Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Joey Gallo Officially Named as Finalists for Gold Glove Awards

Chris Halicke

Two Texas Rangers were named Gold Glove finalists for their respective positions on Thursday: Isiah Kiner-Falefa at third base and Joey Gallo in right field.

Neither selection comes as a surprise. Both players were consistently near the top of their positions in a number of defensive categories and metrics. According to Fangraphs, Joey Gallo was second among all positions in baseball in Defensive Runs Saved (12) and fourth in Ultimate Zone Rating (6.1). 

Isiah Kiner-Falefa ranked higher than all American League third baseman with 8 DRS. However, Kiner-Falefa is not without competition. While his 1.1 UZR ranked fifth among American League third basemen, fellow Gold Glove finalist Gio Urshela led all AL third basemen with a 5.4 UZR—a mark that is eighth-best among all positions in baseball. Chicago White Sox Yoán Moncada, the third finalist for AL third basemen, ranked second with a 3.5 UZR.

The last time the Rangers had any Gold Glove winners was in 2016, when both Adrían Beltré and Mitch Moreland won at third base and first base respectively.

How are these awards decided, especially in a truncated 2020 season? Here's an explanation in the press release from Rawlings' official announcement of all the finalists considered for a Gold Glove award:

"Historically, the Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners have been determined by a vote from 30 managers’ and up to six of their respective coaches. Each manager and coach vote from a pool of qualified players in their League and cannot vote for players from their own team. In 2013, Rawlings added a sabermetric component to the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, as part of its collaboration with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). The SABR Defensive Index™ (SDI) has previously comprised approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers and coaches’ vote continuing to carry the majority.

"Due to the compressed 2020 season, the Award qualifications have been amended to rely solely on the SDI which draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts. SDI utilizes MLBAM’s Statcast, Sports Information Solutions data, and STATS, LLC data as well as traditional statistics with advanced analysis."

Here is the complete list of finalists announced by Rawlings on Thursday afternoon:

American League

Griffin Canning, Angels
Kenta Maeda, Twins
Zach Plesac, Indians

Yasmani Grandal, White Sox
James McCann, White Sox
Roberto Pérez, Indians

First Base
Yuli Gurriel, Astros
Matt Olson, Athletics
Evan White, Mariners

Second Base
Cesar Hernandez, Indians
Danny Mendick, White Sox
Jonathan Schoop, Tigers

Third Base
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Rangers
Yoán Moncada, White Sox
Gio Urshela, Yankees

Carlos Correa, Astros
J.P. Crawford, Mariners
Niko Goodrum, Tigers

Left Field
Alex Gordon, Royals
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Blue Jays
Kyle Tucker, Astros

Center Field
Byron Buxton, Twins
Ramón Laureano, Athletics
Luis Robert, White Sox

Right Field
Clint Frazier, Yankees
Joey Gallo, Rangers
Anthony Santander, Orioles

National League

Max Fried, Braves
Kyle Hendricks, Cubs
Alec Mills, Cubs

Tucker Barnhart, Reds
Willson Contreras, Cubs
Jacob Stallings, Pirates

First Base
Brandon Belt, Giants
Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs

Second Base
Adam Frazier, Pirates
Nico Hoerner, Cubs
Kolten Wong, Cardinals

Third Base
Brian Anderson, Marlins
Nolan Arenado, Rockies
Manny Machado, Padres

Javier Báez, Cubs
Miguel Rojas, Marlins
Dansby Swanson, Braves

Left Field
Shogo Akiyama, Reds
Tyler O'Neill, Cardinals
David Peralta, D-backs

Center Field
Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves
Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
Trent Grisham, Padres

Right Field
Mookie Betts, Dodgers
Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
Jason Heyward, Cubs

The winners will be unveiled during a live, one-hour “Baseball Tonight” broadcast on ESPN Tuesday, November 3, 2020, at 6 p.m. CT. Yes, that November 3, which is also Election Day in the United States.

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