A’s outfielders Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes were both denied the Gold Glove at their respective positions in voting announced Tuesday.
Reddick, who won the American League defensive award for right field last season, lost out to Boston’s Shane Victorino. Baltimore’s Nick Markakis also was a finalist.
Kansas City’s Alex Gordon won his third straight Gold Glove in left field, beating out first-time nominee Cespedes and Andy Dirks of Detroit.
In 2012, Reddick became the A’s first Gold Glove winner since third baseman Eric Chavez won six in a row from 2001-06. This season, Reddick’s nine assists tied him with Victorino, Detroit’s Torii Hunter and Texas’ Alex Rios for most among AL right fielders. He also showed great range and excelled defensively despite a sprained right wrist that limited him to 114 games and will require arthroscopic surgery.
Once players win the award for the first time, they seemingly have a good chance to repeat simply because their name is familiar to managers and coaches, who vote for the award. But this season, defensive sabermetric stats were introduced as 25 percent of the determining criteria, and that strengthened Victorino’s case. He led A.L. right fielders in Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating, two of the statistical categories considered. Reddick finished second in both.
Something else to consider: The Gold Glove is a defensive award, but it’s very possible that Reddick’s poor offensive season cost him. Sometimes it takes eye-catching hitting stats in order for people to pay attention to a player’s defensive work.
Reddick hit just .226 this season with 12 homers and 56 RBI. Last year he hit 32 home runs with 85 RBI. Victorino batted .294 this season, though his 15 homers and 61 RBI weren’t all that much better than Reddick.
Cespedes, in his second major league season, had nine assists to rank fifth among American League left fielders.