Tag Archives: Gold Glove Award

Phillies need to stop using Scott Kingery like a Swiss army knife

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Playing Kingery where he best fits on defense should help fully unlock his impactful offensive potential

 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is time for the Philadelphia Phillies to stop using Scott Kingery like their own organizational Swiss army knife.

Over the course of his first two big-league seasons the Phillies have used Kingery at seven different positions. He has seen action everywhere but at first base and behind the plate.

In his rookie campaign of 2018, Kingery became the starting shortstop and was used at all seven of those positions, including a 1.1 inning stint on the mound.

This past season, Kingery became the starting center fielder, and was used at six different positions by manager Gabe Kapler. At least he didn’t make another mound appearance.

The “Inside Edge” defensive statistics at Fangraphs are a wonderful tool. They take what can be the sometimes difficult to measure defensive values of a player and help better evaluate what is actually happening on the field.

To help make my argument that Kingery is not helping the Phillies at any of the three positions at which he has been most utilized by the club – center field, shortstop, and third base – I examined his performance using those Inside Edge tools.

I also examined the defensive performance of the Phillies incumbent second baseman, Cesar Hernandez, and took a look back at Kingery’s minor league performance when he was last used at that position on a full-time basis.

CENTER FIELD

Kingery saw most of his playing time in center field with the Phillies this past season. He appeared there in 479.1 innings over 65 games, 57 of those as starts.

A look at the Inside Edge statistics for the 42 players during the 2019 season who played at least 450 innings in center field, Kingery grades out as below average.

He handled all of the 121 chances which were rated as 90-100%. In other words, chances where it was deemed “certain” or “nearly certain” that he should have handled them successfully.

However, when those chances became 60-90%, which are considered as “likely” to be handled successfully, Kingery handled just 75% of those, ranking 34th of the 42 players with at least 450 innings.

When things got even tougher, Kingery rarely made the sensational grab, coming up with just two of seven (28.5%) chances rated in the 1-40% range for success.

What this says to me is that Kingery is young and athletic enough to catch all of the fly balls that he is absolutely supposed to catch. The easy, lazy fly balls to center, or the balls where he just has to glide under them a bit.

However, he is not naturally skilled enough or experienced enough at the position to make most difficult plays, and even has trouble with chances considered likely – routine to a natural center fielder. While he doesn’t usually kill the Phillies out there, he isn’t helping.

THIRD BASE

The position at which Kingery saw his second highest number of games came at the hot corner. He appeared in 41 games, making 37 starts, for a total of 306.1 innings.

There were 44 players in Major League Baseball who saw at least 300 innings at the position. Again, Kingery grades out as below average.

For those 90-100% plays, the “almost certain” or “certain” group, his 96.2% handled successfully may seem solid at first blush. However, it ranks him just 27th in MLB at the position.

When you get to the 40-90% level, chances deemed as either “about even” or “likely” to be handled, Kingery made just 12 of 20 total plays successfully.

Again, this shows me that he handles most of the balls hit right at him and gets the ball over to first base successfully. But coming up with the more difficult plays at third base, even some deemed likely for a more experienced player or one with a stronger arm, is about a 50/50 proposition for him.

SHORTSTOP

Kingery was the Phillies primary shortstop in the 2018 campaign, playing 199 games there and making 101 starts. This past season, with the trade for Jean Segura, Kingery saw just 18 games and made 12 starts at short.

In total, Kingery has played 1,006.1 innings at the shortstop position over the last two seasons combined. There were 32 players in Major League Baseball who saw at least 1,000 innings at the position during that same period.

Of the plays rated in the 90-100% range at shortstop, or again, “certain” or “near certain” to be handled successfully, Kingery came up with a 96.9% success rate. That ranks 22nd of the 32 players.

Once again when things get just a bit harder, Kingery drops. In the 60-90% range he ranks just 24th at handling these “likely” to be made plays.

Below 60%, Kingery didn’t get many chances at shortstop, which to me speaks to his lack of defensive range at the position. He handled 11 of his 22 chances rated as either “unlikely” or “about even”, exactly 50%.

