Determining the 2013 National League Gold Glove winners based on defensive metrics

Kevin C. Cox

I already did the 2013 American League Gold Glove winners, if you wanted more to read and disagree with.

Here are the National League winners based on defensive metrics:

The battle for the top defensive catcher could have gone three different ways. Welington Castillo had 19 defensive runs saved on the season, Russell Martin had nine stolen base runs saved, and Yadier Molina had 5.9 blocked pitches above average. In the end it went to Martin because, while he was the best against the running game, he was also second in runs saved (16) and in blocking pitches (4.5).

The Gold Glove winner for first base was Anthony Rizzo, who led the league with 16 defensive runs saved and a 9.2 UZR/150. Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt both have a reputation for being good defensive first basemen, but Rizzo saved the most runs out of the three.

Darwin Barney won the honors for NL second basemen after collecting 11 defensive runs saved and a 15.5 UZR/150. Mark Ellis saved one more run than Barney over fewer innings, but his 7.8 UZR/150 pales in comparison.

This wasn't even difficult or relatively close. Andrelton Simmons will be the National League Gold Glove shortstop after compiling 41 defensive runs saved and a 23.9 UZR/150. The next highest DRS and UZR/150 is from Pete Kozma with an eight for both.

Both Nolan Arenado and, surprisingly, Juan Uribe had a shot to be the third base winner. Arenado had 30 defensive runs saved against Uribe's 15. When it comes to UZR/150, Uribe had a 35.3 against Arenado's 22.5. In the end I decided to give it to Arenado because he played over 200 more innings at third.

Gerardo Parra easily took the award for right fielders after collecting 36 defensive runs saved, 32.3 UZR/150, and 9.1 outfield arm runs saved. The next closest was Jay Bruce with an 18 DRS and 10.1 UZR/150.

Carlos Gomez ran away with 38 defensive runs saved in center field, though his 27.2 UZR/150 was second to A.J. Pollock's 28.6. Pollock's mere 15 DRS and over 300 less innings in center ultimately cost him the Gold Glove to Gomez.

In an odd occurrence, there were only three qualified NL left fielders in 2013, and between Starling Marte, Matt Holliday, and Domonic Brown, Marte was easily the only one that was any good in the field. He had 20 defensive runs saved and had a 20.1 UZR/150.

Patrick Corbin won the honors for pitchers after collecting a league leading eight defensive runs saved and tied with Clayton Kershaw and Julio Teheran at being the best against the running game with three stolen base runs saved.

It would be silly for me to say that all of these are definitive, so who would you give the Gold Glove awards to?

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