Gomez named Gold Glove Award finalist

Gomez named Gold Glove Award finalist

Gomez named Gold Glove Award finalist

Carlos Gomez is one of three National League center fielders who are finalists for a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, the Brewers' best chance to snap a 31-year defensive drought.

The Pirates' Andrew McCutchen and Nationals' Denard Span are the other finalists for the award, which will be announced on Tuesday at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

Milwaukee's last Gold Glove Award winner was Robin Yount in 1982, when Yount was a shortstop and the Brewers were in the American League. The Brewers have won only nine Gold Glove Awards in their history, including first baseman George Scott's five straight from 1972-76. The only Brewers outfielder to win was Sixto Lezcano in 1979.

Gomez has as good a shot as any Brewers player since then. According to FanGraphs.com, he led all outfielders with 38 defensive runs saved (DRS) in 2013, trailing only Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (41) among all Major League players. The next-highest center fielder was Arizona's A.J. Pollock with 15 runs saved. McCutchen's DRS was seven, and Span's was three.

Gomez also fared well in Ultimate Zone Rating, which attempts to measure a fielder's success in converting balls in his zone into outs. Gomez led the Majors at center field with a 24.4 UZR, with Pollock again second (17.4), and Span (10.2) and McCutchen (6.9) trailing.

For the non-sabermetricians, Gomez also excelled. He was credited by Baseball Info Solutions with five home run-robbing catches, the most since that organization began charting. Two of the robberies came at the Cincinnati Reds' expense and negated a potential go-ahead homer with two outs in the ninth inning -- against Joey Votto on July 8 and Jay Bruce on Sept. 15. There was some question in the Brewers' own clubhouse about whether the Bruce blast would have cleared the fence, but in Votto's case, there was no doubt.

"I was spoiled early on and had Torii Hunter back there in his prime," said July 8th's Brewers starter, right-hander Kyle Lohse, a former Twins teammate of Hunter in the years before Gomez got to Minnesota. "[Gomez] is right there with the early Minnesota days of Torii jumping off the 'baggie' and bringing stuff back all the time. Carlos is so athletic and explosive."

Gomez also took away home runs from the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez, the Phillies' John Mayberry Jr. and the Mets' Marlon Byrd.

"That's pretty good," Gomez said. "It's not only five home runs, too, it's the situation that I save that run. That means a lot to us, and the pitcher has more confidence in us because they know they have the best over there."

Incidentally, Gomez also had his best offensive season, batting .284 with 24 home runs, 73 RBIs and 40 stolen bases. He was the first player in Brewers history with at least 20 home runs and 40 steals.

When Gomez was informed of the Brewers' Gold Glove Award drought, he said, "Maybe this is the year."

The voting was slightly altered this year. Since its inception in 1957, the Rawlings Gold Glove has relied solely on Major League managers' and coaches' votes to determine the best defensive players. Managers and coaches got an assist this year from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). For the first time, Rawlings collaborated with SABR to formally incorporate sabermetrics as a component of the Gold Glove Award.

A committee of experts in baseball analytics and defensive measurement devised the SABR Defensive Index (SDI), which draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball, location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts.

The three metrics representing batted ball data include defensive runs saved (from Baseball Info Solutions), Ultimate Zone Rating (developed by sabermetician Mitchel Lichtman), and runs effectively defended (created by SABR's Chris Dial).

The two metrics included in the SDI from play-by-play data are defensive regression analysis, created by committee member Michael Humphreys, and total zone rating.

The plan, according to Rawlings and SABR, is to have the SDI complement the judgement by the managers and coaches. The SABR Defensive Index will account for 30 total votes -- or approximately 25 percent -- of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, and will be added to the votes from the managers and coaches.

Ballots were distributed to managers and coaches in September, and they received a revamped statistical resource guide as well.

The complete list of finalists:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Pitcher
Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays
R.A. Dickey, Blue Jays
Doug Fister, Tigers

Catcher
Joe Mauer, Twins
Salvador Perez, Royals
Matt Wieters, Orioles

First base
Chris Davis, Orioles
Eric Hosmer, Royals
James Loney, Rays

Second base
Robinson Cano, Yankees
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
Ben Zobrist, Rays

Third base
Adrian Beltre, Rangers
Evan Longoria, Rays
Manny Machado, Orioles

Shortstop
Alcides Escobar, Royals
Yunel Escobar, Rays
J.J. Hardy, Orioles

Left field
Yoenis Cespedes, A's
Andy Dirks, Tigers
Alex Gordon, Royals

Center field
Lorenzo Cain, Royals
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
Adam Jones, Orioles

Right field
Nick Markakis, Orioles
Shane Victorino, Red Sox
Josh Reddick, A's

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pitcher
Patrick Corbin, D-backs
Zack Greinke, Dodgers
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals

Catcher
A.J. Ellis, Dodgers
Russell Martin, Pirates
Yadier Molina, Cardinals

First base
Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs
Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs

Second base
Darwin Barney, Cubs
Brandon Phillips, Reds
Mark Ellis, Dodgers

Third base
Nolan Arenado, Rockies
Juan Uribe, Dodgers
David Wright, Mets

Shortstop
Ian Desmond, Nationals
Andrelton Simmons, Braves
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

Left field
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
Starling Marte, Pirates
Eric Young Jr., Mets

Center field
Carlos Gomez, Brewers
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
Denard Span, Nationals

Right field
Jay Bruce, Reds
Jason Heyward, Braves
Gerardo Parra, D-backs

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.