SECOND BASE

Kingery’s natural position, the Phillies have simply not allowed him to play it in the big-leagues. That is for one simple reason alone – management has been unreasonably married to Hernandez at the position.

Over the combined 2018-19 seasons, Hernandez has played in 331 games at the keystone position, making 308 starts and appearing there for a total of 2,726.1 innings. He has been the definition of an everyday second baseman, usage-wise.

For plays rated in the 60-90% range, or “likely” to be made, Hernandez’ 69% success rate places him at just 22nd among the 27 players with at least 1,000 innings at second base. He is just 19th in the 90-100% range. At the lower 40-60% range as well as in the more “unlikely” 10-40% range, Hernandez ranks 18th in both.

Kingery, meanwhile, was a 2017 Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove Award winner during a season split between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

That year, Kingery recorded a .989 fielding percentage in 113 games. It was the highest mark registered among all second basemen in Minor League Baseball. He handled 529 combined chances and helped to turn 75 double play over his time with the two levels.

Kingery slashed .304/.359/530 that year across the two levels. He produced 26 home runs, 63 extra-base hits, 65 RBIs, 103 runs scored, and 29 stolen bases in 603 plate appearances.

I have been saying it for two years now – second base is Scott Kingery’s best position. It is his natural position. More than that, he has proven to be outstanding at the position. I believe that allowing him to settle in there would help unlock his full, impactful offensive potential.

The Phillies have been holding second base for an average player when they have a potentially outstanding one in-house, right under their noses.  That needs to change this off-season.

In my opinion, club management has been negligent in their handling of Kingery. The time to trade Hernandez away and hand the Phillies second base position to Kingery is long past. If it doesn’t happen now, the ramifications should contribute to the end of Matt Klentak’s time as general manager.

 

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2019 Major League Baseball Awards

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Realmuto was honored with his second consecutive career Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Award

 

Major League Baseball has entered its off-season period, but there is still plenty of action surrounding the game. As teams begin to evaluate their future needs and prepare to shop in the Hot Stove free agent market, the game steps back momentarily to honor the best performances from this past 2019 season.

This past week, MLB continued the process of handing out the hardware to the top players from this past season. Winners of both the Silver Slugger Awards and Gold Glove Awards were announced, honoring the top offensive and defensive performers at each position in both leagues.

2019 GOLD GLOVE AWARDS

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Winners are listed below with their position and team. Number of career Gold Gloves won are shown in parentheses.

National League: P – Zack Greinke ARZ (6), C – J.T. Realmuto PHI (2), 1B – Anthony Rizzo CHI (3), 2B – Kolten Wong STL (1), SS – Nick Ahmed ARZ (2), LF – David Peralta ARZ (1), CF – Lorenzo Cain MIL (1), RF – Cody Bellinger (1)

American League: P – Mike Leake SEA (1), C – Roberto Perez CLE (1), 1B – Matt Olson OAK (2), 2B – Yolmer Sanchez CWS (1), SS – Francisco Lindor CLE (2), 3B – Matt Chapman OAK (2), LF – Alex Gordon KC (7), CF – Kevin Kiermaier TB (3), RF – Mookie Betts BOS (4)

Arenado (below right) and Chapman (below left) were further honored when they were each named as winners of the National and American League Platinum Glove Awards. This is the second consecutive Rawlings Platinum Glove for each as the overall top defensive performer in their respective leagues.

Rawlings is not the only sponsor of awards for MLB defensive excellence. The winners were also announced for the Wilson Defensive Players of the Year at each position in Major League Baseball.

The Houston Astros were honored as the Wilson Defensive Team of the Year. Individual winners with their number of career Wilson awards in parentheses were:

P – Zack Greinke HOU (3), C – Roberto Perez CLE (1), 1B – Freddie Freeman ATL (2), 2B – Kolten Wong STL (1), SS – Andrelton Simmons LAA (6), 3B – Matt Chapman OAK (2), LF – David Peralta ARZ (1), CF – Lorenzo Cain MIL (4), RF – Aaron Judge NYY (1)

Perez was further honored as the overall Wilson Defensive Player of the Year.

