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Manny Machado and Andrelton Simmons win Platinum Glove Awards

Nov 8, 2013, 11:18 PM EDT

platinum glove award

The third-annual Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards were announced earlier this evening, recognizing the best defensive player in each league. Orioles third baseman Manny Machado won the award for the American League while Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons took home the honors for the National League.

Only those who won Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were eligible for the Platinum Glove Award. The winners were determined by a combination of a fan vote and SABR’s Defensive Index metric.

As you’ll see in the voting results below, Machado ran away with the award for the American League while Simmons won in a very close vote over Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez for the National League. Molina and Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre were the previous winners in each league.

  1. Walk - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    I am glad simmons won, but i thought parra might have been better. He can play in all three outfield positions. Molina had an outstanding case as well, not only outstanding defense but he controls the pitching staff as well. Amazing defenders all, along with gomez as their gold gloves will attest.

    • paperlions - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      Postion matters. Parra was a fantastic RFer….but a fantastic SS, CF, or catcher is a better defender than the best RFer. Indeed, an average CFer is about the same as being a great RFer…since most average CFers would look great in RF….but most great RFers will look bad in CF….being good at a harder position matters.

  2. chrisernst82 - Nov 9, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Not one player in the league compares to what Yadier does. Its not even close, almost every pitch, every play is influenced by him. When he was injured not surprisingly the teams ERA jumped a whole point. Who else brings that value.

    • pipkin42 - Nov 9, 2013 at 1:13 AM

      He gains his power from The Best Fans in the Country (TM)

  3. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Nov 9, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Glad to see Machado get the win. There was no one even close to him this year in either league. Hope he heals up and brings it again next year. He certainly was a pleasure to watch.

  4. spudchukar - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:50 AM

    Any award that appreciates defense is a much overlooked blessing. However, comparing the value of a SS to a catcher is inherently subjective. And to use sabermetric numbers to validate is risible. Even the most ardent sabermetrician adherent knows catcher UZR numbers are wildly inaccurate, and under-appreciated, and this comes from Fangraphs among others.

    That said, congrats to Simmons and Machado, two great defenders who deserve recognition.

    • gibbyfan - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:10 AM

      I’m with you entirely Spud.It would seem obvious that catchers are a whole different category for a number of reasons which any fan should know. What Yadi does is absolutely amazing and involves virtually every pitch of the game……….No doubt Simmons is an excellent SS but something very important got very overlooked in this process

    • Reflex - Nov 9, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      While even those making the metrics know that they are imprecise and often inaccurate, they are at the moment the best we have, and certainly way better than the ‘eye test’ that used to be the standard. The choices are “Use the metrics we have, knowing they are flawed” or “Do not use the metrics we have knowing that the results will be even more flawed”.

      Personally I choose not to make the perfect the enemy of the better.

      • spudchukar - Nov 10, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        The problem wasn’t the “eye test”. It was reputation, and sloppy, lazy reporting/judging. UZR metrics use the same “eye test” you refute. Nice rhetoric however it is wildly inaccurate, much like UZR metrics. I have no “enemies”. Just common sense. And until defensive metrics improve I will continue to criticize them. I believe whole-heartedly in advanced metrics. I also recognize when they suck.

      • Reflex - Nov 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        You are arguing against something that does not exist. Those who use advanced defensive metrics are also aware they suck. They are still better than before. While UZR does have some of the eye test, it applies it in a standardized fashion so that failures will at least be consistent, as will successes. As such it is better to use UZR than to not use UZR.

        Criticism is fine, although constructive criticism has more value.

  5. jrocknstuff - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    The people that really matter know just how much a catcher brings to the game, which is why they end up as managers.

  6. misterj167 - Nov 9, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    All due respect to Molina, who earns his Gold Glove every year, but Simmons is just in another league. He may be the greatest defensive shortstop to ever play the game. Yes, better than Ozzie. He has more range and a stronger arm than Ozzie.

    Here’s 25 minutes of highlights, and these are just the ones that MLB put up…

    • paperlions - Nov 9, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      That is hyperbolic non-sense. Simmons is fantastic, but he hasn’t reached Ozzie’s level of range. Last year in 1352 innings at SS, Simmons had 499 assists (3.32 assist per 9 innings). Smith averaged 3.63 assists per 9 innings through his age 34 season, putting up 516+ assists eight times including one crazy season in which he had 621 assists….and Smith did that without having Simmon’s arm.

      This comments is like the silliness comparing Vizquel to Ozzie….as good as Vizquel was defensively, his BEST defensive season was worse that Smiths average defensive season including Smith’s decline phase.

