Kinsler wins Fielding Bible Award at second base
While Ian Kinsler awaits the final results of Gold Glove voting to be released next month, he captured his first major defensive award Friday. The Tigers second baseman was voted for a Fielding Bible Award, given out annually to the best fielder in baseball at each position as determined by a panel of experts.
Kinsler beat out Boston’s Dustin Pedroia, who had won the previous two awards at second base. Kinsler also becomes the first Tiger to win a Fielding Bible Award since Austin Jackson in 2011.
While a 12-member panel votes on the winners, the Fielding Bible Awards tends to emphasize defensive metrics. All 10 winners this year led their respective position in Defensive Runs Saved. Voters include Bill James, John Dewan, Peter Gammons, Joe Posnanski, Brian Kenny, Mark Simon, Rob Neyer, Doug Glanville and Dave Cameron.
Kinsler finished second to Pedroia last year despite leading the Majors with 20 DRS. While Pedroia suffered an injury-plagued season, Kinsler easily led his position in metrics. His 19 DRS was six better than any other Major League second baseman this season, according to Fangraphs. Though his error total jumped from nine to 13, his 6.3 Ultimate Zone Rating was best in the American League and second only to Miami’s Dee Gordon, who finished second in the voting.
Kinsler’s 2.6 defensive Wins Above Replacement, according to the baseball-reference formula, ranked him eighth among all Major League players regardless of position. He finished near-even with Cubs infielder Addison Russell, who split his rookie season between second base and shortstop.
Kinsler has put up 20 Defensive Runs Saved over the last three seasons, according to The Fielding Bible. The next-best total among Major League second basemen is 29 from Colorado’s D.J. LeMahieu.
Kinsler is one of three finalists for the American League Gold Glove award at second base, as announced on Thursday. Pedroia, winner of the last two Gold Gloves, is another, as is Seattle’s Robinson Cano. Major League coaches vote on the honors, to be revealed in November.