Rockies star adds Wilson honor to growing collection of defensive awards
By Thomas Harding
DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado claimed his second honor in as many nights on Wednesday by winning the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award, which picks one player at each position, regardless of league.
The Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards, given since 2012, are determined using a formula that combines traditional defensive stats with advanced metrics, as well as the data logged by baseball experts working for the scouting service Inside Edge. Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons was named overall Wilson Defensive Player of the Year, and the Arizona Diamondbacks were named Wilson Defensive Team of the Year.
On Tuesday, Arenado received his third National League Rawlings Gold Glove Award, three-fourths of which is determined by manager and coach votes, with the remainder based on a statistical formula approved by the Society for American Baseball Research. Arenado joined the Red Sox's Frank Malzone (1957-59) as the only third basemen in history to win Gold Gloves in their first three full Major League seasons.
Arenado also took home his first award from The Fielding Bible, voted on by a team of experts from the scouting, data science, analytics and media communities. The panel bases its voting on advanced metrics.
According to Fangraphs' Defensive Runs Saved stat, Arenado tied the Rangers' Adrian Beltre for the lead this season with 18 runs saved, four ahead of the next-highest player, Baltimore's Manny Machado, who won the American League Gold Glove at third base.
"During the season, I don't think about the awards; I concentrate on showing up every day, doing my work, finding ways to help the team win offensively and defensively," Arenado said. "The awards are nice, but if I do my job, I figure that'll take care of itself."
Arenado may not be finished accepting trophies.
He's one of 13 players, including three third basemen, up for Best Defensive Player in voting for the Esurance MLB Awards, whose winners are determined by members of the media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and fans.
Arenado is also a prime candidate for an offensive honor -- the NL Louisville Silver Slugger Award. The award, based by voting from the league's managers and coaches who weigh players' offensive value, will be announced on Thursday at 4 p.m. MST on MLB Network.
Arenado tied Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL lead in home runs with 42. The Reds' Todd Frazier was second among the league's third basemen with 35. Arenado has a formidable challenger in Cubs rookie Kris Bryant, who, according to Fangraphs, led NL third basemen in wins above replacement (WAR) with 6.5, followed by St. Louis' Matt Carpenter at 5.9, Giants rookie Matt Duffy at 4.9 and Arenado at 4.5.
Bryant (.372) finished barely ahead of Arenado (.371) according to Fangraphs' weighted on-base (wOBA) stat, which measures the value of an outcome -- home run, triple, double, etc. -- when a player reaches base rather than giving a walk as much credit as a home run, as on-base percentage does.
Carpenter was the far-and-away leader in weighted runs created-plus (wRC+), which accounts for the value of an outcome as well as "park effects and the current run environment." Carpenter finished at 136, followed by Bryant at 136, the Nationals' Yunel Escobar at 120 and Arenado at 119.
Arenado, Bryant, Carpenter, Duffy and Escobar are all Silver Slugger Award finalists.
LeMahieu hit a career-best .301 and posted a .327 wOBA. Those figures were second among second basemen to the Marlins' Dee Gordon. Others with a chance to win are the Giants' Joe Panik, the Dodgers' Howie Kendrick and the Pirates' Neil Walker.
Gonzalez overcame a slow start to finish with 40 homers, third behind Arenado and Harper, who is also a strong candidate for one of the three outfield awards. Others include the D-backs' A.J. Pollock and Pirates teammates Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen.