Puig can’t catch this gold glove
It is easy to complain since we all saw Puig have an outstanding defensive season in right field. For my eyes, it was his best season ever playing RF, as he seemed to catch everything (until the one play he didn’t), his throws were not only always on target, but his sheer arm strength kept many a runner grounded at their current base.
Still, I expect Cub fans who watched Heyward all year felt the same way. This was not a grievous mistake, Heyward is an outstanding defensive right fielder in his own right.
Heyward won his fifth Gold Glove (fourth consecutive) for right field in the NL, beating out Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins after a season in which Statcast™ had him at 11 outs above average, which tied for seventh among all outfielders in 2017, while ranking second for a corner outfielder, behind Mookie Betts‘ 16. Heyward also was one of nine outfielders — and three corner outfielders — to convert at least four five-star opportunities, and his 16 catches of four stars or better tied for fourth in MLB.
Corey Seager was the other Dodger finalist and as expected he lost out to Brandon Crawford. I was kind of surprised to see Corey make the final three but he survived all the requirements to be there.
The other big surprise for me was that Carlos Santana was a finalist for the American League first base gold glove. I guess he finally found his position.
Two of the AL 1st base gold glove finalists are both free agents this year. One guy is the golden boy in Eric Hosmer who has gotten lots of publicity due to his two World Series stints. Carlos Santana has also been to the World Series but doesn’t seem to pack the same notoriety even though the metrics say he has earned more fWAR over the past five years than Hosmer. They have both been regulars since 2013 and in that time Carlos Santana has earned 15 fWAR compared to Eric Hosmer at 10.9. Carlos has been one of the most consistent players in the game garnering between 2.1 and 3.7 fWAR during those five years. Hosmer has earned between 0.0 and 4.1 fWAR. Of course Hosmer is four years younger than Carlos Santana so maybe I should not have gone down this route since it is not apples to apples.
One other almost Dodger note. Brian Dozier won the gold glove at second base for the American League. Dozier was the biggest talk of last winter after Turner and Jansen signed as the Dodgers were very aggressive in their bid to get him. The Twins stayed firm on their demands and it paid off as they made the postseason with Dozier having another outstanding season. Dozier will be a free agent after 2018 but he’ll be 31 looking for a long term deal as a plus 30 year old second baseman. Good luck with that. Course with the new sliding rules maybe second baseman will have longer baseball lifespans than they used to have since their knees aren’t taking the pounding they used too.