St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward was announced as one of the three finalists at his position for the 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove award on Thursday, being joined by Curtis Granderson and Bryce Harper.
So to get to the point, should Heyward win??
The short answer is yes.
Keeping in mind that approximately 25% of the vote is based on SABR’s Defensive Index, Heyward is the clear leader in that category. The latest SDI rankings, which reflect games through September 13th, rank the St. Louis Cardinals outfielder significantly higher than the other two finalists.
Granderson checks in at 15th with a 7.8 mark and Bryce Harper is tied with Cincy’s Todd Frazier at 24th with a 4.9 rating.
Looking at some other comparables, Granderson (1275.2) played the most innings of the three in right field, but both Heyward (1217.1) and Harper (1203.2) weren’t too far off his pace.
In terms of errors, Heyward (3) led both Granderson (5) and Harper (7).
Heyward and Granderson were tied with 9 assists, one more than Harper.
A more definitive check in favor of Heyward is FanGraph.com’s Ultimate Zone Rating, which factors in several metrics to determine a players prowess in the field. By their definition, a Gold Glove fielder should rank 15+.
Harper actually checked out with a -2.4 UZR followed by Granderson at 5.9. Heyward’s UZR was 22.6.
Suffice to say, Jason Heyward should be honored with his third Rawlings Gold Glove on November 10th.
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI, Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports