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Monday, November 11, 2013

The 2013 Gold Gloves and the SABR Defensive Index - Beyond the Box Score

Congrats to all the BBTF members who contributed to the process!

Well, last year Rawlings announced that they would be using input from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) to help decide the winners of the Gold Glove awards going forward. At the time, there was quite a bit of healthy skepticism about the who, what and how of this new methodology, but then the 2013 Gold Gloves came out, and most sabermetrically-minded folks had precious little to complain about.*

* - Little to complain about is relative, especially on the internet. And we’ll get to this later. Promise.

At any rate, SABR and Rawlings invented not a true metric, but an index: the SABR Defensive Index (SDI). SDI was developed by the SABR Defensive Committee (good, smart folks), and takes into account most major defensive metrics and, well, you should probably just read a lot about it here. More importantly, this page also shows us how qualified players scored on the SDI. This is good. Transparency is very, very good. Take a minute and see where the actual winners and the SDI leaders intersect:

Here’s the full SABR SDI results.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2013 at 09:48 AM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, gold gloves, sabermetrics, sabr

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Mike Webber Posted: November 11, 2013 at 01:25 PM (#4598046)
SABR Defehsive Index Basically the article above is a summation of this article/ set of charts.

The Baltimore winners the biggest outliers
Center fielders
Player  Team  SDI
Lorenzo Cain  KC  12.1
Jacoby Ellsbury  BOS  10.4
Leonys Martin  TEX  9.4
Colby Rasmus  TOR  5.1
Brandon Barnes  HOU  4.1
Desmond Jennings  TB  0.5
Michael Bourn  CLE  
-1.8
Mike Trout  LAA  
-1.8
Austin Jackson  DET  
-2.3
Brett Gardner  NYY  
-2.3
Alejandro De Aza  CHW  
-3.1
Michael Saunders  SEA  
-7.5
Adam Jones  BAL  
-9.8 
   2. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 11, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4598060)
What I still want to see is how many of the actual winners would *not* have won had it not been for SDI - and that is, of course, what Rawlings is not going to tell us.

Jones plays a shallow CF, which is going to (a) make him look bad in the defensive metrics and (b) make him look good in the eyes of the GG voters because he's going to make a lot of running catches. (See another Jones - Andruw.)

-- MWE

   3. cardsfanboy Posted: November 11, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4598074)
Did I miss the gold glove announcement thread on here? I didn't know Wainwright won it (Greinke got robbed) awesome to see that Andrelton Simmons won...which I never would have predicted because of his youth (and I wouldn't be shocked to see that SDI did make a difference in that vote.... it's just hard for a west coast or central team to vote for a guy who at best they might have seen six times in their life)

Edit: nope didn't miss it, just was busy that week...
   4. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 11, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4598106)
awesome to see that Andrelton Simmons won...which I never would have predicted because of his youth


He was in the news for a defensive highlight just about every week, and the guy who had been winning it before (Tulo) missed a significant chunk of the season (again). I suspect that if Simmons wasn't at the top before the SDI vote he was very close to Tulo.

-- MWE
   5. KJOK Posted: November 11, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4598152)
What I still want to see is how many of the actual winners would *not* have won had it not been for SDI - and that is, of course, what Rawlings is not going to tell us.


We can't realy "know" this, because we don't know how the voters were influenced or swayed by the SDI information they received prior to voting.

I think ideally voters would have noticed Jones at the bottom of the SDI list and though "I was going to vote for Jones, but maybe he was just off in his fielding this year, so I'm going to vote for XXXXXXX that I like almost as well as Jones."

Doesn't seem to have happened that way this year, but maybe it will as the voters become more comfortable with the metrics.


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