When Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson return home from Taiwan, they'll be picking up some new hardware. The two men were announced as winners of American League Silver Slugger Awards at their respective positions.
The two put up fantastic numbers this season, and even going down to the final day of the season to settle the RBI crown, which Granderson won by 1 RBI.
For Cano, this is his third Silver Slugger and his second consecutive Award. Cano hit .302/.349/.533 with 104 runs scored, 46 doubles, 28 homers, and 118 RBI's while playing in 159 games. He also ranked second in MLB with 81 extra base hits and first in MLB with 91 RBI's with runners in scoring position.
Granderson won his first Silver Slugger while hitting .262/.364/.552 with 136 runs scored, 26 doubles, 41 homers, 119 RBI's and 85 walks in 156 games. He also had 81 extra base hits and became the only player in Major League history to hit 40 homers, 10 triples, and steal 25 bags in a season.
Brett Gardner got robbed, plain and simple. Basically, here's why.
There are two metrics available publicly that measure defense: Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR). Gardner had the highest UZR in the major leagues by a considerable margin and tied with Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson and Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval for the most Defensive Runs Saved.
It's a disgrace. The guy was clearly one of the best, if not the best defensive player in baseball, and he got no credit for it in the mainstream media. Alex Gordon simply was not a better defensive player than Brett Gardner was, and it wasn't particularly close.
They got it right with Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Beltre, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Matt Wieters. But Nick Markakis? Erick Aybar? There were better options, including Nick Swisher in right field and multiple shortstops such as Alexei Ramirez, J.J. Hardy, and Elvis Andrus.