Picking up from the weekend’s NL glovemen, here are the panel’s (my) choices in the AL:
Catcher – Matt Wieters
A repeat win for the Baltimore backstop who also took home the award in 2011. Although he’s not in Wieters class defensively, it’s worth noting that Russell Martin has made improvements behind the plate in the last year or two.
First Base – Adrian Gonzalez
These are my awards and I have no problem with someone winning a Grabby in both leagues in the same year. Mark Teixeira won another Gold Glove at the position this year but I’ve always thought of him as a solid rather than anything above and beyond that.
Second Base – Dustin Pedroia
Robinson Cano is always pushing his Boston rival but I still see Pedroia as the better defender despite the significant strides taken by Cano in the last few years.
Third Base – Adrian Beltre
Here’s what I wrote last year:
“I must declare a slight bias here. I love the way Adrian Beltre plays. There’s few sights I enjoy more during a game than watching him make flat footed throws across the diamond or charging in to make a bare handed play. This could be his award for as long as keeps playing and I don’t mind admitting it.”
Yep, still applies.
Shortstop – Brendan Ryan
I still like the defense of last year’s winner JJ Hardy, but Ryan’s glovework has been exceptional this year. He’s very much in the Adam Everett mold in that all of his value is provided without the bat in his hand but his glove is good enough to carry some pretty putrid hitting.
Left Field – Alex Gordon
With Brett Gardner missing almost the entire season and Desmond Jennings still developing defensively, Gordon is pretty clearly the class of the AL left fielders. Despite winning two Gold Gloves and a Fielding Bible award (not to mention a Grabby), Gordon’s defense doesn’t seem to get talked about as much as one might expect.
Centre Field – Mike Trout
Pretty big shock that he didn’t win a Gold Glove this year, right? People may argue it’s meaningless and irrelevant but that doesn’t mean we can’t be surprised by some of the picks given what we know about the voting system. Trout replaced last year’s winner Peter Bourjos as the centre fielder for the Angels and the fact that it’s not far from a toss up as to who the better defender is speaks well of both players.
Right Field – Josh Reddick
Torii Hunter continues to be a solid defensive right fielder into his late 30s while Ben Revere would win if it was solely a decision based on ability to chase down and catch balls but his non-existent throwing arm makes him a poor fit in the right field. Reddick has the classic throwing arm of a right fielder as American League baserunners will attest while his glove and range are both comfortably above average.