Machado wins Platinum Glove

The fans have spoken and Manny Machado’s glove is the best in the American League.

The 21-year-old Machado— who missed out on being named the League’s best in Rawlings Gold Glove voting earlier this week— was named the winner of the company’s Platinum Award on Friday night, which is based off of fan voting among the nine Gold Glovers in each League. 

Machado, who edged Texas’ Adrian Beltre and Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria for his first career Gold Glove Award, is coming off his first full season in the big leagues and one full of highlight-reel plays. He led AL third basemen in fielding percentage (.973), assists (355), double plays turned (42) and range factor (3.02) and finished second with 116 putouts. Additionally, Machado posted 32 total zone runs, the number of runs above average the player was worth, based on the number of plays made. It was the highest total for any defensive player in 2013 and tied for 12th-best all time. He also posted the best defensive season by an AL infielder since Mark Belanger was credited with 35 total zone runs in 1975.

Machado, called up from Double-A Bowie in August 2012, made the transition from shortstop to third base look effortless as a rookie and was even more awe-inspiring in 2013. His 4.4 defensive wins above replacement score led the AL and was the third-highest total in the Majors, tying him for the eighth-highest single-season total in history, regardless of position.

Machado beat out Boston’s second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who won the Rawlings Award for best defender in the AL, and was joined by Atlanta’s Andrelton Simmons in winning the Platinum Glove Award. O’s shortstop J.J. Hardy finished third in AL voting. 

 

1 Comment

Watching Machado this past season was among the the most pleasurable baseball experiences of my life (I have been devoted to a team called the “Baltimore Orioles” since 1944). I can’t recall ever having seen so natural a young player as Machado, and that includes such obvious greats as Ripkin and Brooks Robinson. By mid-July, I was having such a good time watching Machado — and Davis, and Hardy, and Jones, and McLouth — that I announced to all my Yankee-fans friends that I wouldn’t mind if we didn’t make the playoffs. And I still don’t mind. This past season reminded me why I fell in love with baseball as a 7-year old: there is little that rivals the game when it is so well played.

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