2019 SILVER SLUGGER AWARDS

The Silver Slugger Awards as the top offensive performer went to:

National League: P – Zack Greinke ARZ (2), C – J.T. Realmuto PHI (2), 1B – Freddie Freeman ATL (1), 2B – Ozzie Albies ATL (1), SS – Trevor Story COL (2), 3B – Anthony Rendon WAS (2), OF – Cody Bellinger LAD (1), Christian Yelich MIL (2), Ronald Acuna Jr.ATL (1)

American League: DH – Nelson Cruz MIN (3), C – Mitch Garver MIN (1), 1B – Carlos Santana CLE (1), 2B – DJ LeMahieu NYY (1), SS – Xander Bogaerts BOS (3), 3B – Alex Bregman HOU (1), OF – Mike Trout LAA (7), George Springer HOU (2), Mookie Betts BOS (3)

The overall top hitter in each league is honored with the Hank Aaron Award. Each MLB team’s radio and television play-by-play broadcasters and color analysts vote for three players in each league, and fans are given the opportunity to vote via MLB’s official website. Fans’ votes account for 30% of the final points, while broadcasters’ and analysts’ votes account for the other 70%.

The winners of the 2019 Aaron Awards were Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels in the American League. It was the second career Aaron Award for each, the second consecutive for Yelich. Trout was previously honored back in 2014.

Prior to Game 4 of the World Series, the winners of MLB’s Relief Pitcher of the Year Award in each league were announced.

Taking the award as the Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year was Aroldis Chapman of the New York Yankees, who was honored for the first time.

The Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year was awareded to Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers, who became just the second relief pitcher to be honored two years in a row.

 UPCOMING AWARDS NOMINEES

The winners of the rest of baseball’s official awards will be announced this coming week. Voting was conducted by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

The following is the awards announcement schedule. You can watch as the honorees are named in a live broadcast on the MLB Network each day at 6:00 pm EST.

The nominees were selected based on regular season performance only.

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order with their position and current team, and I have highlighted my pick as the winner in red.

MONDAY: Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award

NL: Pete Alonso 1B NYM, Mike Soroka P ATL, Fernando Tatis JR SS SD

AL: Yordan Alvarez DH/OF HOU, Brandon Lowe 2B/OF TB, John Means P BAL

TUESDAY: Manager of the Year Award

NL: Craig Counsell MIL, Mike Shildt STL, Brian Snitker ATL

AL: Rocco Baldelli MIN, Aaron Boone NYY, Kevin Cash TB

WEDNESDAY: Cy Young Award

NL: Jacob deGrom NYM, Hyun-Jin Ryu LAD, Max Scherzer WAS

AL: Gerrit Cole HOU, Charlie Morton TB, Justin Verlander HOU

THURSDAY: Most Valuable Player Award

NL nominees: Cody Bellinger OF LAD, Anthony Rendon 3B WAS, Christian Yelich OF MIL

AL nominees: Alex Bregman SS HOU, Marcus Semien SS OAK, Mike Trout OF LAA

Other MLB award winners this season included starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg of the world champion Washington Nationals, who was named as the Most Valuable Player of the World Series.

Howie Kendrick of the Nationals took the NLCS Most Valuable Player honors, while second baseman Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros won the ALCS MVP honors.

Carlos Carrasco of the Cleveland Indians was honored with the Roberto Clemente Award in recognition for his many charitable efforts both stateside and in his native Venezuela. The pitcher was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year and “put in the difficult work to make a return to pitching amid his treatment — all while continuing to give his time, attention and financial assistance to young leukemia patients.”

Mike Trout received the Players Choice Award as the overall Major League Baseball Player of the Year and was also the AL Player of the Year. It was his second American League and first overall honor in voting by his fellow ball players.

Others receiving Players Choice Awards were Anthony Rendon as the NL Player of the Year, Justin Verlander and Jacob deGrom as the AL & NL Pitchers of the Year, Hunter Pence and Josh Donaldson as the AL & NL Comeback Players of the Year, and Yordan Alvarez and Pete Alonso as the AL & NL Rookies of the Year.

