Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. today announced Minor League Baseball’s recipients of the 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® for defensive excellence. Brewers prospect Orlando Arcia was awarded the Gold Glove at shortstop after an impressive all-around season at the plate and in the field, including just 13 errors in 585 total chances (.978 fielding percentage) for the Biloxi Shuckers (AA). This is the second consecutive season that a Brewers prospect has won the award, as outfielder Michael Ratterree received the Gold Glove with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A) last year.
Arcia was named the organization’s Player of the year earlier this month and is widely regarded as one of baseball’s top prospects. He finished his first season at the Double-A level batting .307/.347/.453 with 37 doubles, seven triples, eight homers, 69 RBI and 25 stolen bases in 129 games. The 21-year-old finished his campaign among the league-leaders in several categories including average (5th), at-bats (2nd, 512), RBI (4th), doubles (1st), slugging percentage (5th), extra-base hits (3rd, 52), runs (5th, 74) and total bases (2nd, 232). He set new career-highs in almost every hitting category including runs, hits, doubles, triples and home runs.
The Venezuelan native was signed by the Brewers as a non-drafted free agent in 2010. He was named both a mid-season and postseason Southern League All-Star this year. Arcia was honored with the League’s Player of the Week award for May 25-June 1 when he batted .400 (10-25) with 6 runs, 5 doubles, a homer, 5 RBI and 2 walks in six games. In addition, Arcia was selected to represent the World Team in the 2015 Futures Game at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Arcia is ranked as the top prospect in the Brewers organization, according to MLB.com.
Arcia will receive his Rawlings Gold Glove Award, molded after the iconic award given to Major League Baseball’s top defensive players, during the 2016 season.
You might remember me mentioning Michael Ratterree as a name to remember following his tremendous first professional season when he won the 2013 Pioneer League Most Valuable Player Award as a member of the rookie-level affiliate Helena Brewers.
Well, Ratterree was at it again in 2014. And by “it” I mean winning a major individual award in recognition of his play on the baseball field. He won the Gold Glove Award, presented by Rawlings.
The Rice University product played the majority of the 2014 season with the Class-A affiliate Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, seeing some time with the Class-AA Huntsville Stars as an injury fill-in. The Timber Rattlers play in the Midwest League’s Western Division whereas the Stars are members of the Southern League’s North Division.
“So where did Ratterree earn his accolade?”, you may be asking.
Well, that’s just it. There isn’t a Gold Glove for each division, or for each league, or even for each level in the minor leagues. There are nine. One for each defensive position.
Michael Ratterree was awarded the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove for Minor League Baseball right fielders. All of them. That’s certainly worth trumpeting.
Following is the official press release.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., announced today Minor League Baseball’s recipients of the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® for defensive excellence at their positions. The honorees were selected among qualifying players from the 10 domestic-based, full-season Minor Leagues. Each player will receive his own Rawlings Gold Glove Award, modeled after the iconic award given to Major League Baseball’s top defensive players, during the 2015 season.
“Congratulations to the nine outstanding Minor League Baseball players who deservedly won the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award,” said Mike Thompson, executive vice president and general manager of baseball for St. Louis-based Rawlings. “Minor League Baseball is and will always continue to be a great partner of Rawlings, and we knew the Rawlings Gold Glove Award would be a popular goal for many young players when we decided to rekindle this award platform in 2011.”
“Each year, it is a privilege to join in the announcement of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® and help recognize the top defensive players in Minor League Baseball,” said Pat O’Conner, President & CEO of Minor League Baseball. “All nine of these players displayed extraordinary skills at their positions this season, and on behalf of Minor League Baseball, I congratulate them on this outstanding accomplishment.”
The 2014 Minor League Baseball recipients of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® are as follows:
2014 Minor League Rawlings Gold Glove Award Winners
|2B||Tony Kemp||Lancaster/Corpus Christi||HOU|
|SS||Hanser Alberto||Myrtle Beach/Frisco||TEX|
|CF||Breland Almadova||South Bend/Visalia||ARI|
|P||Josh Geer||San Antonio||SD|
First baseman Jordan Lennerton earned this honor for a second time with his perfect 1.000 fielding percentage through 121 games. He posted 1,058 putouts with 69 assists in 1,127 total chances and turned 107 double plays. Lennerton was also named a Rawlings Gold Glove Award® winner for his defensive excellence in 2013.
Tony Kemp put up a .987 fielding percentage through 120 games split between Corpus Christi and Lancaster. The second baseman had 225 putouts with 292 assists and 67 double plays.
Frisco RoughRiders shortstop Hanser Alberto posted a .980 fielding percentage over a 114-game span, with 190 putouts and 346 assists. Alberto began the 2014 season with Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach where he split time between shortstop and third base.
