Dustin Pedroia, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts, what do these three men all have in common? They could be the next set of Red Sox gold glove winners. When the gold glove finalists were announced by the MLB a week ago these were the three obvious names all Red Sox fans expected to see. The races for these positions are interesting, especially in center field.
Let’s start with the other gold glove finalists in center field. Jackie has to compete with Kevin Pillar from Toronto as well as Kevin Kiermaier from Tampa Bay. In my opinion, this is the most interesting race because any of the finalists could win this award and no one would be surprised. However, Jackie should win this award. Not only does he play jaw-dropping defense in which he can cover more ground than most any outfielder in the game, he also has the best arm in baseball. Jackie was second in defensive runs saved at 11, trailing Kevin Pillar who had an astounding 21 defensive runs saved this year. I hope the writers will look at the entire picture though, as Jackie also had 13 outfield assists, and 3 errors to 365 putouts. Those are gold glove worthy numbers, even if he didn’t have all of the highlight reel catches that Pillar had.
In right field, Mookie is battling against Adam Eaton of the White Sox and George Springer of the Astros. Mookie Betts should win this one easily. Adam Eaton has a good glove, but keep in mind he opened the year as a center fielder. Mookie led all right fielders with an astonishing 32 defensive runs saved. He also had 14 outfield assists and 1 error all year. That is impressive. He also made his fair share of highlight reel catches, and many game saving catches. Red Sox fans know all to well the value of having Mookie in right field, so much so that when he was out for a few games with a balky knee, right field looked like the abyss in Fenway. This should be the first award of the year for Mookie as he gets one step closer to claiming his MVP award.
Photo: Michael Dwyer
Dustin Pedroia has already won a few gold gloves. To win another one, he will have to hope the writers think his season was better than one of the best fielding second baseman, maybe ever, in Robinson Cano. Everything Cano does is effortless, a lot like Pedroia. Pedroia was tied with Ian Kinsler with 12 defensive runs saved and committed 6 errors. That number is astounding considering how many times a second baseman actually touches the ball. Cano led all second baseman with 3 errors. This race will be a tough one for Pedroia to win as all candidates are worthy.
In my opinion, the Red Sox should have had a fourth finalist for the gold glove. Hanley Ramirez didn’t get picked, as the first base finalists were Eric Hosmer, Chris Davis and Mitch Moreland. I believe Hanley should have been picked over Eric Hosmer. Mitch Moreland and Chris Davis were the only two first baseman in the league with positive defensive runs saved. Hosmer had a defensive runs saved number of -6 and committed 6 errors. Hanley had a defensive runs saved number of -5 and only committed 4 errors all year. Hanley was not flashy like Hosmer. He has only been a first baseman for one year, which should not disqualify him from the award. Hanley just went out there and played the best first base he could, and it was solid. He didn’t lose the Red Sox many games by playing first base, and you did not notice he was out there, which is always a good thing when it comes to fielding. I think the negative defensive runs saved number, and the fact that Eric Hosmer is a former winner, are the reasons Hanley was left off.
When the awards are picked on November 8th, which oddly enough is the same night as the presidential election, I think the writers will elect 2 of the 3 Red Sox players to win Gold Gloves, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. And while I’d love to see Pedroia win again, Cano will probably win second base. We will see what happens on Tuesday.