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Desmond, Span named Gold Glove finalists

Oct 25, 2013, 5:05 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Both shortstop Ian Desmond and center fielder Denard Span of the Nationals were named finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove awards set to be handed out on Tuesday Oct. 29. Each is one of three players at their position in the National League in the running for the honor.

Desmond, 28, was nominated alongside Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves and Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies. Desmond was a finalist last season, but did not win the actual award.

Span is in the top three for center fielders along with Carlos Gomez of the Milwaukee Brewers and Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Span has always been regarded as one the best defensive players at his position, but this is his first time as a Gold Glove finalist.

Desmond held a .971 fielding percentage in 158 games this season and ranked third among NL shortstops with 446 total assists and 446 putouts. He was also involved in 96 double plays this year which was second best amongst his NL peers.

Desmond did commit the second most errors this season among NL shortstops with 20, but those included seven in his first 18 games. In his last 140 he committed just 13 errors, including a 59-game errorless streak from April 22 to June 27.

The 28 year old shortstop has always been lauded for his range and throwing arm. This year he was ranked by MLB managers as having the best arm of any infielder in the majors.

Span’s defensive prowess is more about his range and ability to get perfect jumps on fly balls in center field. He posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage through 153 games this year, in 1300 2/3 total innings. His 379 putouts were the second most of any center fielder in the National League in 2013.

The Nationals have had two players win Gold Glove awards since they moved to Washington, D.C. in 2005, and both players are still on the current roster. Ryan Zimmerman won the honor for NL third basemen in 2009 and just last year Adam LaRoche won the award at first base.

The winners of this year’s Gold Glove awards will be announced Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

  1. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    They won’t win, but it’s nice they were nominated.

  2. Joe Seamhead - Oct 25, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    I caught a lot of crap for stating that Denard Span was the best center fielder that this franchise has had since the return of baseball in DC. Comparing him to Nyjer Morgan by some was… [fill in the blank], in my opinion. And there were a few here that really thought Rizzo erred in not going after BJ Upton. BJ, and his brother, both have the tools to be Gold Glove caliber out fielders, but neither one plays it as consistently as the three finalists. As to Span won’t win it? Gomez is probably the best all around CF, but I disagree that McCutchen deserves it. Like it or not, fielding percentage counts for this award. Andrew had a couple of catchable balls go off his mitt and a couple of bad throws, too.In my opinion, if Andrew wins it this year it’s a popularity contest.That said, McCutchen is one of my very favorite players in MLB today. I wish he was a Nat.

    • NatsLady - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      Agree. Gomez should win, McCutchen will. Span is great, but so smooth and not flashy, doesn’t make a lot of “Web gems.”

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    finalist. I thought they were named winners. braves fans would riot if simmons lost to desi.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      Yeah, all five of them.

      • jostopholees - Oct 26, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        As opposed to the 3 nats fans?

  4. Joe Seamhead - Oct 26, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    Well, I think popularity is a huge part of who ultimately wins. Gomez’ antics on his home run shouldn’t have any part in the vote, but it will. Again, I don’t think McCutchen deserves it this year. I doubt Span will get it, but I wouldn’t be totally shocked if he did. As to Ian Desmond, I would be shocked if he won it.

  5. natsfan1a - Oct 27, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Possibly of interest to stat-heads, Comak also has an item on this in which she touches on the new sabermetric component to the selection process.

    http://curlyw.mlblogs.com/

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