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The Fielding Bible Awards for 2007


Migrant Redbird

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I just ran across this list, which was published 3 days ago. Apologies if it's already been posted. I did a search on "Fielding Bible" and didn't turn up any threads or posts within the past 3 days.

Like the official Gold Gloves awards, these awards are based upon ballots cast by "experts". However, the Fielding Bible Awards panel consists of only 10 individuals, which include Bill James and John DeWann, so we might assume that their ballots are based much more heavily upon Fielding Bible statistics rather than upon reputation.

ACTA Sports "Stat of the Week"

Who are the Fielding Bible Award winners for 2007?

October 31, 2007

This is our second year of The Fielding Bible Awards. There are quite a few new award winners and we think that’s great. Through our extensive fielding research over the past few years, we’re finding that, just like hitters and pitchers, fielders have good seasons and bad seasons. We were somewhat worried the awards might turn into a mirror of the Gold Glove Awards, in which it seems that once a player wins, he keeps winning until retirement, injury, trade or a position switch. With a second year now in the books, that is definitely not the case with the Fielding Bible Awards.

We only have one repeat winner on our list from last year, Albert Pujols. Plus, this year we have a true rookie, Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies, winning a Fielding Bible Award. That rarely happens in the Gold Glove voting.

Here are the Fielding Bible Awards for the 2007 season:

FIRST BASE—ALBERT PUJOLS, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (91 POINTS)

SECOND BASE—AARON HILL, TORONTO BLUE JAYS (82)

THIRD BASE—PEDRO FELIZ, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (89)

SHORTSTOP—TROY TULOWITZKI, COLORADO ROCKIES (87)

LEFT FIELD—ERIC BYRNES, ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (85)

CENTER FIELD—ANDRUW JONES, ATLANTA BRAVES (86)

RIGHT FIELD—ALEX RIOS, TORONTO BLUE JAYS (73)

CATCHER—YADIER MOLINA, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (83)

PITCHER—JOHAN SANTANA, MINNESOTA TWINS (62)

The numbers in the parentheses show the final point tally each player accumulated to win their position. A first place vote received 10 points, second place 9 points, third place 8 points, etc. A perfect score is 100 because we used a panel of ten experts. They examined the 2007 seasons of every defensive player in Major League Baseball.

There are several important distinctions that differentiate the Fielding Bible Awards from most other baseball awards, such as the Gold Gloves:

1. We have only one winner at each position, instead of separate winners for each league.

2. We vote for nine distinct defensive positions—in other words we vote for the three different outfield positions. Now we can see who is the best in left field, center field, and right field.

3. This system recognizes the runners-up for each position, instead of just focusing on the winners. We show every player who received a vote.

Complete details of the voting, results, and the panel of experts are in The Bill James Handbook 2008, available now.

Copyright © 2007 by John Dewan.

Permission to reprint or broadcast this information is granted only if used in conjunction with the following citation: "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week™, www.statoftheweek.com."

I'm a little surprised at a couple of the names on the list, particularly Andruw Jones in center (Why is everyone saying that his defense is no longer what it was?) and Pedro Feliz of the Giants beating out Wright of the Mets and Zimmerman of the Nats at 3rd base.

All of the voting can be found at the The Fielding Bible Awards web site. In addition to the Cardinals and Blue Jays being the only team with two winners, Scott Rolen placed 2nd in the voting at 3rd base; Aaron Miles received votes (not many) at 2nd base; Jim Edmonds received votes in center (a couple more than Miles did); and J.D. Drew got a few votes in right field.

Brian Roberts ranked 8th among 2nd basemen; Melvin Mora got 2 votes at 3rd; Jay Payton got 6 votes in left field; and Erik Bedard got 8 votes among the pitchers. I was a little surprised to see Corey Patterson not get any votes in center. Nick Markakis ranked 5th in right field, the highest placement of any Orioles player.

Taking a look at the voting for 2006, I was also a little surprised to see that Juan Encarnacion tied for 8th in right field that year.

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I'm a little surprised at a couple of the names on the list, particularly Andruw Jones in center (Why is everyone saying that his defense is no longer what it was?)

If you watch him play, he's still pretty amazing. I don't know why people are saying he's over the hill. Probably from looking at his birthday and the fact that he's filled out. I don't think it's from watching him play. Whatever he's got, reflex-wise, it's stuff you can't teach. He just instantly knows where to run, before the ball is even off the bat. And he's good about getting there in a hurry. And, once he's there, if he has to leap or dive, no problem, he just knows how. It's incredible, really. He's like what you'd get if you took CPat's raw athletic ability and added it to Paul Blair's reflexes and know-how. And he was like that from the very first day he came up. Whatever it is, he's just got it.

