Oct 25, 2013, 5:05 PM EDT
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.
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