Yesterday MLB announced the 2015 Finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and the Padres were able to secure a finalist in the annual awards given to players for best defense at their position. Justin Upton was a finalist for the award in left field along with defending winner Christian Yelich of the Marlins and Starling Marte of the Pirates.
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Of note is the fact that Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes is also a finalist for the award – but with the Tigers – where he played the majority of the season. Anyway who has seen his throwing arm and leaping catch against the wall in Game 2 of the World Series can understand why. Harold Reynolds even relayed his thoughts that Cespedes glided in the outfield the same way that Willie Mays used to for the Giants.
Of course defense was overall a liability this season for the Padres, particularly in the outfield. Wil Myers was hurt most of the season and when he was in center field the defense suffered for it. Matt Kemp had both some good plays and some blatant mistakes along with limited range.
Upton’s range wasn’t great most of the season but he did come up with a few great plays like this one:
The results are expected to be announced November 10th after the World Series is over. The voting is done with 75% of the vote by managers and coaches not allowed to vote for players on their own team and 25% by the sabermetrics community. My guess is the sabermetrics community will not vote highly on Upton who did not perform well in advanced fielding stats. I wonder ifBud Black
would get to vote for Upton since he was a MLB manager last season but is now a member of the Washington Nationals?