First Pitch

First Pitch: McCutchen Wasn’t the Pirate That Deserved a Gold Glove

First Pitch: McCutchen Wasn’t the Pirate That Deserved a Gold Glove

My tweet tonight immediately after Andrew McCutchen won a gold glove: Andrew McCutchen hits his way to his first career Gold Glove. It received several retweets, which I can only assume is other people mocking what has become of the Gold Glove award.

The Gold Glove award is supposed to recognize defense. Unfortunately that defense is only recognized if a player has strong offense to go with his defense. In some cases, good offense can hide poor defense. That was the case with McCutchen. On the year McCutchen had a -7.0 UZR/150. The other candidates for the award -- Michael Bourn (22.5 UZR/150) and Drew Stubbs (8.5 UZR/150) -- ranked first and second respectively among qualified center fielders in the NL. There were six players between those two and McCutchen.

You might not agree with basing an award off UZR. Even if you think UZR is flawed it's hard to argue that McCutchen deserved the award over Bourn. I don't think UZR is perfect, but it's the best way to judge fielding that we...

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First Pitch
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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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