Polanco wins second Gold Glove in three years
Polanco beat out defending Gold Glove winner Dustin Pedroia for the honor at second base, as voted on by Major League managers and coaches. He becomes the third Tigers infielder to win multiple Gold Gloves, joining the double-play duo of Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker. The Gold Glove awards date back to 1957.
Though he couldn’t duplicate his errorless 2007 season, his error total fell from eight last year to two this past season. Working alongside shortstops Adam Everett and Ramon Santiago, plus with Brandon Inge back at third, Polanco helped turn a career-high 112 double plays. His .997 fielding percentage easily led all AL second basemen, while his 731 total chances and his Range Factor of 5.1 putouts plus assists per nine innings ranked near the top.
The more specialized fielding stats were more favorable on Polanco than one might expect for a middle infielder who turned 34 years old last month. While Polanco ranked lower among AL second basemen on zone rating, a statistic created by STATS Inc. to measure the rate of outs converted in a player’s defensive zone, his ultimate zone rating of 11.4 led all Major League second basemen.
Other Tigers fell short in their Gold Glove bids. Gerald Laird’s league-leading 42-percent rate of throwing out baserunners couldn’t earn him the nod at catcher over Minnesota’s Joe Mauer. Brandon Inge’s abundance of highlight plays couldn’t overshadow his error totals at third, where Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria captured his first Gold Glove. Curtis Granderson couldn’t crack the AL Gold Glove outfield mix of longtime standards Torii Hunter and Ichiro Suzuki plus newcomer Adam Jones.
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