With Brett Gardner’s great catch to rob Daniel Murphy of a home run in the New York Yankees game against the New York Mets on Monday fresh in our minds, let’s analyze his chances of winning the Gold Glove Award this season.
With fielding percentage as the prime measurement, Gardner automatically deserves consideration. Currently, he holds an average of 1.000. That’s a perfect start. In 122 total chances, he has 121 put outs and one assist.
But percentage alone does not adequately reveal his true value as an outfielder. He often covers a lot of territory to run the ball down. He repeatedly hustles to back up the other Yankees outfielders.
So who could provide Gardner’s toughest competition to earning the Gold Glove? On the Yankees, it is Vernon Wells. Wells has completed 90 of 90 chances. With three assists, some may even rate Wells a bit higher than Gardner. But Wells is not true competition because he is a left fielder. That’s okay, because it only makes it possible for both to win. By the way, Curtis Granderson is twelve of twelve, which makes it all the more interesting if he can stay healthy when he returns.
Right now, of the center fielders in the American League with a 1.000 fielding percentage. Gardner leads them all in put outs. Aaron Hicks, of the Minnesota Twins, is right behind Gardner with 120 put outs.
The question is whether Hicks should have the lead because he has six assists? Not necessarily, because you can view assists from different angles. Perhaps base runners are simply less likely to run on Gardner because they know it is just not a good idea.
Another center fielder who is in contention is Colby Rasmus of the Toronto Blue Jays . Rasmus tops Gardner with 150 put outs. But he does have an error, so Gardner is more deserving until he puts an “E” on the scoreboard.
If you listen carefully, you even hear some whining from Boston. Of course, they think that Jacoby Ellsbury will eventually rise to the top of the center field list. Sorry Sox, but Ellsbury already has two errors which gives him a fielding percentage of .984.
So Gardner’s chances are very good to this point. Look for him to maintain his defensive prowess and finish the season with the Gold Glove.