Did David Wright deserve to win the Gold Glove?

Chase Headley of the Padres beat out David Wright for the National League Gold Glove at third base. But did he deserve it? A quick look at the numbers reveals that:

  • Both players committed only 10 errors on the year. Headley’s .977 fielding percentage was slightly better than Wright’s .974. No other NL third baseman with at least 1,300 innings in the field had fewer errors or a higher fielding percentage.
  • Wright’s Ultimate Zone rating of 15.4 more than doubled Headley’s 6.0 mark, according to Fangraphs calculations.
  • Wright (2.1) accumulated more than two more defensive Wins Above Replacement than Headley (0.0), according to Baseball Reference calculations.

Advanced metrics such as UZR and dWAR are notoriously unreliable in samples as small as a single season, but they do gain value in context. No NL third baseman, Headley included, could compare to Wright in the major defensive metrics this season.

Then again, Wright lagged well behind multiple peers in 2007, when he beat out a much deeper field for the Gold Glove. So perhaps we’ll call it even.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo

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