Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner announced as Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalists

As Yankees fans were reeling from the news that the team and Joe Girardi will be splitting following the 2017 season yesterday, Major League Baseball announced the three finalists for the 2017 Gold Glove Award presented by Rawlings for each position.  Two Yankees outfielders, Aaron Judge in Right Field and Brett Gardner in Left Field (the defending Gold Glove winner in LF) were announced as finalists for the 2017 season.

Photo Credit: MLB.com

In Right Field, Judge will have to compete with Mookie Betts of the Red Sox as well as Kole Calhoun of the Angels.  For Gardner, only perennial Gold Glove contender Alex Gordon of the Royals and Justin Upton who split 2017 between the Tigers and Angels stand between him and his second consecutive Gold Glove Award.

For Judge, he played 141 games in Right Field this season and amassed a .982 fielding percentage, committing just five errors while also chipping in five outfield assists.  Per Fangraphs, Judge is also credited with an Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) of 6.1 as well as nine Defensive Runs Saved (DRS). Judge’s 6.1 UZR ranks below that of both Calhoun (8.5) as well as Betts (20.5). Judge ranks second in terms of DRS as his 9.0 rating tops Calhoun’s 2.0 but falls well short of Betts’ 31.0.

Photo Credit: AP Photo

In Left Field, Gardner seems to be a clear favorite to repeat as Gold Glove winner. Brett recorded a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage this past season, split across LF (122 games) and CF (22 games).  Gardner is the only qualified position player in Major League Baseball this season not to have recorded a single error all season and his 10 outfield assists rank only second to Andrew Benintendi’s 11 among all qualified left fielders. Gardner ranks second to Alex Gordon in terms of UZR (11.5 to 7.1) but was the class of the American League in terms of DRS, leading the junior circuit with 17 defensive runs saved.

Expect Judge to fall short of his first career Gold Glove but Gardner should add a second career Gold Glove award to his trophy case.

Article by: Andrew Natalizio


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