Heyward, Simmons named Gold Glove Award finalists

Heyward, Simmons named Gold Glove Award finalists

Heyward, Simmons named Gold Glove Award finalists

Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons and right fielder Jason Heyward are finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, Rawlings announced Friday.

Heyward is up for his second consecutive Gold Glove Award, while Simmons was named a finalist in his first full Major League season.

Winners will be revealed on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET during a one-hour ESPN2 "Baseball Tonight" show.

Simmons, up against Washington's Ian Desmond and Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki, ranked fourth in the National League among qualified shortstops with a .981 fielding percentage while committing 14 errors, tied for fourth fewest in the NL.

Sabermetrically, Simmons vastly outshines his competitors. He posted a 5.4 defensive WAR -- far above Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma, who finished second with a 1.3 mark. Simmons also posted a 4.92 range factor. Tulowitzki sits close to Simmons in that metric, with a 4.91 mark.

Heyward, who is a finalist alongside Cincinnati's Jay Bruce and Arizona's Gerardo Parra, played in only 104 games because of various injuries. Still, he committed zero errors and threw out three baserunners. He ranked seventh among NL right fielders with a 1.4 defensive WAR.

The voting was slightly altered this year. Since its inception in 1957, the Rawlings Gold Glove has relied solely on Major League managers and coaches votes to determine the best defensive players. Managers and coaches got an assist this year from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). For the first time, Rawlings collaborated with SABR to formally incorporate sabermetrics as a component of the Gold Glove Award.

A committee of experts in baseball analytics and defensive measurement devised the SABR Defensive Index (SDI), which draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball, location-based data, and those collected by from play-by-play accounts.

The three metrics representing batted ball data include defensive runs saved (from Baseball Info Solutions), ultimate zone rating (developed by sabermetician Mitchel Lichtman), and runs effectively defended (created by SABR's Chris Dial).

The two metrics included in the SDI from play-by-play data are defensive regression analysis, created by committee member Michael Humphreys, and total zone rating.

The plan, according to Rawlings and SABR, is to have the SDI complement the judgment by the managers and coaches. The SABR Defensive Index will account for 30 total votes -- or approximately 25 percent -- of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, and will be added to the votes from the managers and coaches.

Ballots were distributed to managers and coaches in September, and they received a revamped statistical resource guide as well.

Rawlings announced the three finalists at each position in each league via Twitter on Friday.

The complete list of finalists:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Pitcher
Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays
R.A. Dickey, Blue Jays
Doug Fister, Tigers

Catcher
Joe Mauer, Twins
Salvador Perez, Royals
Matt Wieters, Orioles

First base
Chris Davis, Orioles
Eric Hosmer, Royals
James Loney, Rays

Second base
Robinson Cano, Yankees
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
Ben Zobrist, Rays

Third base
Adrian Beltre, Rangers
Evan Longoria, Rays
Manny Machado, Orioles

Shortstop
Alcides Escobar, Royals
Yunel Escobar, Rays
J.J. Hardy, Orioles

Left field
Yoenis Cespedes, A's
Andy Dirks, Tigers
Alex Gordon, Royals

Center field
Lorenzo Cain, Royals
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
Adam Jones, Orioles

Right field
Nick Markakis, Orioles
Shane Victorino, Red Sox
Josh Reddick, A's

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pitcher
Patrick Corbin, D-backs
Zack Greinke, Dodgers
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals

Catcher
A.J. Ellis, Dodgers
Russell Martin, Pirates
Yadier Molina, Cardinals

First base
Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs
Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs

Second base
Darwin Barney, Cubs
Brandon Phillips, Reds
Mark Ellis, Dodgers

Third base
Nolan Arenado, Rockies
Juan Uribe, Dodgers
David Wright, Mets

Shortstop
Desmond, Nationals
Simmons, Braves
Tulowitzki, Rockies

Left field
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
Starling Marte, Pirates
Eric Young Jr., Mets

Center field
Carlos Gomez, Brewers
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
Denard Span, Nationals

Right field
Bruce, Reds
Heyward, Braves
Parra, D-backs

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.