Mike Trout Is A Good Fielder

By MJ Lloyd

It’s been a couple of days since Adam Jones upset Mike Trout for the AL center field Gold Glove but I’m still a little grumpy about it. Turns out Trout wasn’t the only one upset Tuesday evening. I’ve cooled since the announcement was made and my initial reaction was to light Twitter on fire. Even though Gold Gloves remain an old school and therefore flawed award, it’s disappointing that Trout didn’t win when he was clearly deserving.

Should have won a Platinum Glove (Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE)

It’s hard to make a case for Jones over Trout. Trout crushed Jones in advanced metrics. Trout led in UZR (11.0 to negative 6.7), dWAR (2.2 to negative 1.3) and FRAA (8.6-6.4). At least Jones finished in the black for Baseball Prospectus’ defensive metric. While I severely doubt any of the managers or coaches (or bat boys given the ballots) looked at advanced metrics, I also doubt they knew Jones led baseball in outfield put outs.

Aside from the shiny stats, Trout had the other necessary cogs in place to win the award. He robbed four home runs including The Catch which won the “Web Gem of the Year.” Trout also had an amazing season at the plate. Hitting shouldn’t matter for a defensive award yet for the Gold Glove it has always appeared to play a role. Sorry Brendan Ryan.

If Mike Trout did everything better than Adam Jones in 2012, and he did, how did Jones walk away with the GG? The Derek Jeter rule must apply. Jones won the award in 2009 and thus established “reputation.” Factor in that with voters not caring or paying attention and suddenly Jones wins over Trout and Jeter racks up 214 career short stop Gold Gloves.

C’est la vie. Trout did win the Fielding Bible Award for best center fielder. The Fielding Bible Awards are determined by people actively trying to figure out the best defensive players instead of worrying about managing the baseball team that employs them. The good news for Trout is the BBWAA members who think a Gold Glove has any value probably won’t still be voting by the time Trout is Hall of Fame eligible.

This was just a lousy Gold Glove. Imagine my ire when Miguel Cabrera beats Trout for the AL MVP.