A season marred by injury kept Andrelton Simmons from winning his fifth career Gold Glove. It was announced Sunday that the Angels shortstop, who had won the award for two consecutive years, relinquished his claim to the hardware to Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor.
No Angels player won a Gold Glove for their 2019 efforts. Nominees Mike Trout (center field), David Fletcher (third base) and Kole Calhoun (right field) also were shut out of the league’s premier defensive awards in their categories. They were beat by Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier, Oakland’s Matt Chapman and Boston’s Mookie Betts, respectively.
Trout, who is a favorite to be named the American League’s most valuable player, has never won a Gold Glove. Although he has considerably improved his defense year after year, he had a tough case for this year’s race. He cost the Angels one run on defense and also graded out negatively (- 0.9) in Ultimate Zone Rating, an advanced statistic comprised of several categories that measure a player’s defensive prowess. For comparison, Kiermaier had a 6.9 UZR and saved 13 runs for the Rays.
Simmons was simply not healthy enough to win. He led all American League shortstops in UZR (10.4) and defensive runs saved (14). He made good plays on 71% of batted balls hit to him with an “unlikely” chance – that is, a play that is only likely to be fielded cleanly 10% to 40% of the time, according to Inside Edge Scouting. His rating of 13.3 in the Society of Baseball Research’s defensive index, a system that accounts for about 25% of the Gold Glove award selection process, ranked third among American League players behind Chapman (16.7) and Indians catcher and winner Roberto Perez (17).
But Simmons’ exceptional abilities were hampered by a severe left ankle sprain sustained in May, an injury that seemed to linger even after his return. Two injured list stints limited Simmons to 873 1/3 innings over 102 games. Lindor had only a 6.4 UZR but played 1,196 1/3 innings over 137 games, a sample large enough to sway the managers and coaches voting for the slate of awards.
Here are the Gold Glove winners:
AMERICAN LEAGUE: P—Mike Leake, Seattle-Arizona: C—Roberto Perez, Cleveland; 1B—Matt Olson, Oakland; 2B—Yolmer Sanchez, Chicago; 3B—Matt Chapman, Oakland; SS—Francisco Lindor, Cleveland; LF—Alex Gordon, Kansas City; CF—Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay; RF—Mookie Betts, Boston
NATIONAL LEAGUE: P—Zack Greinke, Arizona-Houston; C—J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia; 1B—Anthony Rizzo, Chicago; 2B—Kolten Wong, St. Louis; 3B—Nolan Arenado, Colorado; SS—Nick Ahmed, Arizona; LF—David Peralta, Arizona; CF—Lorenzo Cain, Milwaukee; RF—Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles.