It is officially awards season in the MLB offseason and Tuesday night the Gold Glove winners from the American League and the National League were announced.
To be eligible for a Gold Glove, a position player must have played at least two-thirds of his team’s innings on defense. Before this rule was added, Rafael Palmeiro won the 1999 American League Gold Glove at first base despite playing only 28 games in the field. Pitchers must average one inning pitched per team game — the same requirement as qualifying for the ERA title — and catchers must have played at least half of their team games at catcher.
Seventy-five percent of the result is comprised of votes from the managers and coaches of each Major League team. Managers are not allowed to vote for their own players or for players in the opposite league.
The other twenty-five percent of the result is taken from the SABR Defensive Index. From the official award website:
The SABR Defensive Index is a measure of the number of runs saved by a player’s defensive performance over the course of a season, compared to the average defensive player at that position. The SDI combines measures from five (5) different defensive data sources and includes factors that rate the defenders arm strength and accuracy, range and his sure-handedness, along with the number of “excellent” and “poor” fielding plays he makes. The SDI also incorporates a rating for a player’s ability to turn double plays (2B and SS), fielding bunts (primarily P, C, 3B, and 1B) and scoops of throws in the dirt (1B). For catchers, blocking balls in the dirt and stolen bases/ caught stealing are also included. For pitchers, the SDI includes his ability to hold runners on base and control the running game.
A positive SDI number indicates that a player was above average compared to other players at his position this season. Conversely, a negative SDI number means the player performed below the league average at this position this season.
There will be two Platinum Glove award winners announced at a later date for the best fielder in each league. The rest of the awards (MVP, Cy Young, etc.) will be announced next week.
Here are the 2015 Gold Glove award winners: