As we predicted over a week ago, Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon was robbed of an NL Gold Glove Award during ESPN’s Rawlings Gold Glove Award show on Sunday night.
But there are two main reasons why he was robbed of an NL Gold Glove Award.
Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon played multiple positions and he was up against his old teammate, Nolan Arenado.
Anyone that watched the Colorado Rockies in 2021 and watched Nolan Arenado in previous years with the Rockies, saw that Ryan McMahon was, at bare minimum, as good of a defensive infielder as Nolan Arenado.
But McMahon did not play all of his time at third base, as Arenado did, which hurt his chances, especially if you just exclusively look at their stats from third base.
Defensively, the numbers show that McMahon actually was better at second base even though he only played 30 percent of his games there.
In fact, he led the NL in Defensive Runs Saved at second base, not third base. Of the three finalists at third base, though, he was the best in DRS (Atlanta’s Austin Riley was number one among players with at least 800 innings at third base).
At third base, McMahon was tied with Arenado in OAA (Outs Above Average). They had 10 OAA, which was best among NL third basemen that played enough innings to qualify for the Gold Glove Award. McMahon also had 2 OAA at second base.
Even for those who like “old school” numbers, McMahon had a fielding percentage of .979 at third base and .990 at second base. He had five errors at third base and two at second base for a total of seven errors.
Arenado had 11 errors and a fielding percentage of .974 so both of the antiquated stats say that McMahon was the better defender as well. Arenado played 95 more innings at third than McMahon did between second and third but the difference for the older stats show that, while both were great defenders, the race should not have been exceptionally close.
But Arenado has the reputation that McMahon doesn’t. With the win on Sunday, Arenado won his ninth straight Gold Glove (one for each season he has played in the majors).
The NL managers and coaches that voted on it went for the reputation rather than the numbers and the eye test and as long as McMahon and Arenado are both playing third base, it’s going to be something that McMahon and Rockies fans will have to deal with: Arenado taking home the Gold Gloves when, in reality, it should have been McMahon.