SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants received confirmation of their strength up the middle on Thursday, when shortstop Brandon Crawford, second baseman Joe Panik and catcher Buster Posey were named finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
Major League managers and coaches, voting only within their league and unable to vote for players on their own teams, account for 75 percent of the selection process. The other 25 percent goes to the sabermetrics community.
The winners of the award, which is synonymous with defensive excellence, will be revealed Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN.
Statistics, whether modern or traditional, conveyed the Giants' defensive prowess.
San Francisco finished the regular season atop the Majors with a .988 fielding percentage. The Giants also committed 72 errors, fewest in either league. The club's streak of 17 consecutive games without an error was the longest in franchise history.
FanGraphs rated the Giants third in the Majors with 50 defensive runs saved, behind the Cubs (81) and Astros (51).
Crawford, the NL's reigning Gold Glove shortstop, did not commit an error in his final 43 regular-season games, during which he had 174 total chances. Crawford's .983 fielding percentage ranked fourth among NL shortstops.
Panik finished third among NL second basemen with a 7.4 UZR. That placed him far ahead of the other two finalists, Colorado's DJ LeMahieu (minus-3.0) and Arizona's Jean Segura (minus-2.2). Panik also compiled an NL-best .992 fielding percentage, edging LeMahieu (.991) and Segura (.985).
Posey, who has won virtually every award besides the Gold Glove, experienced his best year defensively. His 2.0 defensive WAR (wins above replacement), as compiled by Baseball-Reference.com, topped all NL catchers. St. Louis' Yadier Molina, another finalist, has won eight consecutive Gold Gloves and posted an 0.7 WAR. Jonathan Lucroy, the third finalist, was traded from Milwaukee to Texas and had an 0.3 WAR with each club.
Posey recorded a .997 fielding percentage, .001 behind Molina. Posey also threw out a personal-best 37 percent of stolen-base attempts, catching 28 of 75 runners.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.