P Zack Greinke, Dodgers
C Yadier Molina, Cardinals
1B Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
2B Dee Gordon, Marlins
SS Brandon Crawford, Giants
3B Nolan Arenado, Rockies
LF Starling Marte, Pirates
CF A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks
RF Jason Heyward, Cardinals
P Keuchel, Astros
C Perez, Royals
1B Eric Hosmer, Royals
2B Altuve, Astros
SS Alcides Escobar, Royals
3B Manny Machado, Orioles
LF Yoenis Cespedes, Tigers
CF Kevin Kiermaier, Rays
RF Kole Calhoun, Angels
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Someone observed that Altuve may not have been the best second baseman in the league, but may have been the most improved. And it did feel like a most improved award, with perhaps some help from defensive shifting. Dozier and Kinsler both had more chances, putouts, and assists than Altuve did.
But, Altuve had fewer errors and led the league in fielding percentage. It doesn’t hurt that he’s the reigning batting champ and had a higher OPS than Dozier and Kinsler. The offense isn’t supposed to be a factor, but you’re a kid out of elementary school if you think it isn’t.
Just ask the National League shortstops.
On Twitter, Richard Justice said that A.J. Hinch asked Altuve what he would do as an encore for winning the batting title in 2014. Altuve answered, “I’ve never won a Gold Glove.” Little man is a prophet. Someone ask him about the 2016 World Series!
Keuchel became the first Astros pitcher to ever win a Gold Glove last year, and he’s now also the first Astros pitcher to win back-to-back Gold Gloves. He beat out perennial contender Mark Buehrle and fellow Cy Young Award contender Sonny Gray.
Even though I think he just won it because that’s usually what happens when you start winning Gold Gloves, I have to tip my hat to the voters for choosing Keuchel, who led the league in assists and range factor. It would have been easy to choose Gray, who went the entire season without committing an error. That’s impressive; I don’t care what how many plays you actually make.
It’s a shame for Castro that he never really stood a chance against Perez, who is credited for his work with the extremely talented Royals pitching staff. He’s as important to that team as any player. But count on Castro to keep getting nominations if he keeps presenting pitches the way he does. Finishing the season with only one error never hurts, either.
Give your input below — who is the most likely Gold Glove newbie for 2016?
The thing I’m interested to see is if the Astros go the way of the Royals, who have been dominating Gold Gloves in recent years. Houston can have some serious contenders next year with two reigning Gold Glove winners, a great pitching staff to make Castro look good, and full seasons of Carlos Correa and George Springer.