Andrew McCutchen (Courtesy of Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America)
Rawlings announced the finalists for the 2013 NL Gold Glove awards today, and the Pittsburgh Pirates had three players in contention. Russell Martin, Starling Marte, and Andrew McCutchen were all finalists at their positions.
Martin was one of the three finalists at catcher, which also include A.J. Ellis of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals. Martin won a Gold Glove in 2007 with the Dodgers. However, Molina has won every Gold Glove since then, winning five years in a row. The last Gold Glove winning catcher the Pirates had was in 1987 when Mike LaValliere won. Tony Pena won three years in a row from 1983-1985. Those were the only other catchers to win the honor.
In his first full season in the big leagues, Marte was one of three finalists in left field. The other two finalists are Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Eric Young Jr. of the Mets. Marte posted a 20.1 UZR/150 this year, which was the best mark of all MLB left-fielders in baseball with 700+ innings. Gonzalez had a 9.5 and Young had a 6.2. The award isn’t based on UZR. The award is ususally decided offensively , but those numbers show that Marte was the clear leader at the position defensively.
Last seasons Gold Glove winning center fielder, Andrew McCutchen is one of the nominees this year. The other two finalists are Carlos Gomez of the Brewers and Denard Span of the Nationals. Looking at the UZR numbers, Gomez should be the winner. He had a 27.2 UZR/150, while McCutchen was at 8.4 and Span was at 9.9. This could be where McCutchen benefits because of his offensive numbers. Gomez also has strong offensive season as well. McCutchen would be more deserving this year than he was last year, as his defense was clearly better.
The Pirates have won 25 Gold Glove awards in the outfield, led by Roberto Clemente, who won 12 in a row from 1961 to 1972. Andy Van Slyke was second with five.
The Gold Glove awards will be announced Tuesday at 8 PM EST on ESPN2.