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Denard Span wins Wilson defensive award

Nov 8, 2013, 4:40 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Denard Span may have missed out on the coveted Gold Glove award for National League center fielders, but he has been given somewhat of a consolation prize. Span was named the Wilson defensive player of the year award for the Washington Nationals from Wilson sporting goods.

The award signifies Span as the Nationals’ most valuable player on defense which is an appropriate honor. For 153 games this season he was essentially perfect in center field with a 1.000 fielding percentage. He ranked second among MLB center fielders with 379 putouts and had five assists in 1300 2/3 innings.

Advanced statistics were also kind to Span this season. He placed third among NL center fielders with a 10.2 Ultimate Zone Rating.

Span helped improve the Nationals’ defense this year in the outfield and made several game saving grabs to secure victories for his team. One example would be Aug. 15 against the Giants, when Rafael Soriano nearly blew the save before Span caught a diving line drive for the final out in a 6-5 win. Span was photographed on the ground in front of the ‘Natitude’ sign in left-center field, providing one of the more memorable moments of the 2013 season for the Nats.

The 2013 Gold Glove award for NL center fielders was given to Carlos Gomez of the Milwaukee Brewers. Span was named a finalist along with Andrew McCutchen.

Here is the full list of 2013 Wilson defensive award winners:

Atlanta Braves – Andrelton Simmons – SS

Arizona Diamondbacks – Gerardo Parra – OF

Baltimore Orioles – Manny Machado – 3B

Boston Red Sox – Dustin Pedroia – 2B

Chicago White Sox – Gordon Beckham – 2B

Chicago Cubs – Darwin Barney 2B

Cleveland Indians – Yan Gomes – C

Cincinnati Reds – Jay Bruce – OF

Colorado Rockies – D.J. LeMahieu – 2B

Detroit Tigers – Austin Jackson – OF

Houston Astros – Matt Dominguez – 3B

Kansas City Royals – Lorenzo Cain – 3B

Los Angeles Dodgers – Juan Uribe – 3B

Miami Marlins – Donovan Solano – 2B

L.A. Angels of Anaheim – J.B. Shuck – OF

Milwaukee Brewers – Carlos Gomez – OF

Minnesota Twins – Brian Dozier – 2B

New York Mets – Juan Lagares – OF

New York Yankees – Robinson Cano – 2B

Oakland Athletics – Josh Reddick – OF

Philadelphia Phillies – Carlos Ruiz – C

Pittsburgh Pirates – Russell Martin – C

Seattle Mariners – Dustin Ackley – 2B

San Diego Padres – Chris Denorfia – OF

San Francisco Giants – Gregor Blanco – OF

St. Louis Cardinals – Yadier Molina – C

Tampa Bay Rays – Evan Longoria – 3B

Texas Rangers – Craig Gentry – OF

Toronto Blue Jays – Colby Rasmus – OF

Washington Nationals – Denard Span – OF

  1. Doc - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    The list seems rather extensive.

    Are all the players sales reps for Wilson?? LOL

    • Section 222 - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      It’s one player per team.

  2. Section 222 - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Well deserved. Kind of cool that the Onion’s brother is the best defender on the Marlins. And I was surprised to see that Jay Bruce was the Reds’ winner, and not Brandon Phillips.

  3. sjm308 - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Nice honor, has this award been around for any length of time. I am guessing he is our first winner unless Ryan Z. won it back when he actually had range and an arm. Cheap shot I know because I like Zimm but he needs to bounce back strong this season.

  4. Section 222 - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Per Wagner in NJ, this is the second year for the awards. Each team has a player honored and a player from each league is named defensive player of the year. This year it was Pedroia for the AL and Parra for the NL.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2013/11/08/denard-span-wins-wilson-defensive-player-of-the-year-award-for-nationals/

    Here are the 2012 winners. (ALR won it for the Nats if you’re not into clicking on links.)

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/11/05/the-wilson-defensive-awards-were-announced-last-night/

    • Section 222 - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Also of interest, Span won it for the Twins last year.

  5. natsfan1a - Nov 8, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Hadn’t seen this but good for the Span Man. I’m a fan. (Duh. It’s my name and all.) :-)

  6. natsfan1a - Nov 8, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    In other news, I seem to be in a time warp. But the comment sequence will probably sort out later, as it seems to do that.

  7. Sonny G 10 - Nov 8, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Span, you da man!!!

  8. Joe Seamhead - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    I wonder if WODL agrees with this selection?

    Also, quite a few posters on this blog thought that if the Nats kept Denard Span in 2014 then they should make him the 4th outfielder. Does anybody here still feel that way?

    When Rizzo traded for Span I was ambivalent about it because I had never really been able to see much of his play before. After seeing him play about three games at Nats Park I was very impressed with the way he got a jump on the ball. By about the 5th game I saw him I was convinced that Denard was unquestionably the overall best defensive centerfielder to play for the Nats since we got baseball back in DC. Sure Ankiel had a better arm, but in my opinion he wasn’t as good as Span on getting to the balls to begin with. I also think Denard’s arm, though certainly not elite, is still better than many give him credit for. He also seems to always throw to the right place.

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