To much fanfare, the finalists were announced today for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. As you will recall, each year there are three finalists announced for each big league position in each league. As expected, several Reds were among the finalists.
This is Tucker Barnhart’s first selection as a finalist for the Gold Glove, and it’s well-deserved. Everyone knows that Barnhart gunned down more would-be base-stealers than any other catcher, but he also ranks as the best defensive catcher in either league by most of the advanced metrics. Tucker stands a good chance of winning his first Award.
Joey Votto has been named as a finalist for the third time in his career; he won the Gold Glove back in 2011. You may remember that Votto was pretty bad defensively in 2016, and Votto admitted as much publicly. This spring, Votto was pretty vocal about the fact that he wasn’t happy with his defense, and improving with the glove was a priority for him in 2017. Mission accomplished (Votto also continued to hit pretty well.)
For the second consecutive year, Adam Duvall earned a nod as a left field finalist. Duvall’s metrics aren’t as good as they were last year, but he did lead the majors in outfield assists. A deserving finalist.
Finally, for the fourth consecutive year, Billy Hamilton has been named a finalist for the center field Gold Glove Award. Will this year be the year for Billy?
From a Reds perspective, there was one pretty big snub: Eugenio Suarez was not named a finalist at third base. From my perch, I’d say it’s pretty clear that Suarez was the second-best defensive 3B in the National League behind Colorado’s Nolan Arenado. There was no chance Suarez was going to win this award — Arenado is amazing — but being named a finalist would have been a nice confirmation of all the hard work Suarez has put into improvement with the glove.
Zack Cozart also had a pretty good case to be named a finalist for the NL’s shortstop Gold Glove, but I’m not particularly surprised that he wasn’t picked.
Clearly, Barnhart, Votto, Duvall, and Hamilton all deserve to win, right? We’ll find out on November 7.