On Sunday, November 17 at 8:00 pm EST, the MLB Network will take a final look back on 2019 as it presents the Plays of the Year for this past season. That highlights loaded program will re-air a number of times throughout the month of November.

I suppose that after finishing exactly at the .500 mark and in fourth place this season, the Phillies could not have expected much more in the way of award winners than the Gold Glove-Silver Slugger combo taken by Realmuto.

Hopefully the results in the standings and in the postseason, including award winners, are more substantial for the club in the 2020 campaign.

 

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J.T. Realmuto wins 2019 NL Gold Glove Award

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J.T. Realmuto becomes the first Phillies catcher in 20 years to win an NL Gold Glove Award

 

The winners of the 2019 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were announced on Monday evening, with J.T. Realmuto of the Philadelphia Phillies earning the hardward at the National League catcher position.

Three nominees at each of the nine positions on the diamond in both the National and American Leagues had previously been announced. The Phillies had three NL nominees: Realmuto at catcher, Bryce Harper in right field, and Aaron Nola at pitcher.

The Phillies would go one-for-three as the winners were announced in a special program on ESPN2, with the 28-year-old Realmuto capturing the first Gold Glove Award of his six-year career in Major League Baseball.

After spending the first five seasons of his career with the Miami Marlins, Realmuto came to the Phillies in a February 7, 2019 trade in exchange for catcher Jorge Alfaro and pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart.

During his first year with the Phillies, Realmuto made his second consecutive National League All-Star team and enjoyed his finest all-around season as a big leaguer.

Realmuto becomes the first Phillies player to win a Gold Glove Award since Jimmy Rollins took home the honors at shortstop back in 2012. He is the third Phillies catcher to ever win the award, following Wall of Famers Bob Boone (1978-79) and Mike Lieberthal (1999).

On Thursday, winners of the Silver Slugger Award will be announced. Realmuto is the leading contender to win that award at the National League catcher position for the second year in a row.

Chase Utley, who won the Silver Slugger as an NL second baseman from 2006-09 is the most recent Phillies player to capture that award. The only Phillies catcher to ever win a Silver Slugger was the late Wall of Famer Darren Daulton all the way back in 1992.

When considering all aspects of the game, Realmuto is clearly the best all-around catcher in baseball at this time. He is in the prime of his career, and was arguably the Phillies most valuable player this past season.

The catcher was extremely inexpensive in modern baseball terms after having made just $5.9 million this past season. Eligible for salary arbitration this winter, the Phillies will certainly not allow the situation to ever get that far. Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer has speculated that a new deal could be at $110 million over five years.

Realmuto is due to become a free agent following the 2020 season. Having given up one of the top pitching prospects in baseball in Sanchez in order to obtain him, the Phillies certainly do not want to lose Realmuto on the open market.

In addition to all of the work that general manager Matt Klentak needs to get done this off-season in order to push the Phillies from their current status as a .500 team to contending status, working out a contract extension with Realmuto also needs to be high on his agenda.

NOTE: Featured Photo Courtesy of Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography (Twitter: @MarkKrajnak)

 

More on the Philadelphia Phillies and Major League Baseball:

Phillies defense improving, led by trio of Gold Glove Award candidates

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No Phillies player has won a Gold Glove since 2012

The Philadelphia Phillies are currently one of the most inconsistent contending teams in Major League Baseball.

