The 2020 Rawlings Glove Glove Award finalists have been released, with the Cubs netting the most nominations with seven. The Mets, Nationals, Phillies, Brewers, Rays, and Red Sox were shut out.
The awards for defensive prowess will be handed out based on defensive metrics alone this year, since managers and coaches weren’t able to see players outside their regional bubble. Moving to a metrics-based system, even for a year, certainly make for interesting television, especially since these awards can make an impact on arbitration cases. Considering the uncertainty of a 60-game season, awards could carry greater weight than usual in those proceedings, thought that’s just speculation. Without further ado, here are this year’s nominees:
AL First Base
NL First Base
AL Second Base
NL Second Base
AL Third Base
NL Third Base
AL Left Field
NL Left Field
AL Right Field
NL Right Field
Nicky Lopez of the Royals was originally left off the list, but he is in fact a nominee at second base, one of four nominations at the keystone in the American League. It’s the only position with four nominations.
There are a few other interesting things of note. Perennial candidates like Andrelton Simmons and Matt Chapman did not make the list this year due to shortened seasons, nor did last season’s Outs Above Average leader Victor Robles. Both Gurriel brothers earned nominations this year, with the younger Lourdes (LF) joining perennial candidate Yuli (1B).
There are also a couple of largely part-time players that made the cut, like Hoerner of the Cubs and Mendick for the White Sox. Neither was the everyday second baseman, but they did reach the inning minimum of 265 total defensive innings. They qualified at second because that’s where they played the most innings. Mendick, for example, registered just 226 innings at second, but with 27 innings at third and 15 at shortstop, he ended the year with 268 total defensive innings played.
Catchers required a minimum of 29 games, which is how we got a pair of White Sox catchers making the top-3. Pitchers had to throw a minimum of 50 innings.
The winners will be selected using the SABR Defensive Index and announced on November 3rd, per sabr.org.