? I have no idea, but he wasn't a terrible choice.

  38. Tmckelv, I wasn't trying to call you out--I was actually just trying to defend myself. I have no problem with anything you wrote whatsoever.

    As for all the Jeter posts, I have had no time to write any real posts, so in the last 2 days I've just posted quick stuff that came to mind....just happened to be about Jeter.

  39. The Jeter bashing is ridiciulous. Yes as Yankees fan I know he is starting to decline and not what he once was. However, the guy commited only 6 errors all year in 156 games! A few years ago in NY, there was debate that Reyes was better than Jeter. Can anyone make that arguement anymore? Of course not, Jeter is a solid professional. He has a respect from his peers and a solid work ethich. A guy like Hanley Ramirez has more talent, but he has a 5 cent head that could keep him from achieving superstardom.

  40. @26, 31

    17 beat you both to the point.

  41. Andy @37,

    I actually was just about to put...

    "Andy called me out..." AND RIGHTLY SO. You were 100% correct.

    I reread my post @35 and I made it sound like I was mad or felt singled out or whatever (unfortunately how you must have read it). That was/is not true. Sorry again.

  42. #38, I don't agree with Jeter bashing, but I do agree with the notion that he's a below-average defensive shortstop. I'm not saying he's terrible. He's durable and reliable, in terms of producing defensively at the level we expect for him. But it's also true that many errors at shortstop come on balls that the defender has to range for. If Jeter doesn't have very good range and gets to fewer balls, that's going to help his error total.
    One way of looking at this would be to see his total chances per game, which i assume is somewhat similar to range factor. If he had, let's say, 20% more chances due to better range, he'd probably have 3 times as many errors because those extra 20% of chances are more likely to produce errors since he'd be off-balance, lunging, etc.

  43. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Just use the league fielding pages and you will get a better list which is not corrupted by games at other positions: http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/shareit/zDslt

  44. #40 stop apologizing. You are a great contributor here and I have no issues with you at all. Let's drop it!

  45. In middle school me and a few of my friends would sometimes play a game we called "Derek Jeter". The game involved one guy rolling a nice easy ground ball right to the other one, who would attempt to make the play look as cool as possible--by diving, jumping, barehanding, etc.--and still not drop the ball. Jeter was in the prime of his career then, but it seems like the group of us 13 and 14 year olds were onto something...

  46. My friends and I did that with easy fly balls and called the game "Jim Edmonds".

  47. Andy and JT-

    Thanks. Seems like a limitation of the PI. Makes sense that it could only do so much separating out.

    By the way, I read the first Jeter post yesterday ("...Over a Barrell") and then jumped in the car to drive home. On the radio, I heard them announce he won a GG. I thought I should post something about that once I get home. As soon as I saw the next blog title, I knew the work had already been done...

  48. What we need here is a better process to vote on these awards.

    Rawlings should appoint a board, subsisting of:

    3 former ML GG winners (retired)
    3 SABR members
    3 current front office members
    3 current managers

    Something like that. Let them meet, all expenses paid in some resort, bring their families, etc. Do it during the offseason. Then have a presser afterwards with a big fuggin RAWLINGS banner behind them and announce the winners.

    That would give some oomph to Rawlings, the awards, and MLB.

    Maybe not the perfect solution, but it's a whole lot better than what they do now. Why does the fan understand this more than top executives?

  49. #47 is a different andy than the one who started this blog. it's me, andyT.

    sorry, andy, for the confusion.

  50. [...] were announced yesterday and the man with the second-worst Fielding Runs stat in all of MLB — 27th out of 28 qualifiers and DFL in the AL — has picked up his fifth [...]

  51. Andy-

    Is this adjusted for position? My guess is no, only because if the best a SS could do in terms of providing defensive value to his team is save 15 runs, it'd seem nearly impossible for many other positions to come up positive. Perhaps this is just a really bad year for SS's, but that seems unlikely. Isn't there a certain number of runs added or subtracted for different positions? I know I've seen it outlined before, but I don't remember offhand. Obviously, it doesn't specifically matter here, since they'd all get the same adjustment, but I'm trying to make sense of numbers big picture. Thanks!

  52. No, the positional adjustment is a separate part of WAR. This is just the fielding runs component of WAR, before being translated into wins.

  53. @47,

    Then Jeter would win by a vote 9 - 3. (probably better % than he got in the actual vote) :)

    I think there just needs to be separate SABR awards altogether.

  54. Andy-

    Gotcha. That makes sense. Thanks.

