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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Dansby Swanson of the Braves makes an on the run throw to first base.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Dansby Swanson of the Braves should have received his first Gold Glove Award

The former first-round pick in 2015 out of Vanderbilt University has gotten better after every year, offensively and defensively. During the 2020 shortened regular season, he was outstanding and I think he should have won over Cubs shortstop Javier Baez. This is Baez’s first Gold Glove Award and he had some good metrics also, but Swanson would have been my pick. Here is how the three finalists compared:

  • Defensive runs saved above average
    • Swanson 10
    • Baez 7
    • Rojas 2
  • Fielding percentage
    • Swanson 0.991%
    • Baez 0.968%
    • Rojas 0.982
  • Range factor per nine innings
    • Swanson 3.96
    • Baez 4.70
    • Rojas 4.72
  • Plus/minus fielding runs above average
    • Swanson 7
    • Baez 6
    • Rojas 2
  • Good plays/misplays runs above average
    • Swanson 1
    • Baez -1
    • Rojas -1
  • Infield range runs above average
    • Swanson 7
    • Baez 3
    • Rojas -1
  • Total zone fielding runs above average
    • Swanson 5
    • Baez 7
    • Rojas 8

The main competition was between Swanson and Baez, but credit to Miguel Rojas of the Marlins for being a consistent defender and sparking the Marlins offense for a postseason appearance. By glancing at the metrics above, Swanson led Baez and Rojas in several categories.

Baez may be flashy, silky smooth, and fun to watch, but Swanson was much more consistent according to the numbers. Swanson himself can make acrobatic diving plays and long throws in the deep six-hole. This will not be the only time Swanson is in Gold Glove Award considerations. I expect him to be a regular at the Gold Glove dinner table.

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None the less, congratulations to all the Gold Glove Award winners and finalists.