DENVER -- Rockies infield standout defenders Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu were named Monday as winners of the 2017 Fielding Bible Awards -- which go to the top fielder at each position, regardless of league.Arenado is a winner at third base for the third straight year, and it's a first
DENVER -- Rockies infield standout defenders Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu were named Monday as winners of the 2017 Fielding Bible Awards -- which go to the top fielder at each position, regardless of league.
Arenado is a winner at third base for the third straight year, and it's a first for LeMahieu at second base. The Fielding Bible Awards are determined by 12-member panel, each of whom vote for a top 10 at each position. A first-place vote is worth 10 points, second-place nine, and so forth. The full voting record will be published in the Bill James Handbook 2018.
Among third baseman, Arenado received 118 of a possible 120 voting points. The Athletics' Matt Chapman finished second with 95. At second base, LeMahieu finished with 108 points, and the Tigers' Ian Kinsler was second at 97.
The panel consists of authors, statisticians and sports media members (including Joe Posnanski of MLB.com), plus the Tom Tango Fan Poll (taken at FanGraphs) and the scouts at Baseball Info Solutions' Video Scouts, who study every game of the season, often multiple times, to examine key details.
Here is the Fielding Bible's passage on Arenado, published Monday:
"Arenado is essentially a shortstop who plays third base. Arenado is the only infielder to make at least six plays above average on both batted balls to his left and to his right in each of the past two seasons. This outstanding range applies to not only groundballs, but also to pop flies as Arenado is an expert at navigating foul territory on the third base side. Additionally, Arenado thrives on making the barehanded play on dribblers up the third-base line. Arenado has led all third baseman in Good Fielding Plays (GFP) in each of the past three seasons, with 57 GFPs during the 2017 season."
And here is the report on LeMahieu:
"Being the tallest second baseman in the league at 6'4" might cost him some fluidity and quick-twitch ability compared to the Jose Altuves of the world, but LeMahieu makes up for it with his ability to dive to his sides or leap to get line drives over his head. He makes most of his bones on plays up the middle, particularly with that range and by making throws across his body on the move. But he still passes the eye test on plays to his left, doing an excellent job sliding and turning around to make the throw from the ground. He led second baseman in Good Fielding Plays this season with 50, and has not finished outside the top three at the position in GFPs in the last four seasons."
Additionally, Arenado, LeMahieu and Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra are finalists for National League Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, which will be announced Nov. 7 on ESPN at 7 p.m. MT.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and** like his Facebook page**.