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Im not a believer that Corey Patterson is much more than a very fast, very streaky, and often very dissapointing baseball player.

But the man can go get it.

Next to Paul Blair(and maybe Al Bumbry)he is the best fielding CF this franchise has ever had.

Andruw Jones hasnt been a top shelf fielder for at least two seasons. For Patterson to not even get a vote for his defense,..is indefensible.

BTW is Corey gone? Did we pick up his option?It seems to me we dont have much of a choice unless we go after Jones(which, reading Macphails comments doesnt seem likely).And Luis Matos is out of the question!!!!!

Sorry, Roy, but I disagree. Corey makes lots of dramatic looking plays that are needlessly dramatic. He gets a lousy jump, plus he just cannot go back on a ball, so he plays with his back against the CF fence. These two things mean that he often gets a late jump starting from the wrong place. Then, he turns on the jets to compensate, and winds up lunging dramatically for a ball that a good CF would have caught in a very yawn-like fashion.

I think he is good at using his speed to compensate. In the end, I think that means he doesn't hurt us in CF. But he doesn't help us either. He just makes lots of dramatic-looking plays that should be boring-looking. His arm is nothing to write home about either.

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Im not a believer that Corey Patterson is much more than a very fast, very streaky, and often very dissapointing baseball player.

But the man can go get it.

Next to Paul Blair(and maybe Al Bumbry)he is the best fielding CF this franchise has ever had.

Andruw Jones hasnt been a top shelf fielder for at least two seasons. For Patterson to not even get a vote for his defense,..is indefensible.

BTW is Corey gone? Did we pick up his option?It seems to me we dont have much of a choice unless we go after Jones(which, reading Macphails comments doesnt seem likely).And Luis Matos is out of the question!!!!!

Corey did not have an option. He's a free agent but we could still sign him, though I doubt we will. He made a lot of great plays in CF, but overall he did not play as well in the field in 2007 as he did in 2006. He doesn't come in on balls that well, he seems to freeze for a split second before realizing that the ball has not been hit hard.

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He made a lot of great plays in CF, but overall he did not play as well in the field in 2007 as he did in 2006. ...

Which is supported by the Fielding Bible +/- ratings.

In 2006, Corey led the majors among center fielders with a +34. Andruw Jones was second with a +30. Neither Torii Hunter nor Jim Edmonds were among the top 11.

In 2007, Carlos Beltran took over first place among center fielders with a +25. Again, Andruw Jones was right behind with a +24. Corey (and Torii Hunter) didn't make the top ten, while Jim Edmonds showed up on the "Trailers" list. (Jim's -10 was 5th worst in baseball; Gary Mathews Jr. had a -26!

In case anyone is interested, Daniel Cabrera took honors for the worst fielding pitcher in 2007, with a -9 score. Maddux was a +10, while Johann Santana had a +5, but the Fielding Bible panel of voters awarded their Gold Glove award to Santana. Most voters picked Maddux first, but what made the difference was Rob Neyer ranking Santana 1st and Maddux 10th! If I were Neyer, I'd want to have a good explanation why Maddux is so bad....

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Which is supported by the Fielding Bible +/- ratings.

In 2006, Corey led the majors among center fielders with a +34. Andruw Jones was second with a +30. Neither Torii Hunter nor Jim Edmonds were among the top 11.

In 2007, Carlos Beltran took over first place among center fielders with a +25. Again, Andruw Jones was right behind with a +24. Corey (and Torii Hunter) didn't make the top ten, while Jim Edmonds showed up on the "Trailers" list. (Jim's -10 was 5th worst in baseball; Gary Mathews Jr. had a -26!

I have no idea what they were looking at, but I watched about 80% of the actual ballgames on TV, and I think saying Corey is in the upper level of CF-D is way stranger than far-fetched. I actually like the guy, I think he's entertaining when he gets a chance to use his speed. But I simply do not understand how somebody can actually watch him play CF and think he's special... except for the needlessly-dramatic catches of flyballs that shouldn't have involved that much drama.

I watch the guy with my very own eyeballs... a lot. What about him am I not seeing? Yes, he's fast and athletic (in a non-baseball kind of way), but what else does he have?

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