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What is the argument for a Brendan Ryan Gold Glove?

We all kind of take it for granted that Brendan Ryan is absolutely playing out of his mind in the field. Some of us probably take it for granted that he's not going to win a Gold Glove, for a variety of the well-hashed reasons, insert grumbling about Jeter here.

I know that the gold glove is one of the more highly subjective awards, given out by managers and coaches. And I know that the Fielding Bible Awards rely a lot more on stats and expert opinion. So I know there's only so much one can do here, and apologies if I'm just clumsily going down the same path that the Fielding Bible Awards do...

I was curious about Ryan's stats, to see if they matched what we see in games. I know as of this writing there's 12 more games to play, but I can't imagine that 12 games make much of a difference in defensive stats at the end of the season. So I would like your opinions on ways to slice the data.

Here's what I dug up:

Past Gold Glove winners: I took a look at stats for AL Gold Glove shortstops going back to 2000. This goes back further than some of the advanced defensive metrics go, but at the risk of being arbitrary I went back that far solely because it catches some of the end of the Omar Vizquel Era. That's a recognizable enough gold standard for defense that it seemed worthwhile.

If there's a way to get a custom table in Fangraphs that includes a year from one player and a different year from a different one, I can't find it, so I have stuff pasted into a huge table after the jump.

Current AL shortstops: It's simple enough to get defensive stats for current qualified AL shortstops in 2012.

Advanced metrics: I think the frequent admonition has been to minimize or outright not use single-season samples when looking at UZR or DRS. Even though Brendan is 1st among AL shortstops in single-season UZR... So I grabbed a 3-year sample, 2010-2012, for active shortstops.

Here are some of Brendan's rankings that stood out to me.

In 3-year samples against current AL shortstops: 1st in DRS, RZR and UZR/150. 3rd of 13 in UZR. 4th of 13 in Fielding %. 6th of 13 in error rate. 10th of 13th (i.e. 4th best) in total errors.

This year, vs. AL shortstops: 2nd in OOZ and # of double plays. 3rd in Fielding %. 9th of 11 (i.e. 2nd best) in total errors - he has 8; Peralta and Hardy are tied for best with 6 each. 10th of 11 in putouts. 7th of 11 in assists.

Rank vs. AL Gold Glove SS, 2000-2011: 1st in OOZ. 1st in UZR/150. (single-season, danger danger will robinson). 8th in total errors (i.e. 3rd best). 6th in fielding %. 9th in double plays. Last in putouts. 2nd to last in assists.

A side tangent on offense:

Probably no point in digging out his offense compared to other shortstops. If someone is factoring in offense in a defensive award, there's only so much to say. WAR likely does a decent enough job already of quantifying how Ryan's defense offsets his offense.

"Hits like a pitcher, fields better than Omar": Does it help to note that his .249 wOBA is 5th when compared to all NL pitchers with 40 or more PA? :) If the NL is ok with average offense, above average defense from the shortstop, and then poor offense/ minimal defense from the pitcher, I'd think the AL could be ok with poor offense / superior defense from the shortstop, and average offense / obviously no defense from its DH.

I.e. Brendan Ryan plus Jaso/Montero at DH is equal or superior to Any NL Shortstop plus any Pitcher, if you want to drag offense into the discussion of a defensive award.

I don't know what conclusions to draw from this, necessarily. I know I'm biased in looking at all of this because I already want him to be recognized with a mainstream award. (I don't consider Fielding Bible Award mainstream.) But I wanted to start somewhere.

What is the case one can make for Brendan Ryan winning a Gold Glove?

Here's a collection of the raw single-season data I was looking at. Hopefully the table below is legible; I was able to read this on my desktop with LL set to Wide View, so sorry if this is weird in Narrow, or for mobile users, etc. Notice some of the stats don't go back far enough to cover 2000-2002.

Name Team Inn DRS BIZ Plays RZR OOZ DPR RngR ErrR UZR UZR/150 PO A E DP FP
Brendan Ryan SEA 1104 27 289 237 0.820 81 3.7 7.4 2.6 13.7 17.3 184 373 8 93 0.986
Jhonny Peralta DET 1172.2 0 283 243 0.859 45 0.1 6.1 4.3 10.5 13.8 213 334 6 66 0.989
J.J. Hardy BAL 1323 17 386 318 0.824 104 0.3 2.8 6.7 9.8 9.8 220 490 6 96 0.992
Mike Aviles BOS 1087.2 14 286 240 0.839 69 2.4 6.8 -1.2 8 9.5 205 362 14 80 0.976
Elvis Andrus TEX 1220 5 328 265 0.808 76 0.4 7.3 -0.2 7.5 8.4 216 386 15 80 0.976
Yunel Escobar TOR 1161.2 18 339 290 0.856 67 -2.3 5.5 3.5 6.7 8.1 218 399 11 82 0.983
Alexei Ramirez CHW 1285.1 14 351 294 0.838 63 0.9 0.4 2.3 3.7 3.9 212 399 12 80 0.981
Erick Aybar LAA 1116.2 1 307 242 0.788 54 0.4 -2.6 -0.2 -2.3 -3.1 220 340 14 70 0.976
Asdrubal Cabrera CLE 1085.1 -4 306 240 0.784 73 1.4 -5.7 -2.7 -7 -9.3 211 378 18 88 0.97
Alcides Escobar KCR 1296.2 -2 347 260 0.749 66 0.5 -8.8 -2.8 -11.1 -13.1 230 382 17 82 0.973
Derek Jeter NYY 1090.1 -16 293 216 0.737 59 -0.8 -14.7 2.1 -13.4 -15.9 158 297 10 58 0.979
Omar Vizquel Indians (2000) 231 416 3 99 0.995
Omar Vizquel Indians (2001) 219 414 7 88 0.989
Alex Rodriguez Rangers (2002) -1.4 9 5.3 12.8 12.7 261 472 10 109 0.987
Alex Rodriguez Rangers (2003) 1369.2 8 377 340 0.902 45 -0.3 2.9 9.9 12.4 11.2 227 464 8 110 0.989
Derek Jeter Yankees (2004) 1341.2 -13 372 298 0.801 29 0.3 -5.5 4.5 -0.7 -0.7 273 392 13 95 0.981
Derek Jeter Yankees (2005) 1352.2 -27 472 374 0.792 26 -1.9 -18.8 5.7 -14.9 -13.4 262 454 15 96 0.98
Derek Jeter Yankees (2006) 1292.1 -16 385 310 0.805 28 -0.8 -8.7 2.2 -7.3 -7.7 214 381 15 81 0.975
Orlando Cabrera Angels (2007) 1330.2 5 374 302 0.808 51 0.6 7.7 4.5 12.7 13.7 239 415 11 104 0.984
Michael Young Rangers (2008) 1389.2 2 422 352 0.834 57 0.5 10.4 3.4 14.3 13.3 242 472 16 101 0.978
Derek Jeter Yankees (2009) 1260.2 3 326 276 0.847 25 -1.7 3.1 5 6.4 8 206 340 8 75 0.986
Derek Jeter Yankees (2010) 1303.2 -9 356 277 0.778 38 0.6 -11.8 6.5 -4.7 -5.4 182 365 6 92 0.989
Erick Aybar Angels (2011) 1262 -1 343 284 0.828 65 2.1 -4 3.1 1.2 0.9 239 406 13 95 0.98
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