Who are the 2016 Fielding Bible Award / Gold Glove Contenders? (Part II)

October 21, 2016

Last week, we looked at the favorites and contenders for the 2016 Fielding Bible Awards and the Gold Glove Awards for catcher and infielders. This week, we will do the same for outfielders, pitchers, and the Multi-Position Fielding Bible Award. As in Part I, the numbers in the parentheses next to each player’s name in the table represent their 2016 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) totals.

Left Fielder:

For the second season in a row, the Fielding Bible Award favorite among left fielders is Starling Marte with 19 DRS. Since his first full season in Major League Baseball in 2013, he has saved the most runs of any left fielder (68). This season, almost half of Marte’s Runs Saved were due to his arm. He led all left fielders with nine OF Arm Runs Saved and led all outfielders with 16 Kills — throwing a baserunner out without the use of a relay man. Marte finished with three more Runs Saved than second-place finisher Adam Duvall, who led all left fielders in Runs Saved solely based on range and positioning (15).

  Favorite Other Contenders
Fielding Bible Award Starling Marte (19) Adam Duvall (16)
    Colby Rasmus (14)
AL Gold Glove Colby Rasmus (14) Brett Gardner (12)
    Alex Gordon (4)
NL Gold Glove Starling Marte (19) Adam Duvall (16)
    Melvin Upton Jr. (10)


Center Fielder:

Kevin Kiermaier led all center fielders in DRS for the second straight season with 25, despite only playing 872.1 innings (almost a third fewer innings than second-place finisher Kevin Pillar) due to a hand injury. Among all center fielders, Kiermaier trailed only Pillar in his range and positioning Runs Saved, and he led all outfielders in Runs Saved from Good Fielding Plays, Defensive Misplays, and Errors (GFP/DME). He is likely in line to repeat as both the Fielding Bible Award and Gold Glove winner.

But we won’t count out Kevin Pillar, the King of the Web Gem.

  Favorite Other Contenders
Fielding Bible Award Kevin Kiermaier (25) Kevin Pillar (21)
    Billy Hamilton (15)
AL Gold Glove Kevin Kiermaier (25) Kevin Pillar (21)
    Jackie Bradley Jr. (11)
NL Gold Glove Billy Hamilton (15) Ender Inciarte (13)
    Odubel Herrera (6)


Right Fielder:

Spending the entire 2016 season in right field was definitely a great move for Mookie Betts, who led all of Major League Baseball with 32 DRS. Not only did Betts excel in DRS this season, but he also committed only one error in 361 chances, with a fielding percentage of .997. The majority of the runs he saved defensively came from his range and positioning, leading all right fielders with 23. We expect that Betts will replace the champion for the last two seasons, Jason Heyward, as the new Fielding Bible Award winner. Heyward, however, is still in contention for the NL Gold Glove which would be his fourth in five seasons if it comes to pass.

  Favorite Other Contenders
Fielding Bible Award Mookie Betts (32) Adam Eaton (22)
    Jason Heyward (14)
AL Gold Glove Mookie Betts (32) Adam Eaton (22)
    Ezequiel Carrera (8)
NL Gold Glove Jason Heyward (14) Nick Markakis (10)
    Carlos Gonzalez (4)



There is no clear-cut favorite for the Fielding Bible Award for pitcher this season. Bartolo Colon led the way with eight Runs Saved, but there were 12 pitchers who finished between five and eight DRS. There was also a different leader in each of the four categories that comprise Runs Saved for pitchers — Range and Positioning, Stolen Base, Bunts, and GFP/DME. Jake Arrieta led in Range and Positioning Runs Saved with eight, Johnny Cueto led in Stolen Bases Runs Saved with four, Chase Anderson led in Bunts Runs Saved with two, and Zack Greinke led in GFP/DME with two.

Since the pitchers are so closely packed together with no obvious leader, voters may rely on their opinions of how each pitcher has performed defensively in the past. This could mean that for the third season in a row, Dallas Keuchel will win the Fielding Bible Award and the AL Gold Glove, and Zack Greinke will be the Gold Glove winner for the NL.

  Favorite Other Contenders
Fielding Bible Award Dallas Keuchel (7) Bartolo Colon (8)
    Zack Greinke (7)
AL Gold Glove Dallas Keuchel (7) R.A. Dickey (7)
    Masahiro Tanaka (7)
NL Gold Glove Zack Greinke (7) Bartolo Colon (8)
    Jake Arrieta (5)



This season’s multi-position award will likely be a close race between Jarrod Dyson and Javier Baez. Dyson had an outstanding season at multiple positions, saving runs in all three outfield positions. He saved nine in center field and five in both left and right field. Last week, we mentioned that Baez is a worthy contender for the NL Gold Glove for second baseman with 11 DRS in 383 innings. He also saved four runs for the Cubs as a shortstop and one at third base, totaling 16 Runs Saved. Baez showed his versatility by playing five different positions: second, third, short, first, and left field.

Between Dyson and Baez, the slight edge goes to Baez based on his ability to play all four infield positions in addition to the outfield.

  Favorite Other Contenders
Fielding Bible Award Javier Baez (16) Jarrod Dyson (19)
    Kris Bryant (10)

COMMENTS (2 Comments, most recent shown first)

P.S. Just to be clear: I was just making a general point -- didn't mean anything negative about Betts.
He deserves every award that he might get this year, defensive as well as MVP.
11:45 PM Oct 24th
re Mookie Betts, "The majority of the runs he saved defensively came from his range and positioning.....":
Do players win Gold Gloves for anything related to "positioning"?
Should they?

And, besides the issue of Gold Gloves and "Fielding Bible" awards, and just looking at it in terms of how good they are -- which, let us not forget, is really the main point, isn't it? Isn't that what we're trying to get at, with Gold Glove awards and Fielding Bible awards??

So: In terms of how good they are, at least nowadays shouldn't positioning hardly count?

I say yes indeed, it should hardly count.

"Anticipation," "Jump," those are other things, and sure, those should count.

But "positioning" -- Nowadays isn't that determined essentially entirely at the team level? Sure, a player's metrics reflect credit from effectiveness of positioning. But how much does that have to do with how good the player is?

Not much.
11:39 PM Oct 24th
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