Detroit Tigers: Ian Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, and Yoenis Cespedes Named Gold Glove Award Finalists


Finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were announced today and two Detroit Tigers players (well, sort of) are in the mix to receive the fielding honor. Ian Kinsler has been named a finalist (along with Brian Dozier and Jose Altuve) at the second base position, and Yoenis Cespedes has been named a finalist (in the American League!) in left field (along with Alex Gordon and Brett Gardner).

Cespedes, of course, was traded to the New York Mets at the trade deadline, but he’s listed with the Tigers (with whom he spent the majority of his season) for this award. It’s not immediately clear if he’s getting credit only for his fielding while in the American League, or if the voters are considering his entire season and simply choosing to group him with the AL contenders.

Even though he only played two-thirds of the year in the AL, Cespedes remains the league leader in both the Defensive Runs Saved (+11 runs) and Ultimate Zone Rating (+15 runs) metrics.

Kinsler led the American League in both of the two most famous advanced defensive metrics, Ultimate Zone Rating (+6.3 runs) and Defensive Runs Saved (+19 runs).  He finished much more middle-of-the-road in traditional fielding percentage, ranking seventh with a 0.982 mark.

J.D. Martinez finished second to Kole Calhoun in both UZR and DRS.

A notable omission to the finalist group is perhaps shortstop Jose Iglesias. He certainly passed the eye test for most Detroit Tigers fans with his play in the field all season long, but his advanced numbers didn’t match that perception this season. Xander Bogaerts, Alcideds Escobar, and Didi Gregorious were the three shortstop finalists.

The last member of the Detroit Tigers to take home a Gold Glove award was Placido Polanco, also a second baseman, who won the honor in 2007 and 2009.

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