Major League Baseball recently announced the finalists for the 2016 Rawlings Gold Glove Award, with many familiar names appearing again this year. The two teams currently battling it out for the World Series, the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, have five finalists apiece. This is part one of the 2016 American League Gold Glove Nominees, exploring the favorites for the award among pitchers, catchers, and corner infielders.
2016 AL Gold Glove Nominees Part One
Last Year’s Winners
C: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
1B: Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals
2B: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
3B: Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
SS: Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals
OF: Yoenis Cespedes, Detroit Tigers (later traded to New York Mets)
OF: Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays
OF: Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels
Pitchers and Catchers
- R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays: Dickey has appeared as a finalist for the Gold Glove several times in recent years, and won the award in 2013 as a Blue Jay. The knuckleballer had only one error in 35 chances over a span of 30 games in 2016, finishing with a fielding percentage of .971. He also turned two double plays.
- Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros: Keuchel is the recipient of the previous two awards in the American League, and has a strong case for winning again this year. He finished with no errors in 32 chances over a span of 26 games. He pitched in fewer games than the other two nominees, but is a strong candidate for the award.
- Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers: On top of having a comeback season in terms of pitching, Verlander also had a solid season in the field, pitching in 34 games and committing only one error in 37 chances. Despite entering the league in 2005, Verlander has never won the award. He has a strong case this year.
- James McCann, Detroit Tigers: McCann has spent only a short time in the Major Leagues, but has established himself as an elite defensive catcher. He finished with a fielding percentage of .995 and allowed only four passed balls this season, while also handling a pitching staff that included Justin Verlander and Rookie of the Year candidate Michael Fulmer. He was first in the AL for double plays turned as a catcher and second in caught stealing and caught stealing percentage.
- Carlos Perez, Los Angeles Angels: Perez appears to be the underdog in the race, coming from a team that didn’t perform extremely well this season. In only his second year in the big leagues, Perez finished with a fielding percentage of .995 and only four passed balls, but in a smaller sample size than McCann. He was fourth in the league for caught stealing and fifth for caught stealing percentage.
- Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals: The winner of the previous three awards, Perez is best known as a workhorse, catching 128 games this year for the Royals. The AL All-Star finished with a .996 fielding percentage, and ranked first in the AL in multiple categories: games caught as a catcher, putouts for a catcher, assists for a catcher, caught stealing, caught stealing percentage, and fielding percentage. He is the heavy favorite to win the award for the fourth time.
- Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles: While more known for his offense, the glove work of Davis was another positive in the Orioles Wild Card season. He committed only ten errors in 1,397 chances, and led the American League in putouts, double plays by a first baseman, and range factor. His 152 games was second in the American League, and fielding percentage of .993 was sixth.
- Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals: Hosmer’s defense is regarded as the best in the game, with undeniable range and footwork at first base. He has won the previous three awards in the American League, and appears to be the favorite once again, committing only six errors in 1,320 chances. He was third in putouts, third in assists, and first in games played at first base with 154. His .995 fielding percentage put him in fourth.
- Mitch Moreland, Texas Rangers: After rotating between outfield, designated hitter, and first base throughout his career, Moreland has found a home at first base, leading the American League in fielding percentage (.998) while tying Davis for double plays turned by a first baseman.
- Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers: One of the more underrated players in the game, Beltre has consistently shown great glove work at third base, even in his older years. A four-time winner of the award, he hasn’t won since 2012. He committed only ten errors in 415 chances, playing 141 games at third base. He finished third among American League third baseman in fielding percentage, at .976, and second in range factor.
- Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles: Machado is best known for his exhilarating plays at third base and the incredible range he shows, and is one of the most solid defensive players in the game. This season, he did not play as many games at third as the other two nominees because he also spent 45 games at shortstop, on top of 114 at third base. He committed only seven errors at the hot corner and finished first in fielding percentage at .979. He won last year and in 2013.
- Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners: Winner of the 2014 award, Seager has established himself as both an offensive threat and formidable defender in Seattle. He committed 22 errors, tops by a third baseman and more than the other two candidates, but had more chances, with 505. Seager played more games as well, appearing in 156 at the hot corner, and finished first in double plays turned by a third baseman and range factor.