The biggest problem for the team in getting on a long winning run has been consistently poor pitching from both the starters and the bullpen group.
Offensively, they are a middle of the pack team, with the Phillies run production having fluctuated wildly all year long. The club’s hitters are collectively tied for 15th among the 30 MLB teams with 4.81 runs scored per game.
The one area of the game at which the Phillies have been solid this year is on defense. The gloves are currently tied for sixth in the NL in fielding percentage, having committed 55 errors, tied for fifth-lowest in the league.
The SABR Defensive Index of individual player performances was released through games of July 7, just about 10 days ago. For the seventh consecutive season in 2019, the SDI will be used to help select the winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. The SDI accounts for approximately 25% of the Gold Glove selection process, added to votes from the managers and coaches.
Based on the SDI as of July 7, the Phillies have three players who are legitimate National League Gold Glove Award contenders. Those three are right fielder Bryce Harper, catcher J.T. Realmuto, and perhaps surprisingly to some, left fielder Jay Bruce.
All three of those Phillies players are ranked second by the SDI at their positions. Harper’s 3.7 mark trails well behind the 7.6 of Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger and his 7.6 SDI rating. In left field, Bruce’s 4.4 is right behind the 4.7 of positional leader David Peralta of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

J.T. Realmuto might be the best chance for a Phillies player to actually win a Gold Glove Award in 2019. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)
Realmuto, the one Phillies representative on this year’s NL All-Star team, has an 8.5 SDI. That is the third-highest mark in the entire National League among all players. Unfortunately, one of the two ahead of him is San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges and his 9.1 mark.
Aside from those three, the rest of the Phillies defenders do not fare as well. Shortstop Jean Segura has a positive mark of 0.8, which places him at 8th among the 17 players rated. Maikel Franco has a -1.3 rating, putting him at 13th of the 19 third basemen rated.
At second base, Cesar Hernandez has a -1.2 rating, putting him 14th of 16 ranked players at the keystone position in the National League. Out in center field where Scott Kingery is played out of position on most days, the club’s future second baseman carries a -1.3 rating, putting him at 13 of 18 ranked players.
On the mound, Aaron Nola‘s 1.2 and Jake Arrieta‘s 0.6 make them the only Phillies pitchers in positive territory. They rank as tied for 11th (Nola) and 19th (Arrieta) respectively. Nick Pivetta has a -0.3 rating and Zach Eflin a -0.5 as the only other two Phillies pitchers on the NL list.
With these pure stats only accounting for one-quarter of the vote, reputation among players and coaches continues to provide the largest influence in the actual final selection of the Gold Glove Award winners.
Considering that key factor, Realmuto, widely considered the top all-around defensive catcher in the game by many, has the best chance to actually take home hardware after the season ends. None of the three leading Phillies contenders has ever captured a Gold Glove Award.

The last Phillies player to be awarded a Gold Glove was Jimmy Rollins, who took home the honors at shortstop back in 2012. It was a fourth career NL Gold Glove for JRoll, who previously was honored for three straight years from 2007-09. Mike Schmidt (10) and Garry Maddox (8) have won the most Gold Glove Awards in club history.

Minor league second baseman Daniel Brito earns Gold Glove Award

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For the second consecutive season the Philadelphia Phillies organization has the best defensive second baseman in the minor leagues.
Daniel Brito, who split the season between the Low-A Lakewood BlueClaws and the High-A Clearwater Threshers, was named as a Gold Glover by Minor League Baseball and the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. in honors announced on Monday.
The 20-year-old second baseman was signed by the Phillies back in 2014 as an amateur free agent out of his native Venezuela. He played 92 games with Lakewood this season, then was promoted to Clearwater where he appeared in another 27 contests.
In announcing the honor, Minor League Baseball stated that Brito “…recorded a .988 fielding percentage in 116 games, the highest mark among second basemen in Minor League Baseball. The 20-year-old handled 418 total chances in 92 games for Class A Lakewood, and 101 more in 24 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater, helping turn 78 double plays across the two levels.”
Brito is ranked as the #12 Phillies prospect by MLB.com at this time. In our Phillies Nation Top 20 Phillies Prospects rankings back in early August, he received mention in the “Also receiving votes” section.
A year ago it was Scott Kingery being honored as the minor league 2017 Gold Glove Award winner at second base. Kingery went on top play most of this 2018 season as the Phillies starting shortstop.
Brito is considered a glove-first player at present. He hit for just a .252/.307/.342 slash line with 16 stolen bases over 468 plate appearances across the two minor league levels this past season.
Originally published at Phillies Nation as “Daniel Brito earns minor league Gold Glove honors