The finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were announced Thursday by Rawlings Sports, and for the fourth consecutive year, the Washington Nationals have two players among the honorees. Right fielder Bryce Harper and catcher Wilson Ramos were named finalists at their respective positions, the first such honor for each player. The awards will be announced on Tuesday, November 10, on ESPN.
Harper is up against strong competition for the award, facing off against St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward and New York Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson.
Ramos faces tough competition in the form of St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey.
Harper made the transition to right field in 2015 and immediately displayed a strong arm and advanced defensive instincts that made him one of the best right fielders in the National League. He ranked fourth among National League right fielders in the SABR Defensive Index (4.9) and, according to FanGraphs.com, Harper ranked second in Outfield Runs Saved (2) and fourth in Total Defensive Runs Saved (7). According to STATS Inc., Harper ranked third among National League outfielders in Range Factor/9.0 innings (2.07) and Putouts/9.0 innings (2.01).
Ramos led National League catchers with a career-best 36.2% catcher caught stealing percentage, throwing out 17 of 47 potential base stealers. His 17 caught-stealings were his most since he threw out 19 in 2011. According to FanGraphs.com, Ramos led National League catchers in Defensive Runs Above Average (11.2) and was tied for first with San Francisco's Buster Posey in Defensive Runs Saved (9). He ranked second, behind Posey, in SABR's Defensive Index (8.6).
Ramos was behind the plate for both of Max Scherzer's no-hitters (June 20 vs. PIT and Oct. 3 at NYM) and, combined with being behind the plate for Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter on the final day of the 2014 season, joined some exclusive company in 2015. Per STATS, Inc., Ramos is the 14th catcher since 1914 to catch three or more no-hitters and, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first ever to catch three in a 162-game span.
Each manager and up to six coaches on each staff voted from a pool of qualified players in their league, and cannot vote for players on their own team. As in 2014, Rawlings also included a sabermetric component to the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, as part of its recent collaboration with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
The SABR Defensive Index accounted for approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers and coaches' vote continuing to carry the majority.
The winners of the 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards will be announced Tuesday, November 10, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN in a special one-hour Baseball Tonight.