FINALLY, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain has won a Rawlings Gold Glove award. The award acknowledges that Cain is the best defensive centerfielder in the National League. This is the first Gold Glove for a Brewers player since Carlos Gomez won his in 2013.
The Gold Glove does not rely on advanced analytics, unlike the Fielding Bible Award which Cain has one each of the last two seasons. Instead, managers and coaches from each league vote to decide the winners and they cannot vote for their own players. While the Gold Glove is meant to be the premium defensive achievement in baseball, it is often mocked for its historical focus on players who are good hitters and good defenders (doesn’t hurt to have a few big highlight-reel plays) instead of the best defenders.
When you look at the metrics, it’s clear LoCain is a deserving winner. He was second the second best centerfielder in the National League with 20 defensive runs saved, only behind Washington National Victor Robles (22). He had the second-best ultimate zone rating in the NL at 7, compared to Harrison Bader’s 12.9, but had the most out of zone plays made at 99. Both Robles and Bader were finalists for this year’s award, too.
Cain also stacked up his fair share of huge plays. Possibly most popular of all was his “not today” on Opening Day.
Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs