Second base Gold Glove?

By Jason Wojciechowski on February 20, 2004 at 4:47 PM

The guy over at Baysball argues that, after looking at last year's stats, Mark Ellis shouild have gotten more consideration for the second base Gold Glove over Bret Boone.

I agree, but let's see what some other stats tell us, and let's also throw in a few other excellent defensive first basemen for good measure: Orlando Hudson and Adam Kennedy.

I'd incorporate Mitchel Lichtman's UZR/super-lwts, but I can't find the data for 2003, and I'm not about to build my own spreadsheet just now. So we'll run with what we have: Zone Rating, Baseball Prospectus's Fielding Runs, and Win Shares. The ever-necessary chart:

Player ZR BP Rate BP FRAR WS WS / 1000 INN
Boone .814 107 37 8.00 5.82
Ellis .889 107 35 8.66 6.67
Hudson .837 119 48 9.84 8.58
Kennedy .853 112 36 5.26 4.70

Zone Rating is explained here by Chris Dial. It basically figures out what percentage of the balls hit into a player's "zone of responsibility" he actually reaches. BP's Rate, explained in their glossary tells you how many runs above average a player is worth over 100 games. Their FRAR (glossary) is exactly that: how many runs above replacement a player was worth in the field. For Win Shares, you should probably buy Bill James' book. I got the data I used here from this great site.

Now that that's out of the way ...

Orlando Hudson should have run away with this award. He cleans up in the more advanced metrics despite a lower zone rating. That weird Win Shares anomaly in Adam Kennedy's line aside, the other three are pretty tightly bunched. Favoritism leads me to say that I'd vote for Ellis second, then Boone, and Kennedy fourth.

I'm sure A's fans have been complaining that Ellis got robbed, but really, he's pretty evenly matched with Boone. It's Hudson who needs to get his team's PR people to start sending out complimentary bobble heads and highlight reels to Gold Glove voters.