2011 Gold Glove Winners: AL and NL Position by Position Reaction

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterNovember 2, 2011

BOSTON - OCTOBER 11:  Jacoby Ellsbury #46 of the Boston Red Sox makes a diving catch on a Bobby Abreu #53 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim flyout in the third inning of Game Three of the ALDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Fenway Park on October 11, 2009 in Boston,  Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The 2011 baseball season may be gone, but the awards season is just getting started.

The first awards to hit are the Gold Glove awards, which were revealed on Tuesday evening (see the Associated Press report). There are plenty of usual suspects among the winners, and some not-so-usual suspects.

Let's discuss all of them, shall we?

Pitcher

American League Winner: Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox

No surprise here. Buehrle is widely regarded as one of the best fielding pitchers in the majors, and this makes it three straight Gold Gloves for him. The dude can pick it, and there's just not much to complain about concerning Buehrle's .982 fielding percentage.

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 4: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Atlanta Braves on September 4, 2011 at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves beat the Dodgers 4-3. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

National League Winner: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Bit of a surprise here, as Kershaw is known more for his blazing fastball and his killer curveball than his fielding prowess. But you have to give credit where credit is due, and we're talking about a guy who had a perfect fielding percentage in 2011.

Catcher

American League Winner: Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles

His career is still in its infancy, but Matt Wieters has clearly demonstrated that he is a Gold Glove-caliber catcher. As such, it's nice to see him take home the award here following a season in which he had just one passed ball and threw out 34 baserunners.

National League Winner: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals

Ho hum. Molina is the best defensive catcher in baseball, and this makes it four straight Gold Gloves for him. Dude is an incredible baseball player.

First Base

American League Winner: Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox

Yankees fans are going to cry foul at the fact that Mark Teixeira did not win the award, but you really can't go wrong with him or Gonzalez. That said, I wonder if Gonzo's reputation helped him out here, as it is truly debatable whether or not he had a better year defensively than Teixeira. The key numbers are eerily similar.

National League Winner: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

Joey Votto already has an MVP, and now he has a Gold Glove. He got it by posting a .996 fielding percentage and an UZR of 7.4—an NL-high for first basemen.

Second Base

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 28: Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox throws to first base to complete a double play after forcing out Nick Markakis #21 of the Baltimore Orioles at second base during the sixth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Sep
Rob Carr/Getty Images

American League Winner: Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

After a two-year drought, Pedroia wins his second Gold Glove. He definitely earned it, as he made only seven errors all season and posted a UZR of 17.9, tops among major league second basemen.

National League Winner: Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds

Phillips is another ho-hum winner, as he now has three Gold Gloves on his mantel. He was as solid as ever, leading all NL second basemen with an 11.4 UZR. If you prefer old-timey stats, Phillips made just six errors all season.

Third Base

American League Winner: Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers

Duh. Beltre is one of the best fielding third basemen in baseball, and he now has three Gold Gloves in his collection and his first since 2008. Beltre did make 11 errors this season, but he led all AL third basemen with an 11.2 UZR.

National League Winner: Placido Polanco, Philadelphia Phillies

You might get some complaints about seeing Polanco's name here because he only got to play in 118 games at third, but he was pretty solid when he was at the hot corner. He only made eight errors and posted a major league-best 14.0 UZR.

Shortstop

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Shortstop Erick Aybar #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim can't reach a leadoff single hit by Scott Sizemore of the Oakland Athletics in the fifth inning on September 24, 2011 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.   (Ph
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

American League Winner: Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels

At long last, the voters have realized that Derek Jeter is a crappy fielder. This is Aybar's first Gold Glove award, and he got it despite making 13 errors and posting a UZR of just 1.2. Truth be told, the award probably should have gone to someone else, but we should consider ourselves lucky that it didn't go to Jeter again.

National League Winner: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies

Honestly, who else could it go to? Tulo is amazing in the field, and this makes it two straight Gold Gloves for him. He only made six errors and posted a solid UZR of 7.3.

Left Field

American League Winner: Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals

So it would appear that moving Alex Gordon to the outfield was a good idea. The former third baseman made only three errors in the field this season, had a league-leading 20 outfield assists and posted a solid UZR of 10.5. The Gold Glove probably should have gone to Brett Gardner, but there was clearly some kind of widespread anti-Yankees sentiment among the voters this year.

OAKLAND, CA -  JULY 2:  Gerardo Parra #8 of the Arizona Diamondbacks dives to make the catch against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the fourth inning of a MLB baseball game July 2, 2011 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

National League Winner: Gerardo Parra, Arizona Diamondbacks

This is Gerardo Parra's first Gold Glove, and he definitely earned it. He made just two errors this season and led all National League left fielders with a 9.8 UZR.

Center Field

American League Winner: Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox

Jacoby Ellsbury might have an MVP award waiting for him, but a Gold Glove will have to do for now. He didn't make a single error in center this year and led all major league center fielders with a 15.6 UZR. He can definitely go get 'em, and that's not so easy at Fenway Park.

National League Winner: Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

This is Matt Kemp's second Gold Glove, and it's a little odd that the voters chose to give it to him. He made five errors in center this year, and he posted a UZR of -4.6.

That's not very good, for the record.

Right Field

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Nick Markakis #21 of the Baltimore Orioles crashes into the outfield wall after making an out against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ninth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 17, 2011 in Baltimore, Ma
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

American League Winner: Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles

This is Nick Markakis' first Gold Glove, and I think he is a deserving recipient. He didn't make any errors this year, and he had 14 outfield assists. You don't run on this guy, even if he did have a -5.0 UZR.

National League Winner: Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers

Last but not least, we have Andre Ethier, yet another first-time winner. Ethier posted a perfect fielding percentage in right field this year and had a 5.3 UZR, which is above average. The award could have gone to Justin Upton, but Ethier isn't necessarily a bad choice.

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