Rawlings announced the finalists for the 2013 NL Gold Glove awards today, and the Pirates had three players in contention. Russell Martin, Starling Marte, and Andrew McCutchen were all finalists at their positions.
Russell Martin was one of three finalists at catcher. The other two finalists this year are A.J. Ellis of the Dodgers, and Yadier Molina of the Cardinals. Martin won a Gold Glove in 2007 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, Molina has won every Gold Glove since then, winning five years in a row. The Pirates haven’t had a Gold Glove winner at catcher since Mike LaValliere won in 1987. Tony Pena won three years in a row from 1983-1985. No other Pirates catcher has won the award.
Starling Marte was one of three finalists in left field. The other two finalists were Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Eric Young Jr. of the Mets. Marte has obviously never won a Gold Glove before, since this is his first full season. He did post a 20.1 UZR/150 this year, which was the best mark of all MLB left-fielders in baseball with 700+ innings. Gonzalez had a 9.5 and Young had a 6.2. The award isn’t based on UZR (and often it is influenced by offense), but those numbers show that Marte was the clear leader at the position defensively.
Andrew McCutchen won a Gold Glove last year, and was one of the nominees at center field this year. The other two finalists were Carlos Gomez of the Brewers and Denard Span of the Nationals. Looking at the UZR numbers, Gomez should be the winner. He had a 27.2 UZR/150, while McCutchen was at 8.4 and Span was at 9.9. I’d say this could be a case where McCutchen benefits from his offense, but Gomez also has strong offense to raise his profile. The only way McCutchen could win would be name value. I’m not saying that’s right. It’s just how these awards tend to go. At any rate, McCutchen would be more deserving this year than he was last year, as his defense was clearly better.
The Pirates have won 25 Gold Glove awards in the outfield, led by Roberto Clemente, who won 12 in a row from 1961 to 1972. Here are the leaders.
Roberto Clemente – 12
Andy Van Slyke – 5
Dave Parker – 3
Barry Bonds – 3
Nate McLouth – 1
Andrew McCutchen – 1
The Gold Glove awards will be announced Tuesday at 8 PM EST on ESPN2.