  55. I wonder how much the GG, justly or not, is influenced on their perceived value for the history of baseball?

    What I mean is that you hear it all the time, 'HOFer, 12x All-star and 11x GG Player X' and I wonder if the voters, when faced with Derek Jeter or 11 no-name AL SSs, go with Jeter because his place in history is assured (and why it often is awarded to guys who had great offensive seasons)?

    When push comes to shove, WS titles, AS selections, MVP/CY and GGs are the only awards that 'usually' get mentioned for players. Therefore, I wonder if at some level there is hesitance for someone to vote a young, no-name guy for GG since that player may not stick around for long/make a historical name for himself.

    As we've seen in numerous posts on this site (as a small sample), consistently the HOF players with the 'weakest' candidacy came from a long time ago and who did not put up great offensive numbers (when defense was valued at certain positions at the expense of offense, but as a philosophy that has largely died out in today's day).

    So, since GGs do carry more weight historically then maybe they should do (vs. other awards) I wonder if there is some latent tendency towards the established star getting the vote? (I mean as an overall outlook on voting and candidacy..obviously if someone had a stellar def. season (or resonating play...see Buerle, M.) they may get the award, but I mean as a method to explain historically why the award has been awarded the way it has been).

    And finally, I wonder if awards without a 'clear cut criteria' like the roberto clemente award, etc. suddenly became as prevalent/recognized as a historical marker whether it's credibility too would come into question or its recipients would change?

    I think the GGs should reflect the best fielder for that season, but should have as much historical relevance as the Rolaids Relief man.

  56. I am an Angels season ticket holder. Derek Jeter gets booed a lot in Anaheim. I have been a baseball fan since 1962. In a near half century of viewing baseball I would take Jeter as the best all-around shortstop I have seen. I disagree with Jeter being the 2010 Gold Glove winner. Of the five Gold Gloves Jeter has won lifetime he probably only should have won two or three. Ozzie Smith was the best defensive shortstop I ever saw, but is not my first team 1962-2010 shortstop.

    I will confess to not watching much baseball on television in 2010. We had a falling out with DirecTv in late March and had our satellite service disconnected. However, I did go to 107 major league baseball games in person in 2010. Thirty six of those games were outside southern California. Those required hotel stays which included cable tv.

    Some years college football has had a poor choice of Heisman Trophy winner. That was partially remedied with the spoofing Wiseman Trophy. Perhaps Gold Glove awards in baseball can have a Wiseman selection when there is an obvious error.

    Erroneous Gold Glove awards are not as bad as erroneous Hall of Fame inductees. Frankie Frisch was very generous with the bourbon at the old-timer Hall of Fame vote get-togethers. Being a teammate of the Fordham Flash helped a few players into the HOF (Joe Medwick, Chick Hafey, Ross Youngs, George Kelly)

  57. Therefore... JOSH Wilson should have won the 2010 AL GG for shortstops? Would have thought you'd have to combine Josh and Jack into some kind of Super Wilson for that to be a statistical possibility.

  58. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Having watch Josh Wilson a bit when he was on Tampa (but not this season, to my memory), I am shocked that he is still allowed to play SS, let alone rates well.

  59. Other shortstops just need to make dramatic jumpthrows everytime a ball is on their right, and Jeter will stop getting the award.

    I think it was the same thing with Alomar. He made alot of jumpthrows.

    Although I was a blue jays fan that watched every game back then and thought Alomar was a great fielder. But then again I also thought Joe Carter was a great hitter so there goes that theory.

  60. To add one more point to Andy's post @41 the fielder is also more likely to make a throwing error on the a ball he ranges far to get because he will be rushed due to the greater amount of time that will have elapsed by the time he fields the ball.

    There may be a certain reverse effect for some players who seem to have a bit of the "yips" when they have too much time to throw the ball to first. David Wright comes to mind as a player who throws better when he is rushed than on an easy play; my perception is that he will also sometimes rush himself or throw off-balance in order to try to avoid a poor throw.

  61. I grew up watching Larry Bowa, who had a knack for a) hustle, and b) making routine plays look difficult, and thus impressive. Bowa wasn't a bad shortstop, but he didn't deserve his reputation. Sometimes stats can be somewhat deceiving, but Jeter, like Bowa before him, has a long history of simply not making many plays at the position. #58 has this nailed. Jeter's a fine hitter, at least over the course of his career, and has great leadership qualities, but he simply isn't a very good fielding shortstop.

  62. Ghost of Horace Clarke Says:

    Jay Bruce also got screwed in the GG category for the NL.
    Jay Bruce 2010 UZR: 20.2.
    Shane Victorino UZR: 2.6.
    Carlos Gonzalez UZR: -2.7.

