Jackson’s a Gold Glove finalist, Fielding Bible winner

For the first time that I can remember, the Gold Glove awards have a list of finalists, which not coincidentally sets up Tuesday night’s Gold Glove special on ESPN2. The side effect is that is sets up who has a realistic chance to win an award that doesn’t always follow the expected candidates.

In the Tigers’ case, they have two chances. Austin Jackson is one of three finalists for AL center field honors. Alex Avila is the same at AL catcher.

Because the outfield Gold Glove awards recognize center, left and right fielders separately, rather than three outfielders in general, Jackson has some of the toughest competition of any AL position. Jacoby Ellsbury and Peter Bourjos are two of the fastest men in the AL, and they use that speed to their advantage in center. Bourjos, in particular, showed a gift for running down drives into the gaps.

So, of course, did Jackson. And as the Fielding Bible awards suggest, he gets to way more balls than the average center fielder.

A day before the Gold Gloves are announced, ACTA sports came out with its annual honors to recognize the best Major League defender at each position in a given season. The Fielding Bible award in center field went to Jackson.

Unlike Gold Gloves, which are voted on by Major League coaches, the Fielding Bible award weigh heavily towards advanced defensive stats. Winners are decided by a 10-person panel that includes Fielding Bible co-author John Dewan, statistical analysis pioneer Bill James, MLB Network great Peter Gammons, acclaimed columnist and author Joe Posnanski, and former Major League outfielder Doug Glanville.

In the latest release of the Bill James Handbook, Dewan wrote that Jackson’s advantage was in the stats.

“He topped all center fielders with 21 Runs Saved in 2010, but Austin Jackson had to do it even better (with 22 Runs Saved) in 2011 to earn his first Fielding Bible Award,” Dewan wrote. “Jackson has made 63 more plays than an average center fielder over the last two years. That’s an incredible total. It’s on the plays over his head that AJ really excels (43 of the 63). Making 43 more catches than an average center fielder on balls hit deep is where those lofty Runs Saved totals come in, as he is saving doubles and triples when he makes these catches.”

Jackson got as many first-place votes (three) as Arizona’s Chris Young, but the difference was the five second-place votes he received, compared with just two for Young. The only vote that put Jackson outside the top three was something called the Tango Fan Poll.

Avila finished eighth in voting among Major League catchers, a category won by Matt Wieters. Not coincidentally, he’s one of Avila’s fellow finalists for the AL Gold Glove, along with A.J. Pierzynski (???). Avila threw out just under a third of would-be basestealers (40-for-125) while posting a .995 fielding percentage (five errors in 1,018 total chances). He was charged with seven passed balls, and Tigers pitchers threw 56 wild pitches with him behind the plate.

Wieters threw out 34-of-92 would-be basestealers, allowed one passed ball, and watched his pitchers deliver 25 wild pitches.

Among those left out among Gold Glove finalists was Jhonny Peralta, who statistically had a very underrated season at shortstop. But so was Texas’ Elvis Andrus. Erick Aybar, Asdrubal Cabrera and J.J. Hardy are the three finalists, though Peralta statistically had a pretty good case for a better defensive season than Cabrera.

19 Comments

The Fielding Bible said what I already knew. We have the best CF defender in MLB.
Austin Jackson!

As I said the last day of the season , Detroit has two Golden Gloves winner. Weird decisions are not uncommon in the award but AJax is a deserving Gary Pettis heir.
He played with Magglio in one side and Boesch in the other. And then with Young. He needed to cover his field and half of his teammate´s field. And in a huge outfield.
Kelly and Raburn at least have enough speed to cover their field. You must be below the ball to be hit by it in the head or let it down from your glove.
For Avila, perhaps , the passballs and wp numbers will play against . He is a little lacking blocking the home.He still tries to catch the ball when his main goal must be to keep the ball in front of him. But he can win because , it is not supposed to be that way , Golden Glove is not only about the glove.

I’m disappointed for Mr. Reliable, but maybe the thought is showing consistency. He has been very consistent for the Tigers and has excelled beyond expectations. Another good year under his belt will show them a gold glove.

perhaps.

JP brought stability to an unstable infield.
That being said, all things must pass. We would be better off with a quick, larger range shortstop allowing JP to win his Gold Glove at 3rd.

Jason,

how come you have writen nothing about the only tiger to go to Tiawan???
Phil Coke!!
did anyone even tell you he was there?? I’m betting the “BIG D” fans would love to know they were represented!!
How bout a bit of ink on him???
Hope to see you in the spring.
Doug

To be honest, I never saw a final roster released after Miguel Cabrera bowed out. That story is the first roster I’ve seen since then. The preliminary roster was sent out in an email.

Doug, I am guessing some sort of relative? Your right though I am nt sure any of s knew that Phil was in Tiawan?

Um anyone else hearing the tigers might scoop Jamey Carroll? His OBP and position are a nice fit for this tigers team. I’d bet you could give him the money you’d give Santiago (2.5-3 M $) and he’d sign a 1 yr contract with us. OH yeah he’s getting old but he’s healthy – he just played 146 games this year for the dodgers! Not to mention he stole as many bases last year, as Santiago did in his most klepto year (10 SB).

If you’re referring to MLBtraderumors, yes I read that. It appeared the author was filling holes on each team with an available FA. It’s not that simple, of course. Regarding Jamey Carroll, I’ve seen him play a lot and I like him a lot. He’s one of those guys who does everything correctly on the diamond. Exactly like Ramon Santiago does. I don’t see the point in losing Santiago in favor of Carroll.

fair enough – yes i did see that. But your point of Santiago vs. Carroll got me wondering.
Santiago in 2011: .311 OBP, 0 SB, and .384 slugging, .996 fielding % and a 4.89 range factor (at 2B).
Carroll in 2011: .359 OBP, 10 SB, and .347 slugging with a .980 fielding % and a 4.11 range factor (at 2B).

So can see what you are saying – although jamey is a better leadoff man he isn’t quite the defender. Maybe it comes down to who requires more years/money?

for that matter if the cards don’t want pitching coach Dave Duncan, i think we could/should take him. I’m sure Tony could put in a word with JL.

I’d go for that!

You could probably sign either guy for two years without risk. If the starting thing doesn’t work out, you’d still have a very good utility player. Both Ramon and Jamey have obviously worked very hard at their craft and I admire that. You’d also need a manager, however, who appreciates what they bring to the table. I was somewhat surprised to see that Carroll had played that much with the Dodgers, and he did well. I think Santiago could do the same. He’s also earned the opportunity. There’s a loyalty factor there, and this organization seems to pride itself on that.

well ya know, loyalty is praised when it is about keeping a player one enjoys and cried about when it is about a keeping a player one dislikes. I’m sure everyone can think of players on both sides of that.

Ok, It is November and I can talk about management. Did the players get us to the playoffs or was it the manager? Did the manager win the World Series? Who is the best manager is baseball right now? Was it Tony LaRussa? Congrats Tony on your career.

can’t imagine the answers are black and white – let alone riddled with opinions. With that said, manager 35% and players 65% w.r.t getting us to the playoffs.

It’ll be Jackson and Wieters for gold glove. Have no idea how Pierzynski got into the final 3 at C…probably because he’s been around for a long time and the nominators couldn’t come up with a 3rd candidate easily. Not sure what A.J.’s numbers were this year, but have always thought of him as an offensive first C who can’t throw out baserunners.

Regarding SS, saw outstanding highlights from A. Cabrera showing some remarkable range. Hardy strikes me as a steady but unspectacular defender. Have no idea about Aybar. I bet Cabrera gets it due to the circus plays.

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