Congrats on your Gold Glove, Cap!
Originally, the stat-head in me was aghast - how could Jeter be the best defensive shortstop in the AL again? Well, looking at the stats, it's not that much of a stretch, actually.
First, let's compare Jeter and his primary competition - Orlando Cabrera - on "traditional" defensive statistics:
Cabrera has an advantage in FPCT, obviously. However, his 454 assists in 731 chances to Cabrera's 347 assists in 583 chances show that Jeter was getting to more balls (I have to question whether luck comes into play, but I can't imagine 20%+ more chances simply due to luck). More chances, more mistakes. However, this isn't definitive enough for me. Yes, Jeter played in more games, and yes, the Yankees had a higher GB/FB ratio, but you can't discount the numbers.
But look at Range Factor. Cabrera, in fact had the lowest range factor for all qualifying shortstops in the American League. This, more than luck, explains the differences in the chances. In fact, Jeter was ranked #2 in the league in RF. Finishing first was Julio Lugo at 4.94. While impressive, Lugo is out of the GG conversation when you factor in his 24 errors and .968 FPCT.
So who else is there? Jhonny Peralta? Juan Uribe? Angel Berroa? None of them have the defensive stats to back up an award.
It seems Jeter is actually deserving this year, or at least a great case can be made for him. Sorry I questioned you, Cap.
Labels: awards, derek jeter, gold glove, pics
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 8:40 AM