With the AL Gold Gloves announced on Tuesday, it's time to project the NL awards - especially since they will be announced today.
I'll keep this simple. Based on UZR/150, here are the best defenders at their positions for 2009. All data is from Fangraphs.com.
1B - Derrek Lee, Cubs (4.7). AP was 5th with a 0.8.
2B - Chase Utley, Phillies (11.3). He was tied with Freddy Sanchez, but Sanchez only played 110 games. Schumaker was the third worst 2B in the NL (-8.5).
3B - Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals (20.1). Kevin Kouzmanoff has gotten a lot of publicity locally based on his league low error total (3) at third. Considering how difficult the position is to play, I would have thought he'd be the highest UZR going away. Not so. Kouz was second in the league, just ahead of Casey Blake.
No Cardinal qualified. Mark DeRosa played the most innings, and had a -5.3 for his effort. The highest Cardinal ranked was Brian Barden (20.1), but he played 1/7 the innings Zimmerman did.
SS - JJ Hardy, Brewers (8.8) and now of the Twins. He just nosed out Rafael Furcal (8.5). Brendan Ryan put up a 13.8, but it looks like he missed qualifying by about 100 innings.
C - Not measured by UZR/150, so I'm awarding the Glove to Yadier Molina. This is a Cardinal blog, after all, and he is the incumbent. No other catcher played well enough to unseat him.
LF - Raul Ibanez, Phillies (10.8). Amazing. I guess Citizens Bank is better suited to his defensive talents. No Cardinal qualified; Holliday's UZR/150 was -2.6 with St Louis.
CF - Colby Rasmus, Cardinals (13.4). How about that? He beat out Mike Cameron by about 3 UZR.
RF - Justin Upton, D-backs (8.0). Ryan Ludwick finished fourth with a -0.1
P - Another category where there isn't enough data, given starters work only every 5 games or so. Fangraphs ranks them based on RF/9, and based on that there's a 3-way tie: Joel Pinero, Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies), and Jon Garland (D-backs).
Last year's winners, for comparison:
1B - Adrian Gonzalez
2B - Brandon Phillips
3B - David Wright
SS - Jimmy Rollins
C - Yadier Molina
OF - Carlos Beltran, Nate McLouth, Shane Victorino
P - Greg Maddux.
And finally, the 2009 Fielding Bible awards recognized the following National Leaguers: Albert Pujols (1B), Ryan Zimmerman (3B), Yadier Molina (C).
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