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NL SS Gold Glove Disconnect Suggests Peralta Slighted

As many readers know, defensive metrics were added to the Gold Glove Award process in 2013. For each Gold Glove, given by position by league, the SABR Defensive Index, or SDI, is assessed a weighting of 25 percent against the 75 percent from traditional manager and coach voting.

Several weeks ago, those who placed among top three overall by position by league were identified as Gold Glove Award “finalists,” an apparent move to generate additional buzz prior to the final results being divulged. Despite the implication, there was no second round of voting.

St. Louis Cardinals Gold Glove Award “finalists” in 2014 were pitcher Adam Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina. Molina won, taking home his seventh consecutive award.

This year, SABR announced the individual SDI scores the day after the Gold Glove Award winners were announced. The comparative results are most interesting.

It is clear that the numbers favor Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta much more so than did the voters. In the SDI, Peralta ranked third among National League shortstops at 10.3, but he did not finish among the top three in the overall tally.

Andrelton Simmons was the NL shortstop winner, though the Atlanta Brave had the second-highest SDI, behind another “finalist,” Zack Cozart of the Reds.

In a huge disconnect between the voting and SDI, consider the case of the third “finalist” at the position, Adeiny Hechavarria. Known to make spectacular plays at times, the Marlins shortstop obviously scored well on the voters’ “eye test,” yet was terrible defensively overall according to the SDI. In fact, at -5.7, Hechavarria was only one of three NL shortstops to log a negative score. Among the 15 ranked in SDI, Miami’s shortstop was 14th.

Position/SDI rank

NL shortstop Player Team SDI Recognition
1 Zack Cozart CIN 14.1 finalist
2 Andrelton Simmons ATL 13.1 GG winner
3 Jhonny Peralta STL 10.3
14 Adeiny Hechavarria MIA -5.7 finalist

If the metrics can be trusted at all, it sure seems like Peralta was slighted and Hechavarria was overvalued by the Gold Glove Award voters.

How did other Cardinals fare?

Looking at Cardinals players in the broader context offers a few surprises. On the positive side, Kolten Wong had the fourth-best SDI among NL second basemen. On the other hand, his predecessor Matt Carpenter was a distant 11th among Senior Circuit third sackers with a -2.1 SDI.

Cardinals with positive SDIs: Molina, Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Matt Adams, Wong, Peralta and Jon Jay.

Cardinals with negative SDIs: Shelby Miller, Carpenter, Matt Holliday and Allen Craig (since traded).

Here are the other top NL SDIs by position with all qualifying Cardinals included. The full listings, including the American League, can be viewed on the SABR website. While you are there, please consider joining.

Position/SDI rank

NL pitchers Player Team SDI Recognition
1 Henderson Alvarez MIA 4.9
2 Johnny Cueto CIN 3.9
3 Zack Greinke LAD 3.5 GG winner
4 Clayton Kershaw LAD 3.4 finalist
5 Adam Wainwright STL 3.0 finalist
9 Lance Lynn STL 2.1
43 Shelby Miller STL -0.9
NL catchers Player Team SDI Recognition
1 Yadier Molina STL 8.9 GG winner
2 Russell Martin PIT 8.7 finalist
3 Rene Rivera SD 6.0
4 Jonathan Lucroy MIL 5.2 finalist
NL first base Player Team SDI Recognition
1 Adrian Gonzalez LAD 7.2 GG winner
2 Justin Morneau COL 5.8 finalist
3 Anthony Rizzo CHC 5.6
6 Matt Adams STL 1.3
8 Adam LaRoche WSN -0.5 finalist
NL second base Player Team SDI Recognition
1 Chase Utley PHI 9.0 finalist
2 DJ LeMahieu COL 8.6 GG winner
3 Brandon Phillips CIN 2.7 finalist
4 Kolten Wong STL 1.1
NL third base Player Team SDI Recognition
1 Juan Uribe LAD 12.9 finalist
2 Nolan Arenado COL 10.7 GG winner
3 Josh Harrison PIT 6.5
7 Pablo Sandoval SFG 3.9 finalist
11 Matt Carpenter STL -2.1
NL left field Player Team SDI Recognition
1 Christian Yelich MIA 8.9 GG winner
2 Khris Davis MIL 5.0
3 Justin Upton ATL 2.5 finalist
4 Starling Marte PIT 2.2 finalist
6 Matt Holliday STL -1.0
NL centerfield Player Team SDI Recognition
1 Juan Lagares NYM 16.4 GG winner
2 Billy Hamilton CIN 13.7 finalist
3 Ender Inciarte ARI 8.7
4 Jon Jay STL 2.8
6 Denard Span WSN 1.5 finalist
NL right field Player Team SDI Recognition
1 Jason Heyward ATL 26.5 GG winner
2 Giancarlo Stanton MIA 8.1 finalist
3 Marlon Byrd PHI 4.4
4 Gerardo Parra ARI 0.1 finalist
6 Allen Craig STL -0.7

Miscellaneous notes

Overall, five of the nine NL Gold Glove winners were also the SDI leaders. Three award winners were second in SDI and one was third.

It is interesting that at catcher, “finalist” Jonathan Lucroy of Milwaukee was fourth in SDI, behind Molina, Russell Martin as well as San Diego’s Rene Rivera.

