Here’s why Gio Urshela losing Gold Glove to Isiah Kiner-Falefa is a joke
Everyone thought Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela would win the Gold Glove. Nope.
In a season in which just about nothing went right for the New York Yankees aside from the Wild Card Series win over the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox eating dirt from start to finish, fans thought maybe — just maybe — they could get a couple of individual accolades to ease the pain.
But nope! Though DJ LeMahieu is an MVP finalist, it’s widely expected Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu will take that award home. Clint Frazier winning the Gold Glove in right field was always a pipe dream, and him being named a finalist was enough for everyone to be satisfied.
But Gio Urshela going up against Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Yoan Moncada for a Gold Glove at the hot corner? Two guys who don’t even call third base their primary position up until this point in their careers? That’s gotta be in the bag, right? Wrong again!
Look, we know Kiner-Falefa played three more games than Gio at third this year, but that’s because the Yankees star was injured. In fact, the Rangers infielder played 46 games at third and 15 at shortstop. He wasn’t even a full-timer at the hot corner!
Alright, well let’s take a look at the stats. Maybe that’ll help.
- Gio Urshela: 6 DRS, 0.7 dWAR, .992 fielding percentage, 1 error, 72 plays made (17 out of zone), 10 double plays
- Kiner-Falefa: 8 DRS, 1.3 dWAR, .957 fielding percentage, 5 errors, 60 plays made (20 out of zone), 4 double plays
Admittedly, it’s close, but can somebody make sense of this? Falefa’s dWAR is actually inflated by his play at shortstop, in which he made zero errors and had a 1.000 fielding percentage in 15 games.
This award was for third base! It was not for multiple positions! It’s like when JD Martinez won the Silver Slugger at both DH and right field when he played only 25 games at the outfield position.
We no doubt respect Kiner-Falefa’s defensive versatility — the man can play catcher, third base and shortstop — but this is just the wrong call. Kiner-Falefa bested Gio by a hair in a couple of the advanced metrics, one of which isn’t even fully legitimate.
If Gio was unable to take home the Gold Glove this year, it’s never going to happen. What a damn shame.