    Yeah, Bruce didn't deserve a gold glove.

  63. Keith Hernandez won a Gold Glove in 1988 while playing only in 95 games that year and he was selected for the Gold Glove. 1B's like Will Clark and Sid Bream were definitely more deserving of that award than Hernandez was in 1988. This was almost as bad of a selection as Palmeiro was in 1999.

  64. Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabado Says:

    The ignorance of the "stats are for nerds/watch the games" crowd is particularly insane in this instance. Anyone who "watches the games" knows that anything hit more than a step to Jeter's left is a base hit.

    By the way, nobody "in the game" watches every game. They watch the team they manage for, coach for, announce for, write about, etc. And by just watching the games and not keeping statistics, those same people would have no idea if Robinson Cano had more home runs than Mark Teixeira or if Alex Rodriguez had a higher batting average than Nick Swisher. Their eyes may be watching but without anyone to quantify what they're seeing, they wouldn't be able to make sense of any of it.

    I also do not understand the lack of objectivity displayed by many. It's one thing to have a favorite team, and go to the game and cheer for them and support your favorites. I get it; that's what sports is all about. But as an adult, can people really not separate their preferences as a fan from objective analysis and critical thinking?

    I'm not a Yankees fan. I have to deal with plenty of obnoxious Yankee fans all the time (and reasonable ones as well) but I can't hate guys like Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera. There's no reason to. I'm not going to dislike Jeter just because of the way the media portrays him.

    Finally, what's been overlooked in all of this is that it's not Jeter's fault. What do we want him to do? Turn down the award? Many of those who dislike Jeter seem to dislike his reputation more than they dislike the man himself. If idiots in the media believe he has super-clutchy mystical powers or if a bunch of managers give him a gold glove, I roll my eyes at the idiot media members or the idiot managers, not at the successful but overrated ballplayer.

  65. Here is a link to a pretty good essay on Jeter from Bill James

    http://www.billjamesonline.net/fieldingbible/jeter.asp

    and, for those of you who haven't seen it, here is the link to the Simpsons' sendup of Sabermeterics in which an animated version of James pokes fun at himself and, to some degree, all of us

    http://www.hulu.com/watch/184048/the-simpsons-moneybart

  66. Scutaro didn't do too well either. I wonder if Bill James suggested that signing to Boston.

  67. As for Jeter being overrated, well, he is by more traditional types, but he's also underrated by statheads.

    Going by WAR Jeter ranks as the 7th best SS of all-time even when including his less than stellar defense! He's behind only Wagner, Ripken, Davis, Vaughan, Dahlen, and Yount. That's pretty dang good, and he has a chance of passing Vaughan, Dahlen and Yount to end up 4th all time.

    Why is Dahlen not in the Hall?

  68. Matt, I don't think Jeter is underrated at all by "statheads," whatever that means. No idea where you're getting that impression. I'm pretty sure most hardcore baseball fans realize how good he is.

    If anything, he is "mis-rated" by the masses, because they recognize him for stuff like his leadership and awe-inspiring clutchness instead of much more important things like the fact that he's a shortstop who's going to get his 3,000th hit in his mid 30's, is rarely injured, and has consistently hit well over .300 and OBPed in the high .300s with decent power for well over a decade.

  69. You are probably right to a degree Wells, but I think what I said also has a sherd of truth. Being "mis-rated" can mean that he is overrated (most likely by traditional types) or underrated (most likely those that look way into the stats). It's somewhat an argument of semantics. There's also a sect of people that just don't like the Yanks and Jeter's-saintliness.

  70. [...] Derek Jeter’s selection as American League Gold Glover at shortstop exposes flaws in voting system (New York Daily News). It’s ridiculous, as it is every year. I no longer care. In fact, I even kind of like it. The terrorists have won. Meanwhile, the NL results have been announced and Hanley Ramirez was robbed. [...]

  71. [...] case you’re still arguing that Derek Jeter deserved yet ANOTHER Gold Glove, he was one of the worst defensive shortstops in the league. Just ahead of Starlin Castro, of [...]

  72. #19 had a great point that you don't need a majority, just a plurality. This means that if the votes were scattered enough, Jeter may have gotten 15-20% of the vote and still won. So maybe not as many managers and coaches were that clueless...?

  73. [...] number is -2, which means was slightly below average. That makes him the 17th best defensive shortstop in the [...]

  74. [...] on the team. Carroll was ranked as the 10th best defensive shortstop last year by Baseball-Reference.com and has earned the respect of a lot of players on the [...]