deGrom wins Wilson Defensive player award
Mets pitcher has not committed an error in the big leagues
NEW YORK -- The stories of Jacob deGrom's prowess as a shortstop are by this point well-known. The Mets right-hander's college coach, Pete Dunn, believes deGrom could have played professionally on the basis of his glove alone. When Dunn asked deGrom to become a full-time pitcher, deGrom was initially reluctant because he believed that shortstop was his best ticket to the big leagues.
In hindsight, all of that seems almost ridiculous -- deGrom won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2014 as an upper-90s-throwing pitcher, and is now an All-Star and perennial Cy Young Award candidate. But his infield skills have hardly dissipated, as deGrom was named the Wilson Defensive Pitcher of the Year on Wednesday.
Established in 2012, the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards honor one standout at each position, regardless of league. The awards have a sabermetric basis, also recognizing baseball's top overall defensive player -- this year, Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons -- and top defensive team.
In his second season, deGrom was not a Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalist, but he proved exceptional enough in both traditional and advanced fielding metrics to take home the Wilson award. Consider: deGrom has never committed an error in the big leagues, and had just two over three-plus years in the Minors. This year, deGrom was tied for third among big league pitchers with three Defensive Runs Saved, trailing only Houston's Dallas Keuchel and Los Angeles' Zack Greinke. Both won Gold Gloves this year.
Wilson shifted its awards to one per position for all of Major League Baseball, as opposed to one per team, last season. Previously, David Wright won the Mets' award in 2012 and Juan Lagares won in '13. The Mets did not have a winner under the new format last season.