SAN FRANCISCO -- Catcher Buster Posey, second baseman Joe Panik and shortstop Brandon Crawford, who always have emphasized defense, were rewarded for their diligence Tuesday by being named winners of Rawlings Gold Glove Awards at their respective positions.
They formed the largest group of Giants to win Gold Gloves since 1993, when San Francisco had four recipients (outfielder Barry Bonds, catcher Kirt Manwaring, second baseman Robby Thompson and third baseman Matt Williams).
The vote was determined through balloting among big league managers and coaches and the sabermetric community. Posey confessed that he wasn't familiar with one of the modern metrics that measured his superiority in "framing" pitches -- being able to receive the ball in such a way that the technique makes deliveries outside the strike zone appear to be strikes.
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Posey did acknowledge that adjusting quickly to right-handers Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto, new to the starting rotation this season, enabled him to work his framing magic with them.
"I think both the guys command the ball pretty well, so that helps when it comes to framing pitches," Posey said. "If you can trust that a guy's going to throw the ball to a certain part of the plate, it allows you, the catcher, to settle in a little more and not be on the defensive, for lack of a better word."
Posey ended St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina's eight-year streak of capturing Gold Gloves.
"This is a pretty cool deal for me to be recognized in this way with this honor," Posey said. "Yadi is going to go down as one of the greatest defensive catchers of all time."
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Tuesday's results reflect each player's lifelong attention to defense, as well as the Giants' ongoing emphasis on that facet of the game.
Posey said that defense was a "bigger focal point" with his coaches and father when he was a youth. Switching from shortstop to catcher at Florida State only intensified the need for Posey to concentrate on defense.
Crawford, a Gold Glove recipient for the second year in a row, reiterated that he always enjoyed taking ground balls as a youth.
"It wasn't really punishment for me," Crawford said. Thus, he added, "It's an award that will always be special to me."
Crawford added that the team places a "high priority" on defense.
"We all feed off of each other," he said.
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Panik recalled that his father would make him refine his defensive skills before allowing him to hit during family trips to the local park.
Crawford called Panik "well-rounded" and said he has especially improved at turning double plays.
"You look at him, there's not too many weaknesses."
Panik unseated Colorado's DJ LeMahieu, last year's winner, despite playing only 127 games due to a concussion that sidelined him in June.
Nevertheless, said Panik, "I don't want to say I was surprised."