MINNEAPOLIS -- Days after winning his first Gold Glove Award, Byron Buxton added to his hardware on Friday with the 2017 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award, announced on MLB Network.Buxton was rated as the best defender in baseball, also taking home the honors in center field, for the
MINNEAPOLIS -- Days after winning his first Gold Glove Award, Byron Buxton added to his hardware on Friday with the 2017 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award, announced on MLB Network.
Buxton was rated as the best defender in baseball, also taking home the honors in center field, for the first time in his career. Among others, he beat out Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts, who was last year's Defensive Player of the Year.
Wilson, which established this award in 2012, considers various defensive metrics in determining the winners (nine individuals and one team). That formula includes defensive WAR (25 percent), Defensive Runs Saved (25 percent), Inside Edge fielding ratings (20 percent), Inside Edge arm ratings (20 percent) and fielding percentage (10 percent). A different formula is used for pitchers and catchers.
Buxton, 23, uses his speed to his advantage, as he's the fastest player in baseball per Statcast™'s sprint speed metric. He also worked hard in the offseason to improve his jumps and reads off the bat.
Buxton led all center fielders with 24 Defensive Runs Saved, finishing third behind Simmons (32) and Betts (31). According to Inside Edge, Buxton was the best in baseball at plays that had a probability of 1-10 percent of being made, making 27.8 percent of those plays.
Buxton also finished tied for second in defensive WAR behind Simmons, per Baseball-Reference.com. His .988 fielding percentage ranked ninth among all center fielders.
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Second baseman James Dozier, who also won his first Gold Glove on Tuesday, couldn't add to his awards total, as Colorado's DJ LeMahieu won the Wilson honor at second base for the second time in his career. Joe Mauer had a strong year at first base according to defensive metrics, but Cleveland's Carlos Santana won the award for the first time. The Dodgers were named the Defensive Team of the Year.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.