Jackie Bradley Jr. snubbed of Gold Glove Award

jackie bradley jrThe hitting bias continues when it comes to voting for the Gold Glove Award and it is a shame.
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Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia won his fourth career Gold Glove, which is all well and good, but the bad outweighs the good. Jackie Bradley Jr. was snubbed of the award as Adam Jones won it for the center field spot.

Pedroia joins Dwight Evans (eight), Carl Yastrzemski (seven) and Fred Lynn (four) as four-time Red Sox Gold Glove winners, but it seems Jackie Bradley Jr., who was the best defensive center fielder in the game, was denied a Gold Glove.

Playing 113 games in center field, Jackie Bradley Jr. made 105 starts and committed just one error on the season while turning eight double plays and recording 13 assists. To put it this way, Bradley made two more assists and turned five more double plays than any other center fielder in the game.

Had Bradley hit better than he did (.198 in 127 games), he would have had a much better shot for two reasons. First of all there is a bit of an offensive bias when it comes to the Gold Glove Award and also had Bradley hit better, he would have been in the Red Sox lineup more often than he was. Had Bradley been a .250 hitter, he would not have been sent down to Pawtucket in August and would have turned even more double plays and recorded more assists than he did.

In contrast, although Adam Jones was an above-average center fielder he does not seem deserving of the award. He did play 155 games in center field, but committed six errors on the year. Sure his seven assists and three double plays are impressive, but hitting .281 with nearly 30 home runs did not exactly work against Jones here.

If numbers alone are not enough to warrant a Gold Glove Award, then check out this throw by Jackie Bradley Jr. which may help out his case.


Should Jackie Bradley Jr. Win A Gold Glove?

jbjNot exactly known for his offense, Jackie Bradley Jr. always manages to turn some heads with his spectacular defense. Right now Bradley is struggling at the plate, but as time progresses, he will get better. Despite having a dismal .632 OPS in 89 games for Boston, Bradley has yet to boot a ball on defense. Playing a total of 769 2/3 innings in the field, he is boasting a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Keep in mind, roughly 95% of those innings have came in center field, hands down the toughest position to play in the outfield. His Wins Above Replacement (WAR) ranks sixth among all defenders in baseball, despite infield positions getting much more credit in saber metrics than outfield positions historically speaking.
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Fielding is a crucial component of winning a Gold Glove award which Bradley does well, but arm strength is another part of defense where Bradley excels. As an outfielder, Bradley ranks second for assists with 11. Out of center fielders, Bradley is the leader by far. Leonys Martin, who ranks second in outfield assists, has five less than Bradley. Bradley also leads all center fielders in double plays turned with six, beating Martin out by three again.

Statistically speaking, Jackie Bradley Jr. has a strong throwing arm, but one must see it to believe it. To make it even more obvious that he has one of the best arms in the game, he threw a ball from essentially home plate at Fenway Park to the center field bleachers, which stood nearly 400 feet away and 17 feet high.
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Of course, if that is not enough evidence that Bradley has a cannon, then there is one more fact worth sharing—over six years ago, in 2008 when he was in high school, he was clocked at 101 MPH throwing from the outfield by Perfect Game. Not many Major League pitchers can even throw 100 MPH, so it is truly amazing that Bradley can and could back when he was in high school.

With all of the talent in Major League Baseball, Jackie Bradley Jr. tops them all defensively in the outfield. Many view Mike Trout as a premium defender, but he is nothing compared to Bradley. The “Millville Meteor”,as Trout is called, is the better player all-around of the two, but defensively it is clear Bradley, who is nicknamed “JBJ”, has the upper hand.
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When Major League Baseball gives out awards in November, do not be surprised when Jackie Bradley Jr. gets the Gold Glove award.