Kyle Seager: Gold Glove Winner


Even after the finalists were announced for the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, it had to be assumed that Kyle Seager was a longshot candidate. Not when his competition included Josh Donaldson, who is maybe the best defensive third baseman in the game today, and Adrian Beltre, the modern standard for outstanding play at the hot corner. But here we stand today, relishing in the glow of Kyle Seager, Gold Glove Winner.

The Seattle Mariners had three candidates for Gold Gloves: Seager, Robinson Cano, and Felix Hernandez. Cano seemed like the best bet since he’d been there before, even if the metrics weren’t huge on him. Felix seemed like a fine bet since who the hell even knows about pitcher defense, but Dallas Keuchel swooped in and nabbed the award. Seager was the longshot, and he won.

Keep in mind that Seager wasn’t particularly impressive on the defensive end of things before this year. Even in 2014 he started off a bit slow but caught fire as the season went on, pairing his best season at the plate with an ever-improving effort in the field. It was a breakout in every sense for Seager, and now he’s got the hardware to prove it.

Again, courtesy of FanGraphs, DEF ratings for the three American League third base finalists: Seager, 12.9; Donaldson, 16.7; Beltre, 4.7. Seager was second by this metric, which seemed about right in my mind at least. Since the Gold Glove still has it’s reputation as an offensively-minded defensive award, here are the wRC+ numbers for the three finalists: Seager, 126; Donaldson, 129; Beltre, 141. So Seager was the weakest hitter of the three, when hitting has so often been the tie-breaker.

There’s no telling how or why Seager ended up with this award, or even if he was the best choice of the field. But he’s the one with the Gold Glove, and it’s coming on the heels of what was no doubt one of the best defensive third base seasons in franchise history. He was one of the very best third basemen in the big leagues this year, so who cares if Donaldson was maybe better? Seager won the damn thing. He deserves it. Congrats, Kyle. Now keep doing this forever and ever.