The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, voted on by MLB managers and coaches, is considered the standard for fielding excellence in baseball.

But for many, it simply doesn’t accurately reflect defensive dominance.

Back in 2010, the Associated Press characterized the Gold Glove Award as more of a popularity contest than an award given out for great glove work.


For years, some fans have viewed the Gold Gloves as mostly a popularity contest, even suggesting that a player’s performance at the plate helped draw extra attention to his glove.

Serious questions about the Gold Gloves have stirred for more than a decade, growing ever since Rafael Palmeiro won the award at first base in 1999. He played there only 28 games for Texas that season, spending most of the year as a designated hitter.

Now, Rawlings is looking to change all that.

They announced on Friday that they are adding a special defensive sabermetric called SDI, or SABR Defensive Index, to more accurately determine the Gold Glove Award winner at each position.

Managers and coaches will still have their say, but once the SDI has been fully created and instituted, it too, will become part of the voting criteria.

So, just what does this all mean for current players who were previously considered to be defensive wizards by managers and coaches?

Here is a list of players who could easily be affected by the addition of defensive sabermetrics to the Gold Glove Award equation.


Note: All defensive statistics courtesy of unless otherwise noted.

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