There were four first-time Gold Glove Award winners in the National League a year ago.
Who, if anyone, will get their first this year?
Ike Davis had a big season with his glove for the Mets and has the highest Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), a quantifier of runs allowed/saved by a defender, among qualified first baseman. In the outfield, can Jay Bruce of the Reds and Andres Torres of the Giants win their first Gold Glove Awards?
Bruce (20.2 UZR) and Torres (21.2) not only helped their respective teams to the playoffs with their bats but also their gloves, as each had outstanding seasons defensively.
There are some notable holdovers, too.
Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins won his third Gold Glove a year ago, and the Padres' Adrian Gonzalez, the Phils' Shane Victorino and the Cards' Yadier Molina each won their second.
If Gonzalez doesn't win it at first base, can Albert Pujols of the Cardinals -- who won the Gold Glove in 2006 -- recapture the award?
We'll find out on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. ET, when the 2010 Rawlings National League Gold Glove Award winners, as voted by the managers and coaches in each league, are revealed.
The decision-making process is simple. Managers and coaches from all 30 teams must submit their votes by the end of the regular season. Votes are cast for the best defensive player at each position in each league, except in the outfield, where the top three defensive outfielders are selected regardless of position. Managers and coaches can only vote for players in their own league, and can't vote for their own players.
Here's a look at the favorites at each position, with the incumbent winners from 2009 listed first and the rest of the top candidates listed alphabetically. For those unfamiliar with sabermetrics, UZR stands for ultimate zone rating, which quantifies the number of runs a defender prevents or allows.
National League Gold Glove Award Candidates
|*Adrian Gonzalez, SD||8||112||1.1|
|Ike Davis, NYM||9||123||10.1|
|Albert Pujols, STL||4||139||1.5|
|Joey Votto, CIN||5||97||1.6|
|Chase Utley, PHI||11||77||10.3|
|Brandon Phillips, CIN||3||90||9.7|
|David Eckstein, SD||0||63||6.6|
|*Ryan Zimmerman, WAS||17||19||13.9|
|Chase Headley, SD||13||20||16.5|
|Placido Polanco, PHI||5||29||10|
|*Jimmy Rollins, PHI||6||47||6.9|
|Troy Tulowitzki, COL||10||95||7.1|
|Stephen Drew, ARI||10||81||8.7|
|Brendan Ryan, STL||17||93||11.5|
|*Yadier Molina, STL||5||7||38%|
|Miguel Olivo, COL||9||10||42%|
|Carlos Ruiz, PHI||6||4||29%|
|*Michael Bourn, HOU||3||8||17.6|
|*Matt Kemp, LAD||5||3||-24.0|
|*Shane Victorino, PHI||2||11||2.6|
|Jay Bruce, CIN||3||7||20.2|
|Andres Torres, SF||1||7||21.2|
|Angel Pagan, NYM||5||10||15.1|
|*Adam Wainwright, STL||1||36||4|
|Bronson Arroyo, CIN||0||31||5|
|Jon Garland, SD||1||36||4|
|*-denotes last year's winner|
Adrian Gonzalez, Padres: 8 errors, 112 DPs, 1.1 UZR; Ike Davis, Mets: 9 errors, 123 DPs, 10.1 UZR; Albert Pujols, Cardinals: 4 errors, 139 DPs, 1.5 UZR; Joey Votto, Reds: 5 errors, 97 DPs, 1.6 UZR.
Chase Utley, Phillies: 11 errors, 77 DPs, 10.3 UZR; Brandon Phillips, Reds: 3 errors, 90 DPs, 9.7 UZR; David Eckstein, Padres: 0 errors, 63 DPs, 6.6 UZR.
Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals: 17 errors, 19 DPs, 13.9 UZR; Chase Headley, Padres: 13 errors, 20 DPs, 16.5 UZR; Placido Polanco, Phillies: 5 errors, 29 DPs, 10 UZR.
Jimmy Rollins, Phillies: 6 errors, 47 DPs, 6.9 UZR; Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: 10 errors, 95 DPs, 7.1 UZR; Stephen Drew, D-backs: 10 errors, 81 DPs, 8.7 UZR; Brendan Ryan, Cardinals: 17 errors, 93 DPs, 11.5 UZR.
Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 5 errors, 7 PBs, 38-percent CS; Miguel Olivo, Rockies, 9 errors, 10 PBs, 42 CS; Carlos Ruiz, Phillies: 6 errors, 4 PBs, 29 CS.
Michael Bourn, Astros: 3 errors, 8 assists, 17.6 UZR; Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 5 errors, 3 assists, -24.0 UZR; Shane Victorino, Phillies: 2 errors, 11 assists, 2.6 UZR; Jay Bruce, Reds: 3 errors, 7 assists, 20.2 UZR; Andres Torres, Giants: 1 error, 7 assists, 21.2 UZR; Angel Pagan, Mets: 5 errors, 10 assists, 15.1 UZR.
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals: 1 error, 36 assists, 4 DPs; Bronson Arroyo, Reds: 0 errors, 31 assists, 5 DPs; Jon Garland, Padres: 1 error, 36 assists, 4 DPs.
Minnesota's Orlando Hudson, who won his fourth Gold Glove with the Dodgers last season, was among the favorites to win the award in the American League, but he was outdone by the Yankees' Robinson Cano, who took home his first award. But who do you like among NL second basemen? Chase Utley and Brandon Phillips each had big seasons.
Better yet, how do you judge defensive proficiency? Is it the fewest errors, the highest fielding percentage, or do you prefer UZR, which attempts to measure how good a player is at getting to balls determined to be in his "zone?" You tell us.