DENVER -- Does Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado have a legitimate claim as the Majors' best defensive player?
With the Esurance Awards on MLB.com and the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, fans can help make that determination. In other cases, it's up to stats and expert panel voting.
Voting on MLB.com is already open for the Esurance Awards, and Arenado is a nominee for the Best Defensive Player and Best Play, Defense Awards. Those cover both leagues and will be announced on MLB Network on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. MT. Here are highlights fans can use in voting for Arenado:
Those same highlights can nudge fans considering Arenado for the National League Rawlings Platinum Glove Award.
It's hard to imagine the NL Gold Glove Award for third basemen going to anyone other than Arenado -- for the fifth straight year, as long as Arenado has been in the Majors. He already has received the Fielding Bible Award as the best overall third baseman, as determined by a panel of experts. Teammate DJ LeMahieu won the Fielding Bible Award at second base and is a candidate for his second Gold Glove.
Gold Glove Awards are voted on by managers and coaches, who can't vote for their own players, with 25 percent of the process based on the Society for American Baseball Research Defensive Index. The awards will be presented during an ESPN show Tuesday at 7 p.m. MT. LeMahieu and right fielder Gerardo Parra are finalists.
According to the latest SABR Defensive Index, released Aug. 27, Arenado led all NL players with an 11.3 SDI. Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward was second at 10.9. LeMahieu ranked tops among NL second basemen and 13th among overall NL players, and will be a candidate for the Platinum Glove should he earn the Gold Glove (same with Parra).
The SABR Defensive Index draws from and aggregates two types of defensive metrics -- those derived from batted-ball location based on data, and those collected from play-by-play accounts.
There is more available defensive hardware -- the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards. There will be an overall winner in both leagues, and awards for each position, regardless of league, which means Arenado and LeMahieu are clear candidates, based on their claiming Fielding Bible Awards. Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards -- determined by a combination of traditional and advanced metrics, and data from the scouting service Inside Edge -- will be announced on MLB Network on Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. MT.
The award possibilities may not end with defense. Arenado and center fielder Charlie Blackmon have been mentioned as possible candidates for the Baseball Writers' Association of America NL Most Valuable Player Award. Finalists will be announced Monday at 4 p.m. MT on MLB Network -- which also will carry the MVP announcement Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. MT.
Arenado additionally is a finalist for MLB Players Association Player of the Year as part of the Players Choice Awards, which will be presented on MLB Network on Wednesday at 6 p.m. MT. Arenado and Blackmon are finalists for NL Outstanding Player, and closer Greg Holland is a finalist for NL Comeback Player in the Players Choice program.
Arenado; Blackmon, who won the NL batting title; and LeMahieu are candidates for NL Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards at their positions, which will be presented Thursday at 4 p.m. MT on MLB Network. Those awards are based on statistics including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, and voting from managers and coaches, who aren't allowed to vote for their own players.
Finally, manager Bud Black, who led the Rockies to the NL Wild Card Game in his first season as manager, is considered a candidate for BBWAA NL Manager of the Year. Finalists will be announced Monday at 4 p.m. MT on MLB Network.