      Simmons is great, but he doesn’t compare to Ozzie at all in terms of range or the general ability to turn batted balls into outs.

      • platediscipline - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        For assists per game to have relevance, ground ball rates would have to be fundamentally unchanged since the 80’s. Are they? I strongly suspect not. I know strikeout rates have soared since the 80’s so that has to impact ball in play stats. I would suspect fly ball rates have risen also. Not sure you have an apples to apples comparison here.

      • paperlions - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        Feel free to provide evidence that GB rates are different now rather than “suspecting” that they are.

      • platediscipline - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:51 PM

        I don’t have definitive evidence that ground ball rates are different today than from the 80’s. Obviously, you didn’t provide ANY evidence that Ozzie’s range factor was superior to Simmons either as you stated above. Accumulation stats are nice, but not exactly proof of much.

        Assessing the worth of defensive baseball seasons is pretty difficult. Luis Aparicio has some scouts convinced he was the best ever. Ditto for Mark Belanger. Simmons is the real deal. Metrics say that, so do some new and even old-time scouts. Sorry if that doesn’t match your reality but it is just an opinion since it is almost entirely subjective not objective. Such is the reality of defense.

      • paperlions - Nov 10, 2013 at 9:58 AM

        I have seen many say that Belanger was very under rated on defense. I’ve never seen one say he was the best ever or in the same ball park as Smith.

        Assists/game is a rate stat, not an accumulation stat. There are many factors that suggest that more ground balls may be hit in 9 innings in 2013 compared to Smith’s era. There is a much greater focus on pitchers generating ground balls than there used to be, because they result in fewer XBHs. There is a greater focus by hitters to hit ground balls or line drives (at least, to not hit fly balls), but those balls have a better chance of being hits. In addition, it is easier to get to ground balls on grass than it was in the 70s-80s when teams played on turf.

      • misterj167 - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:28 PM

        I dunno, I think I’ll let the video speak for itself. Granted, there’s some stuff in there that’s pretty routine, but the play in the WBC against Cuba where he gunned down the runner at first from short center field, the powerful, accurate throw against the Rockies that nailed Cuddyer at the plate, the play against the Nationals in the 14th inning where he was running the other way and still made the double play, the tag in between his legs, I mean, I don’t know any other shortstop who could have made all of those plays in their careers, and he did those this year alone.

        Of course I’m not taking anything away from the Wizard, but man this kid is just amazing…

      • paperlions - Nov 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        I agree. He’s fantastic and I have no problem with him being recognized as the best fielder in the league…but there is a big gap between fantastic and what Ozzie Smith used to do….and Smith did it an era of more athletic players (average baseball players were faster when he played than they are now), and on turf…which required greater range to get to balls than grass does…as grass slows the ball down a lot by comparison and also results in less extreme “choppers”….you don’t see any balls bounce like that on modern fields.

      • spudchukar - Nov 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        I’m supporting PL here, regarding ground ball rates today vs. the past. I would bet there are more ground ball outs now than in the 80’s/early 90’s.

        I think the astroturf vs. grass is kind of a wash. Players can play deeper on turf, but cannot get to as many balls as they don’t slow down. Probably fewer bad hops on turf, but the seams cause trouble, and in most cases dirt was part of the equation. Simmons arm enables him to make more plays on grass and Ozzie’s range excels on turf.

        But until Simmons perfects his position for the next dozen years or so, Ozzie is still the king.

      • Reflex - Nov 10, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        While I agree Ozzie is great, PL for once comes across as irrational on the topic. Not a surprise, Cards fans think Ozzie was the greatest ever, but it does go against his usual statistically driven approach.

        There was a very strong point made about eras. The 80’s was a low offense era. It is entirely possible more groundballs were generated. It is also possible there were not, in which case Ozzie may have been even greater than PL believes. I have no idea. But to simply assert it, especially when comparing across eras, is bad form and fanboyism.

        Personally I think Simmons can’t possibly be as good as Ozzie….yet. Few players have great positioning early on, and a lot of things that look amazing for Simmons are likely a relic of him not being in the optimal position to begin with. That said, the same was likely true of Ozzie at this stage in his career. 30 year old Ozzie was better than 25 year old Simmons, but he was likely also better than 25 year old Ozzie defensively.

  7. buckemtp - Nov 9, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Really? How about we ley the kid pau more than 206 games before you anoint him better than a hall of fame SS. What a joke.

    • Bob Loblaw - Nov 9, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      Aw come on. He’s sitting in his mom’s basement smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo in his Atlanta Braves underoos while eating his Boo-Berry cereal and looping that 25 minute MLB clip over and over. Don’t be a killjoy.

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