Published on September 5th, 2013 | by Nick Bragg0
The Golden Glove of Manny Machado
As the baseball season nears the playoffs, quite a few things are on my mind. There are the obvious storylines that center around teams that are post-season bound, and discussions around individual players that are deserving of their league’s MVP and Cy Young awards. But a discussion that always seems to be an afterthought, however, is the Gold Glove awards.
Since the beginnings of baseball, stats have been kept on batting and pitching, but a player’s defensive value had been very subjective. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s, and the birth of Sabermetrics that stat heads started using more advanced metrics that could quantify the impact a player’s defensive prowess had on a game. Currently, one of the most often used and respected defensive metrics is Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR).
While poring over years of defensive statistics and watching countless highlights, something stuck out. Not only is Manny Machado a no-brainer choice for the Gold Glove at Third Base, but he may very well be the most consistent and dominant defensive infielder we’ve seen in a very long time.
At this point in the season, Machado has accumulated an MLB leading 26.8 UZR. The next closest Third Baseman is Nolan Arenado, with a 22.0 UZR.
With just under a month left in the season, he tops all infielders since the introduction of UZR.
Top UZR among Infielders by year
Aside from the numbers, Machado constantly makes the highlight reels with his cat-like reflexes and incredible arm strength.
There’s no doubt about it. Manny Machado is a special player at the beginning of what looks to be a long and MVP-filled career.
Cover Photo by Keith Allison