Third baseman Jason Esposito of the Frederick Keys had a .960 fielding percentage with 83 putouts and 257 assists through 118 games. The Connecticut native turned a league-leading 19 double plays.
Chad Wright put up a .990 fielding percentage over 102 games as a left fielder for the Lakeland Flying Tigers. He had 191 put outs with nine assists and turned three double plays.
Center fielder Breland Almadova posted a .995 fielding percentage over 131 games while splitting the season between South Bend and Visalia. He had 345 putouts while only committing two errors.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers right fielder Michael Ratterree put up a .992 fielding percentage with 252 putouts and 10 assists over 126 games. Ratterree completed two double plays and committed only two errors on the season.
Roberto Pena, catcher for the Lancaster JetHawks, posted a .996 fielding percentage in 93 games. He had a league-leading 755 putouts with 84 assists and allowed only seven passed balls. Pena also topped the league in double plays (9) and runners caught stealing (52).
Right handed pitcher Josh Geer of the San Antonio Missions posted a perfect fielding percentage with six putouts and a league-leading 36 assists. With a quick delivery to the plate, Geer combined with his catchers to throw out 12 of 25 runners attempting to steal.
To be eligible to receive the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, players must have participated in one of the 10 domestic-based, full-season leagues, and show outstanding defensive skills. The Rawlings Gold Glove Award® was re-introduced to Minor League Baseball in 2011 after an almost 50-year hiatus.
About Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the governing body for all professional baseball teams in the United States, Canada, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic that are affiliated with Major League Baseball clubs through their farm systems. Fans are coming out in unprecedented numbers to this one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found at Minor League Baseball ballparks. In 2014, Minor League Baseball attracted 42.4 million fans to its ballparks to see the future stars of the sport hone their skills. From the electricity in the stands to the excitement on the field, Minor League Baseball has provided affordable family-friendly entertainment to people of all ages since its founding in 1901. For more information about Minor League Baseball, visit http://www.MiLB.com.
Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. is an innovative manufacturer and marketer of sporting goods worldwide. Founded in 1887, Rawlings is an authentic global sports brand, trusted by generations of athletes of all skill levels. Rawlings’ unparalleled quality and expert craftsmanship are the fundamental reasons why more professional athletes, national governing bodies and sports leagues choose Rawlings. Rawlings is the Official Ball Supplier and Batting Helmet of Major League Baseball®, the official baseball of Minor League Baseball™ and the NCAA®, and the approved baseball, basketball, football and softball of the National High School Federation®. For more information, please visit Rawlings.com or by phone at (314) 819-2800.
Congratulations are in order.
A day after being announced as the best defensive center fielder in all of baseball during 2013 by the Fielding Bible, Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez has also won the 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence among National League center fielders.
I outlined the reasons I felt he should win the Rawlings Gold Glove Award here: “Will the Drought Finally End?”
So instead of rehashing all of that, here is what the official announcement had to say…
CARLOS GOMEZ NAMED NATIONAL LEAGUE RAWLINGS GOLD GLOVE AWARD WINNER IN CENTER FIELD
Becomes the First Brewer Since 1982 to Win a Gold Glove Award
MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez has been selected the winner of the 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award in the National League at his position. Gomez was joined as a finalist by Andrew McCutchen (Pirates) and Denard Span (Nationals). The announcement was made tonight on ESPN2.
Gomez won the 10th Gold Glove Award in franchise history and became the fifth different Brewer to earn the honor, joining George Scott (first base: 1972-76), Cecil Cooper (first base: 1979-80), Sixto Lezcano (outfield: 1979) and Robin Yount (shortstop: 1982). The Brewers had gone 30 seasons without a Gold Glove winner, which was the longest streak in the 57-year history of the award.
Gomez recorded a career-high 12 assists this season, which trailed only the Mets’ Juan Lagares (14) for the Major League lead among center fielders. He also made five home run-saving catches and did not commit an error over his last 32 games.
Following tonight’s ESPN2 show, voting for the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award presented by SABR will begin at www.rawlings.com, allowing the general public to weigh in on “The Finest in the Field” in both the American League and National League. Fans can only select one player among the 2013 winners from each league. A combination of the international fan vote and the SABR Defensive Index will determine who takes home the honor of each league’s top defensive player. Voting concludes on Monday, November 4 at 11am CT.
The Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winners will be unveiled during the 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award Ceremony presented by Gold Sport Collectibles on Friday, November 8, at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.
On the eve of the announcement of the finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards (2013 edition), I wanted to take the time to properly trumpet the cause of Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez.
