Last season, left fielder Alex Gordon had a breakout season for the KC Royals, both offensively and defensively. He won the Gold Glove for left field in the American League, as he had 20 outfield assists.
In 2012, he turned his offensive season around after hitting less than .200 over the first month of the season. He once again was great on defense (17 assists to just two errors) and is one of three finalists for the Gold Glove Award in the AL for left field.
Gordon‘s competition is Tampa Bay’s Desmond Jennings (who did not commit an error but had just four assists in only 129 games) and Texas’ David Murphy (who played in 133 games and made one error with four assists). Gordon played in 160 games for the Royals and was second in baseball in outfield assists to teammate Jeff Francoeur.
Francoeur is one of three finalists for the Gold Glove in right field in the AL. He played in 147 games for the Royals and committed four errors. He tallied 19 assists. His competition for the award: Cleveland’s Shin-Soo Choo (who had just seven assists in 154 games with two errors) and Oakland’s Josh Reddick (who was third in the AL in assists with 15 in 144 games but he committed six errors).
Despite his awful offensive season, first baseman Eric Hosmer is one of three finalists for the Gold Glove Award in the AL. He committed nine errors in 1295 total chances. He also turned 132 double plays, which was second in baseball to his competition, Adrian Gonzalez.
Not sure how Gonzalez is in the running considering he was traded to the National League during the summer and his stats are combined between the two leagues (he committed three errors in 1404 total chances while turning 134 double plays). Hosmer‘s other competition is NY Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira. He has the top fielding percentage in all of baseball (just one error), but he only turned 91 double plays and only had 1055 total chances. His range factor (8.86) is better than Hosmer‘s (8.69).
The fourth and final Royals player up for a Gold Glove Award is third baseman Mike Moustakas. He had the top range factor (2.95) of any third baseman in baseball. Unfortunately, he committed 17 errors, seven more than his biggest competition for the award, Texas’ Adrian Beltre. He committed just eight errors in 312 total chances but turned just 23 double plays. Moose turned 41 DPs and had 454 chances.
The other finalist is Oakland’s Brandon Inge, who didn’t even play regularly and missed most of the final two months of the season due to an injured shoulder. He committed seven total errors at third base with two teams (Detroit and the A’s) in just 222 total chances.
I believe that Gordon has the best chance of picking up another award. Who do you think will win a Gold Glove?
The 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove Award Announcement Show will air on ESPN2 on Tuesday at 9:30pm ET.
*Three of the four Royals players up for the Gold Glove Awards had disappointing offensive seasons. Though the awards are based on defense, offensive numbers ALWAYS play a part in the voters’ minds.