John Dewan’s Stat of the Week™

The Fielding Bible II

The Fielding Bible II via Amazon.com

THE 2010 FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS have been officially announced after the first unanimous winner in the five-year history of the Fielding Bible Awards. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina won his fourth consecutive Fielding Bible Award with a perfect score of 100, 26 points ahead of second-place finisher Carlos Ruiz.

Joining Molina as repeat winners are Ichiro Suzuki (his third, second in a row), Mark Buehrle (his second, back to back), and Troy Tulowitzki (two also). First time winners include Daric Barton, Chase Utley, Evan Longoria, Brett Gardner, and Michael Bourn.

A panel of ten analysts, listed below—including John Dewan, Peter Gammons and Bill James—examined the 2010 seasons of every defensive player in Major League Baseball and then used the same voting technique as the Major League Baseball MVP voting. First place votes received 10 points, second place 9 points, third place 8 points, etc. A perfect score was 100. A complete record of their votes can be found in The Bill James Handbook 2011.

One important distinction that differentiates THE FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS from most other baseball awards, such as the Gold Gloves, is that there is only one winner at each position, including separate recognition for each outfield position, instead of separate winners for each league. The goal of THE FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS is to stand up and say: “Here is the best fielder at this position in Major League Baseball last season.” Another key feature of the system is that it also recognizes the runners-up for each position, instead of just focusing on the winners.

Here are the results of THE 2010 FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS:

FIRST BASE—DARIC BARTON, OAKLAND ATHLETICS (86 POINTS)
Albert Pujols’ four-year lock on the award was finally broken by Barton thanks to the estimated 20 runs he saved defensively for the A’s, according to our Runs Saved statistic.

SECOND BASE—CHASE UTLEY, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (86 POINTS)
Utley has consistently proven himself to be one of the best second basemen around, and this year he was rewarded with his first Fielding Bible Award. Now the question, can Utley win his first Gold Glove award?

THIRD BASE—EVAN LONGORIA, TAMPA BAY RAYS (92 POINTS)
In the closest race of the awards, Longoria prevented Ryan Zimmerman from winning his second consecutive award by a single point (92 to 91).

SHORTSTOP—TROY TULOWITZKI, COLORADO ROCKIES (97 POINTS)
Tulowitzki’s bat garnered more of the limelight this season as he led the Rockies in another near-miraculous end-of-season comeback, but it’s his glove that saved the Rockies 16 runs and earned his second-career Fielding Bible Award.

LEFT FIELD—BRETT GARDNER, NEW YORK YANKEES (96 POINTS)
In the big upset of the awards, Gardner unseated three-time winner Carl Crawford by 10 points in the scoring. The judges recognized his speed and skill in covering the spacious left-field territory in the Yankees’ new stadium.

CENTER FIELD—MICHAEL BOURN, HOUSTON ASTROS (91 POINTS)
The ‘Stros are lucky to have Bourn patrolling their center field. He saved his team 16 runs, despite missing a handful of games due to injury.

RIGHT FIELD—ICHIRO SUZUKI, SEATTLE MARINERS (92 POINTS)
Winning his second consecutive Fielding Bible Award, third career win, Suzuki made three home-run-saving catches last year, saving five runs for the Mariners.

CATCHER—YADIER MOLINA, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (100 POINTS)
Hands down, bar none, Molina is the best catcher in Major League Baseball. This is his fourth-consecutive award, tying him for most career Fielding Bible Awards with Albert Pujols, and very nearly his fifth as he lost in ’06 by only six points. Factoring in his runs saved on Misplays and Good Plays, Molina saved the Cards a whopping 20 runs defensively in 2010.

PITCHER—MARK BUEHRLE, CHICAGO WHITE SOX (86)
Buehrle won this award handily—runner up Zack Greinke only had 63 points. Buehrle’s edge is his ability to control the running game. He only allowed six of 12 would-be base thieves to steal against him, and he picked off six additional baserunners.

Hardball Times Annual 2011 via Amazon.comThe Panel

1. Bill James is a baseball writer and analyst and the Senior Baseball Operations Advisor for the Boston Red Sox;
2. The BIS Video Scouts at Baseball Info Solutions (BIS) study every game of the season, multiple times, charting a huge list of valuable game details;
3. The man who created Strat-O-Matic Baseball—Hal Richman;
4. Named the best sports columnist in America by the AP Sports Editors, Joe Posnanski is a Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated and occasional columnist for the Kansas City Star;
5. For over twenty years, BIS owner John Dewan has collected, published and analyzed in-depth baseball statistics and is the author of The Fielding Bible and The Fielding Bible—Volume II;
6. Mat Olkin is a sabermetrics consultant to major league teams;
7. Hall-of-Famer Peter Gammons serves as on-air and online analyst for MLB Network, MLB.com, and NESN (New England Sports Network);
8. Rob Neyer writes about baseball for ESPN.com and appears regularly on ESPN radio and ESPNews;
9. Todd Radcliffe is Lead Video Scout at Baseball Info Solutions;
10. The Tom Tango Fan Poll represents the results of a poll taken at the website, Tango on Baseball

Bill James Handbook 2011
The three tie-breakers are Steve Moyer, President of BIS, Dan Casey, veteran Video Scout at BIS, and Dave Studenmund, one of the owners of www.hardballtimes.com and the editor of The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.

Complete results and voting on THE 2010 FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS are presented in The Bill James Handbook 2011, published on or before November 1 every year.

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Used with permission from John Dewan’s Stat of the Week™, http://www.statoftheweek.com/.

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    November 1, 2010  Tags: , , , , ,   Posted in: awards, book, fielding, John Dewan, Stat of the Week, stats

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