On-Base Perception

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Juan Lagares snubbed for Gold Glove nomination

Juan Lagares of the Mets makes a catch

Juan Lagares of the Mets makes a catch at the wall for the final out of the top of the ninth inning against Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. (May 9, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

This is why statistically-inclined folks generally disregard the Gold Glove Award.

Rookie Juan Lagares was a defensive revelation for the Mets in center field during 2013. Among all players with at least 800 innings at one position last season, Lagares had the sixth-most Defensive Runs Saved with 26. DRS is an important stat since it’s the key defensive component in the oft-cited Wins Above Replacement measure. He also graded out excellent via the other highly-used sabermetric stat, Ultimate Zone Rating. Lagares had a 21.5 UZR, which measures a player’s ability to get to balls hit in his zone.

Oh, yea, and he wasn’t nominated for a Gold Glove this year.

Lagares lost out in the National League to a great choice in Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez (an ex-Met who had a 38 DRS, 24.4 UZR) and inferior outfielders in Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen (7 DRS, 6.9 UZR) and Washington’s Denard Span (3 DRS, 10.2 UZR).

Another National League snub in center was Arizona’s A.J. Pollock (15 DRS, 17.4 UZR).

But two Mets DID actually get nominated: Eric Young Jr. and David Wright.

EY Jr. ranked fourth with 2 DRS among NL left fielders with at least 600 innings played and had the fewest innings of the top four (790.1). He also posted a 3.9 UZR.

The other left field finalists: Pittsburgh’s Starling Marte (20 DRS, 10.2 UZR) and Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez (10 DRS, 7.1 UZR).

Wright tied for fourth among NL third baseman with Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier and San Diego’s Chase Headley after posting five DRS. Wright had a 3.7 UZR.

The other third base finalists: Colorado's Nolan Arenado (30 DRS, 20.7 UZR) and Los Angeles' Juan Uribe (15 DRS, 24 UZR).

Voting for Gold Gloves is a complicated process that takes into account advanced metrics to some degree, but still relies heavily on some less number-conscious field commanders. The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) has developed a defensive index that accounts for about 25 percent of the total vote. The rest of the tally comes from managers and coaches.

Winners are announced at 8 p.m. on Tuesday on ESPN2.

Tags: Juan Lagares , David Wright , Eric Young Jr. , Mets , Gold Glove Award

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