02 November 2009
The 2009 Fielding Bible
awards were announced today. These awards are based on the votes of 10 experts - John Dewan (author, The Fielding Bible), Joe Posnanski (Sports Illustrated, KC Star), Bill James (founder of "Sabermetrics"), Mat Olkin (consultant to many MLB teams, formerly at USA Today Baseball Weekly), Peter Gammons (ESPN), Rob Neyer (ESPN.com), Todd Radcliffe (Lead Scout at Baseball Info Solutions-BIS), Hal Richman (Strat-o-Matic Baseball), the Tom Tango Fan Poll
, and the BIS Video Scouts. The ten voters ranked their Top 10 at each position in a 10-9-8...2-1 ballot, similar to the MVP ballots.
1B - Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
2B - Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays
3B - Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals
SS - Jack Wilson, Pittsburgh and Seattle
LF - Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays
CF - Franklin Gutierrez, Seattle Mariners
RF - Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners
C - Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
P - Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox
Although these awards are based on the subjective votes of the panelists, it is worth taking a quick look at the Fielding Bible's Plus/Minus fielding system, since 3 of the voters work with that system developed by Baseball Info Solutions (BIS). Video Scouts at BIS review video of every major league play and record details on every aspect of the play - the location of the batted ball, the speed, the type of hit, and the fielding result. For each play, they award a "plus" number for a play that most other fielders don't make, and a "minus" number for plays that other fielders do make. Then all of the fielder's plays are summed for an overall "Plus/Minus" number, and players can be compared to their peers.
How did the Diamondbacks fare in the voting? Only two D'backs finished in the Top 10 at their positions - Justin Upton was 4th at RF, and Chris Young was ranked 10th at CF. SS Stephen Drew and C Miguel Montero both finished 13th at their respective positions. Among former D-backs, Orlando Hudson was ranked 5th at 2B, and Jon Garland was 6th among Pitchers. The complete vote totals can be seen here