But first, the obligatory consternation which you’ll hear ad nauseum whenever a Brewers-centric look at the Gold Glove is written.
Did you know that no Milwaukee Brewer has won a Gold Glove award since Robin Yount last won it as an American League shortstop back in 1982?
It’s been a long and cold winter in terms of off-season defensive recognition in Milwaukee. And while Wisconsin tends to have some actual long and cold winters, it’s high time Rawlings ends theirs in the Badger state.
Here a sampling of some things that didn’t exist the last time a Milwaukee Brewers won a Gold Glove Award.
- Nationwide availability of the Chicken McNugget
- Mario Bros (the arcade game)
- Hooters restaurants
- The Disney Channel
- Care Bears
- And as irony would have it, since you’re reading an internet blog, the Internet (TCP/IP protocol)
Still, while the Brewers have not had a hardware-winning season in over 30 years, they have had a handful of worthy and even deserving contenders for the award. Just last year saw the Brewers with a pair of “finalists”, which is to say that they finished in the top three of balloting. However, Ryan Braun in left field and Aramis Ramirez at third base ultimately ended up just being the most recent runners up. (Not to digress too much from getting to Gomez, but we all agree that Ramirez was robbed in broad daylight last year, right? I mean, of the finalists announced only David Wright had a legitimate argument for winning over Ramirez but by way of his offensive breakout — which is another argument unto itself — San Diego’s Chase Headley won. Yeah…that makes sense.)
Despite all of the disappointment and near misses over the years, this year is the one that should end the drought. This year is the one that should bring the accolades showering down on a Milwaukee Brewers defender like confetti at the Super Bowl.
Why? Well, let’s give you a few bullet points to check off.
- Increased Profile
- New contract
- Starting job (no platoon)
- National Exposure
- 1st All-Star selection of his career
- Atlanta skirmish
- Hank Aaron Award nomination
- MLB Network profile (http://brewernation.mlblogs.com/2013/08/08/mlb-network-feature-video-carlos-gomez-elevating-his-game/)
- Offensive Breakout
- Career highs in multiple categories including home runs
- Spectacular Plays
- Walk off catch
- Five home run thefts
And, for the first time, ACTUAL DEFENSIVE METRICS IMPACT THE RESULTS!!!
You read that correctly. Back in March, Rawlings announced a partnership with the Society for American Baseball Research (“SABR”) to develop a metric called “SDI” or “SABR Defensive Index”.
From Rawlings’ website, they state that “the new sabermetric component in the selection process is just another example of how the iconic (Gold Glove) Award has evolved throughout history as the industry standard honoring defensive excellence at the highest level of baseball.”
You can read the full news item here (http://www.rawlings.com/NewsDetailLanding.aspx?id=1556), including the names of the seven-person “independent committee of experts in baseball analytics and defensive measurement to devise the SDI.” They are called the SABR Defensive Committee.
And when that committee or any National League manager or coach (hopefully actually) looks at the SDI and other available defensive metrics, Gomez is simply the best defensive center fielder in the National League. (He’d be the best in the American League too, but each league votes separately.) Pick your statistical flavor: runs saved, range factor, outfield assists, UZR, Out of Zone, etc. Gomez is at or near the top in all of them.
So why in the world are Brewers fan so nervous about this? Precedent.
It’s wonderful that the SDI is formally being included in the calculation but the Gold Glove has a reputation for being awarded to an offense-minded player and/or a player on a good team because that’s how it’s gone down so often.
Therefore, working against Carlos Gomez are two key things. The Brewers’ 2013 team record (74-88 if you’ve forgotten or blocked it) and Andrew McCutchen.
The first half is what it is. The team’s record isn’t changing (though it would have been worse without Gomez in centerfield and that’s a fact). What’s frustrating is that Andrew McCutchen isn’t even the second-best center fielder in the National League (FanGraphs rankings here: http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=cf&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=0&type=1&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0) but because his team made the playoffs and he’s a favorite for National League Most Valuable Player, he’s seen as Gomez’s closest competition for the Gold Glove. If that sounds ludicrous it’s because it is ludicrous.
Oh, and the other big thing working against Gomez because it is in McCutchen’s favor…the leader of the Pirates won the NL CF Gold Glove in 2012. The danger there, of course, is the managers and coaches around the NL who don’t put the time into this award that it deserves and simply handicap to previous winners.
So yes, Carlos Gomez certainly deserves the Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence by a center fielder in the National League for the 2013 season. But will he actually win the thing?
The sad reality is that all of these accolades; all of these metrics; everything working in Gomez’s favor…usually isn’t worth its weight in gold.