Major League Baseball’s award season got started with a whole host of Derek Jeter hating, after the Yankees' shortstop won his fifth Gold Glove Award.
There won’t be as much vitriol when the National League hands out its defensive honors Wednesday, at least not in this AL town. We’ll attempt to stir the pot a bit with some predictions anyway.
Without further ado, here are the Senior Circuit’s best glove men:
Catcher — Yadier Molina, Cardinals
The two-time defending champ is among the best in the game, if not the best, behind the plate.
First base — Albert Pujols, Cardinals
New York Mets rookie Ike Davis dominated the UZR rankings, but Pujols was the hands-down winner in the categories that still matter to some. He had a league-leading .998 fielding percentage and topped the NL in putouts, assists, double plays and double plays finished.
Second base — Brandon Phillips, Reds
It’s kind of fun to have Molina and Phillips on the same list, just so we can relive one of the best baseball fights in recent memory. That drama aside, Phillips was rock solid for Cincinnati and just narrowly beats out Chase Utley this year.
Shortstop — Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
Jimmy Rollins’ three-year run should come to an end when Tulo takes home the honor. The Colorado shortstop had the league’s best fielding percentage (.984) and ranked third in UZR.
Third base — Placido Polanco, Phillies
The winner at second base in the American League last year, Polanco had just five errors in nearly 1,100 innings. San Diego’s Chase Headley also deserves consideration.
Outfield — Andres Torres, Giants
A late bloomer who took over when Aaron Rowand was hurt, Torres was able to showcase his solid defensive skills during the postseason. A dark-horse candidate to be sure, but worthy of the honor.
Outfield — Michael Bourn, Astros
Another speedster who covers ground (and that stupid little hill in Houston’s center field) with the best of them.
Outfield — Chris Young, Diamondbacks
He had 38 more putouts than any other outfielders in the NL and was one of four with double figures in assists.
Pitcher — R.A. Dickey
Everyone will lean toward Roy Halladay, and he’ll probably win this thing, but Dickey had more assists than all but one other pitcher and ranked among the league leaders in putouts and double plays, all while playing the season without an error.
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