MLB released its finalists for the Gold Glove award, and Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was omitted.
On Thursday, Major League Baseball released the finalists for the Gold Glove at the shortstop position in the National League. Javier Baez, Miguel Rojas, Dansby Swanson. Had this been 2019, I would have no issues with the list.
But the league has apparently overlooked the strides Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. made in the field in year two. The 21-year-old remained healthy all year long and while the center of attention was on his eye-popping production at the plate, his improvements in the field cannot be measured. Actually, they can.
Last year, Tatis made 18 errors in the fielding, broken down into 4 fielding and 14 throwing errors. Coming up through the minors, errors in the field were not a foreign concept to the former White Sox international free agent. He tallied a career-worst 30 errors in the 2017 season.
In the 2020 shortened season, Tatis led the entire league in Outs Above Average (7). For reference, of the three finalists, Javier Baez was the closest to Tatis with a 4 OAA rating.
And El Niño was quick to respond when the finalists were released:
That’s a pretty terrible omission on the league’s part for an award that carries a significant amount of weight.
Looking at the three finalists and how they compared to Tatis.
- Errors: Rojas (3), Baez (8), Swanson (3), Tatis (3)
- Fielding Percentage: Rojas (.982), Baez (.968), Swanson (.991), Tatis (.984)
- Defensive Runs Saved: Rojas (2), Baez (7), Swanson (10), Tatis (1)
- UZR/150: Rojas (10.4), Baez (1.7), Swanson (0.5), Tatis (2.6)
I can say for certain that of the three finalists, there is no clear winner, as each have excelled more than the others in specific categories. But the fact that Tatis wasn’t included is a darn shame because it was one of the biggest improvements in his game this season.
Both Manny Machado and Trent Grisham were named finalists at their respective positions as well. Grisham is up against Ronald Acuna Jr. and Cody Bellinger. Machado is up against Brian Anderson and Nolan Arenado.
We’ll see if Tatis gets the notoriety he deserves over the course of a full season in 2021.