2020 Gold Glove winners: Snubs and surprises abound

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 13: Byron Buxto of the Minnesota Twins attempts to make a diving catch against the Cleveland Indians. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 13: Byron Buxto of the Minnesota Twins attempts to make a diving catch against the Cleveland Indians. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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Byron Buxton of the Twins jogs out as he gets introduced pregame.
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa should have won

When the AL Gold Glove finalists were announced, I wrote an article about how Kevin Kiermaier was snubbed. The numbers showed that Kiermaier should have been in the running for another Gold Glove Award in 2020. But I still thought Buxton was the best of the group and the favorite to take home the center field Gold Glove trophy. And here we are, Luis Robert wins, who I personally thought was the worst than Kiermaier, Buxton, and Laureano.

Buxton won his first Gold Glove in 2017 and was so good that he ended up winning the Platinum Glove in the same season. This year, he put up some incredible defensive metrics again manning center field for the Twins. Here’s how his numbers stacked up:

  • Defensive runs saved above average
    • Buxton 11
    • Robert 8
    • Laureano 5
  • Plus/minus fielding runs above average
    • Buxton 8
    • Robert 10
    • Laureano 1
  • Outfield arm runs above average
    • Buxton
    • Robert -1
    • Laureano 3
  • Total zone fielding runs above average
    • Buxton 8
    • Robert 6
    • Laureano 8
  • Good plays/misplays runs above average
    • Buxton 2
    • Robert -1
    • Laureano 1
  • Fielding percentage
    • Buxton 1.000%
    • Robert .994%
    • Laureano 1.000%
  • Assists
    • Buxton 1
    • Robert 2
    • Laureano 2
  • Range factor per game
    • Buxton 2.69
    • Robert 2.73
    • Laureano 2.75

Just by looking at the stats, Buxton seems to be the clear favorite for me, but the votes said otherwise. I am not trying to say Robert was not good defensively, but I think Buxton was better. Maybe voters were enticed by Robert’s rookie hype or something because Buxton has the better defensive metrics hands down.

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa had better metrics

I will come clean, I am a Seattle Mariners fan. So I was obviously cheering for J.P. Crawford to win his first Gold Glove Award, but I even knew what he was going up against. I predicted that Crawford’s chances were slim especially with how good Carlos Correa was on defense in 2020.

Correa had to battle Crawford and Niko Goodrum of the Tigers for the Gold Glove at shortstop. Correa has not won a Gold Glove Award yet and I thought this was his year. Here are the numbers:

  • Fielding Percentage
    • Crawford .986%
    • Correa .995%
    • Goodrum .991%
  • Defensive Runs Saved Above Average
    • Crawford 6
    • Correa 8
    • Goodrum 3
  • Total Zone Fielding Runs Above Average
    • Crawford 7
    • Correa 3
    • Goodrum 5
  • Range Factor per Game
    • Crawford 4.11
    • Correa 3.70
    • Goodrum 3.74
  • Total Zone Infield Double Play Runs Above Average
    • Crawford 2
    • Correa 1
    • Goodrum 3
  • Plus/Minus Fielding Runs Above Average
    • Crawford 4
    • Correa 5
    • Goodrum 3
  • Good Plays/Misplays Runs Above Average
    • Crawford 0
    • Correa 2
    • Goodrum -1
  • Infield Throwing Runs Above Average
    • Crawford 6
    • Correa 3
    • Goodrum 2

Overall, I think Correa has better metrics but I was clearly wrong. Crawford did have an amazing season as the Mariners shortstop filled with highlight-reel plays, but Correa was just much more solid and should have gone home with his first Gold Glove. But, as a Mariners fan, I am happy with the outcome. As a neutral writer, it doesn’t make sense to me.