Other than Hechavarria, only one NL Gold Glove “finalist” had a negative SDI, first baseman Adam LaRoche. The Washington National was eighth at his position in SDI. Other NL “finalists” ranked fairly low in SDI include Pablo Sandoval, seventh at third base, and Denard Span, sixth in centerfield.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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23 Responses to “NL SS Gold Glove Disconnect Suggests Peralta Slighted”

  1. blingboy says:

    Bernie talked about Nelson Cruz today. I had been thinking about that a few days ago. I know most folks dismiss the idea out of hand, but I am not so sure.

    First of all, the Cards need a big bat. If they trade for one, it will cost top shelf cost controlled talent. If they sign Cruz, the loss of the 1st round pick would likely be a lesser loss.

    Cruz’s defense and durability in the field do not seem to be bigger risks than was the case when Beltran was signed.

    The draft pick compensation will dampen the bidding frenzy, at least somewhat, and the Cardinals have the payroll flexibility.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    For right field, the Cards should explore the cost of Colby Rasmus for a one year deal. We outbid other teams for Beltran on a high cost per year basis. The Jays benched Rasmus some of last summer, since they wanted to give playing time to kids who might help them in 2015.

    Baseball is a business. We do not have to adore Colby, nor he us. He fits the niche for a left swinging RF, now Oscar is gone. Rasmus might like the affirmation of a return. He could aim for solid 2015, so as to re-enter the market next winter and land a big multiyear contract then. We should not offer a three year deal, but a one or two year offer might make sense and might work for Rasmus.

    • crdswmn says:

      😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    • blingboy says:

      That would be on my wish list along with Ankiel and Todd Coffey.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        All sorts of people are writing about the Cards need for a corner OF. Names thrown around include Nelson Cruz, Morse, Cuddyer.

        I don’t like Cruz, Morse, or Cuddyer on defense, plus these guys are costly. I’d rather just go with Grichuk in RF, for the better defense. Grichuk will strike out a lot and not hit for a high average, but he has abilities and the price is good.

        The Cards should at least think about the Cuban free agent slugging corner OF Torres. The problem is he could command $100MM, after Abreu did so well with the White Sox in 2014. Its hard to imagine Mo chasing Torres to those kind of salary heights.

        This is what brings us back to Rasmus. He is a youngish free agent at circa 28. He might accept a one year deal in order to position himself to earn a big deal for 2016. Colby could form a great hitting platoon with Grichuk. One hits lefties, one hits righties. TLR is gone, so no friction there. Rasmus could supply what we need

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    Another idea for a free agent target is Hanley Ramirez. Hanley is a very good hitter who could be shifted out to learn RF. Ramirez will command a lot of money, but great hitters are not easy to find.

  4. Bw52 says:

    Colby Rasmus-why do Cards need to pay 5 million dollars (or more) to get a whiny poor little me Rasmus who might hit 15 Hrs and probably strikeout 150 times and hit .220? Let him go go somewhere else and take his “I don`t fit here” attitude with him.Hanley Rameriz,Nelson Cruz LMAO.People shooting for the moon.Andre Eithier too pricey.Everybody wants big name player.IMHO Cards will sign somebody like Tyler Colvin or Schierholtz or trade for a young guy who can play 1B-3B like Adam Duvall (SF).With all the question marks with Starting pitching it might be best to not trade any young arms.Cards could sign a couple of LH bullpen guys fairly cheap and a couple of minor FA RH bullpen guys to battle for roster spots .Same thing for bench bat or middle inf depth..

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      So the guy that thinks this is a team incapable of competing for a championship thinks we should do nothing more than tinker with the roster?

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Colvin and Schierholtz are minor league contract try out guys. They are going to have play themselves back to a ML roster.
      Another name for the Cards is Nick Markarkis. He has had at least one Gold Glove. He got too pricey for Baltimore at $17.5MM, but should do ok in the free agent market, since wont cost a draft pick. The problem is its easy to hit homers in Baltimore, so he could underperform in StL. Rasmus contributes more reliable power.

      • Bw52 says:

        why would Rasmus want to return to STlouis?A lot of the veterans who made him feel unwanted are still around plus there is a CF spot open in Chicago.Colby reunion in the Cards.I would be very very shocked.Schierholtz hit 21 HRs in 2013 for Cubbies so he has had some success.IMO prices will just be too much to pay a big FA or trade cost will be tpp high.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          Rasmus will be happy to come back home. For money. In baseball, money conveys love.

          Mo is in a solid position financially. He can kick the tires on a variety of deals. A long deal for Hanley Ramirez, to replace Holliday in a couple of years. Markarkis and Rasmus. Or, find out how much the Dodgers will pay another team to carry away Ethier or Kemp.

          • Bw52 says:

            Jumbo you are doing a lot of wishing and hoping.Hanley Ramirez? Really? To replace Holliday in a couple of years………………………….so does Hanley play RF? Markakis too much money for not enough pop.Colby to much baggage.Eithier and Kemp cost big money even if LAD covers half Kemp makes 21 million and Eithier 17 million.Would LAD pay half/ I would be surprised.Plus factor in who the Cards would have to send to LAD in trade.LAD just aren`t going to give them away.

            • JumboShrimp says:

              We added Holliday in 2009, to supplement Pujols. We could add Ramirez for 5 years, to supplement Holliday.
              I agree about Markakis.
              Rasmus, we don’t care about baggage, we care about winning. We offer him just one or two years, because we do not want to get locked into a longer deal with him.
              The Dodgers are changing their allocation of spending and will look for teams willing to cart away some players. Even if they have to pay 50%, the Dodgers still save 50 percent, which is still a lot of money.

  5. Bw52 says:

    Cards re-signed minor free agent Scott Moore1b-3b today according to BB America.

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