When it comes to the best defensive shortstop, better yet, the best defensive player, in all of baseball, Brendan Ryan is miles ahead of everyone around him.
On Thursday, Ryan finally received the recognition he has deserved for a few years now when he was awarded The Fielding Bible Award for MLB's best defensive shortstop, according to Greg Johns of MLB.com.
The award is given out by a group of 10 baseball experts and serves to highlight the best overall defensive player at their respected position instead of separating the AL and NL and making it a popularity contest like the Gold Glove has become.
Despite batting a miserable .194 on the year, the Seattle shortstop earned his money on the opposite side of the ball. On the year, Ryan had a .985 fielding percentage, only making nine errors in 601 chances. His 3.6 rating on defensive wins above replacement led all shortstops.
To please the true baseball geeks like myself, Ryan's defensive runs saved was 27, eight ahead of the second-place finisher. To get a better understanding on just how great he was, the number for quality shortstops is in the upper teens.
Ryan is the second Mariners shortstop to be awarded this honor, with the first being Jack Wilson in 2009.
Though many fans outside of Seattle or St. Louis (Ryan's former team) don't know much about what the 30-year-old has to offer, hopefully this award will help change that.
Being handed the Gold Glove he rightfully deserves next Wednesday wouldn't hurt either.