Pena Wins First Gold Glove
Carlos Pena
Carlos Pena
Scout.com
Posted Nov 6, 2008


Carlos Pena on Thursday was selected as the Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner at first base in the American League. Pena, a first-time selection, posted a .998 fielding percentage in 1,099 chances. In John Dewan’s plus/minus rating system—perhaps the most effective metric used to evaluate defensive value—he also rated out fifth in the majors at the position, and second his league, with a +14.

Carlos Pena on Thursday was selected as the Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner at first base in the American League. Pena, a first-time selection, posted a .998 fielding percentage in 1,099 chances, which was tied for first among qualifying first baseman in the majors. In John Dewan’s plus/minus rating system—perhaps the most effective metric used to evaluate defensive value—he rated out fifth in the majors at the position, and second his league, with a +14.

The Rays’ excellent run prevention efforts were the biggest reason for their remarkable worst-to-first turnaround in the American League East. Tampa Bay only allowed 671 runs, nearly a 300-run improvement from its total a season earlier. The team defense ranked first in the majors in defensive efficiency, the rate at which batted balls hit into play are converted into outs. The defensive excellence coincided with dramatic improvements in the bullpen and starting rotation, helping guide the Rays, with a middling offense, to the A.L. pennant.

Pena was an important part to an outstanding defensive infield, which featured above-average defenders at each position—Jason Bartlett (shortstop), Akinori Iwamura (second base) and Evan Longoria (third base). The left-handed hitting slugger’s defensive contributions normally get overshadowed by his offensive output—31 home runs, .861 OPS—but he is a solid glove man at the position and not a bad choice by the managers and coaches.

Longoria was a legitimate candidate to win his own Gold Glove as well, but lost out to a more deserving candidate, Fielding Bible Award winner Adrian Beltre of the Seattle Mariners.

Here are the full winners. In a future article, I will offer my criticisms about some of the undeserving winners (Michael Young, anyone?) in the American Leauge.

P – Mike Mussina, New York Yankees

C – Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

1B – Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay Rays

2B – Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

3B – Adrian Beltre, Seattle Mariners

SS – Michael Young, Texas Rangers

OF – Torii Hunter, Minnesota Twins

OF – Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians

OF – Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners

To reach Tyler Hissey, send an email to TylerHissey@gmail.com.


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Longoria Named A.L. Rookie of the Year
 -by RaysDigest.com  Nov 10, 2008
Rays Recognized In Fielding Bible Awards
 -by RaysDigest.com  Nov 2, 2008
Tampa Bay Farm System Remains Deep
 -by RaysDigest.com  Oct 29, 2008

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