NEW YORK -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has a shot at his third Rawlings Gold Glove Award in as many seasons in the Majors, and teammate DJ LeMahieu is up for his second straight award at second base. Rawlings released the finalist lists Thursday.
Managers and coaches vote annually for the best defensive player at each position, and since 2013 a statistical index devised by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) has accounted for 25 percent of the vote. Winners will be announced Nov. 10.
National League finalists, along with Arenado, are the Giants' Matt Duffy and the Reds' Todd Frazier. LeMahieu's competitors at second are the Marlins' Dee Gordon and the Reds' Brandon Phillips -- who has won four in his career, the latest in 2013.
Should Arenado prevail, he would join the Red Sox's Frank Malzone (1957-59) as the only third basemen to take the award in their first three Major League seasons. The award was established in 1957, and Malzone was the first American League winner.
According to Fangraphs, Arenado's ultimate zone rating (UZR) -- which the site values as more instructive than fielding percentage because it calculates defensive events in terms of runs saved or lost -- was 5.3, fourth behind Duffy (10.6), Martin Prado (9.1) and Frazier (7.2). The Fangraphs figures, however, do not account in a systematic way for defensive shifts -- a strategy the Rockies employ at a rate that is at or near the most of any club.
Baseball Reference shows Arenado's defensive WAR at 2.2 -- sixth among all NL position players and tops among third basemen, and shows Arenado was the NL's top third baseman in range factor per game for the third straight year.
Arenado finished with 42 double plays turned, tops among NL third sackers, with many of those coming while positioned essentially as a shortstop. He added the double-play pivot, something he did as a shortstop in high school, to his skill set.
LeMahieu, like Arenado, played in his first All-Star Game this year. According to Fangraphs, LeMahieu finished fourth in UZR at 0.6, behind Gordon (6.4), the Braves' Jace Peterson (2.1) and Phillips (2.0).
Baseball Reference had LeMahieu leading second basemen in range factor per game, and he led second basemen in double plays turned with 120. He also led all defensive players in assists with 452.