What a catch: Top defenders unveiled
Andrelton Simmons didn't go unnoticed for his stellar defense.
Wilson Sporting Goods announced its 2015 Major League Baseball Defensive Player of the Year Awards during an hour-long special on MLB Network, and Simmons headlined the group by being honored as Wilson's overall individual winner, while the Arizona Diamondbacks were honored as the top defensive team of 2015.
For Simmons, it's his third consecutive Wilson Defensive Player of the Year honor and first top individual honor. Simmons and Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward, who won a Gold Glove this year, were the only selectees for 2015 who also won Wilson honors last year.
The Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards started in 2012. The winners, of which there is one for both leagues at each position on the diamond, are determined using a formula that combines traditional defensive stats with advanced metrics, as well as the data logged by the baseball experts working for the scouting service Inside Edge.
Eight of the nine winners were from the National League, led by Simmons, Heyward, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks, second baseman Dee Gordon of the Miami Marlins, third baseman Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies and left fielder Starling Marte of the Pittsburgh Pirates, all of whom were announced as Gold Glove winners on Tuesday.
"Since Day One, his work ethic at first base is unmatched," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of Goldschmidt last month. "He tries to get better on a daily basis, whether it's improving his range, knowing the hitters, he's just a really selfless guy. There were a couple of times there were balls that got by him that the official scorer gave hits on, and he was petitioning that they should be errors. So he wants to be better every day and he works at it."
"I think it's just the culture we created here," D-backs center fielder A.J. Pollock said of the team's defensive mindset. "Everyone buys into the fact that defense is one of the most important things you can do."
"Just a tremendous young man," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said of Gordon. "You knew the skill set when you traded for him. It's nice to see him going out and doing what he's capable of doing."
The other selectees were New York Mets starter Jacob deGrom, who won in the pitcher category, plus San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and the only American League honoree, center fielder Kevin Pillar of the Toronto Blue Jays.
"He's a highlight reel," Blue Jays interim general manager Tony LaCava said of Pillar.
Here is the complete list of winners:
First base: Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
Second base: Gordon, Miami Marlins
Third base: Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Shortstop: Simmons, Atlanta Braves
Left field: Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates
Center field: Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays
Right field: Heyward, St. Louis Cardinals
Pitcher: deGrom, New York Mets
Catcher: Posey, San Francisco Giants
Defensive Team of the Year: D-backs
Overall 2015 Defensive Player of the Year: Simmons