Blue Jays’ Justin Smoak snubbed in Gold Glove nominations

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 24: First baseman Justin Smoak
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 24: First baseman Justin Smoak /

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak received the golden snub yesterday as the slugger was overlooked for a Gold Glove nomination even though he displayed better defensive metrics than some of the nominees in 2017.

First basemen are often overlooked for their defensive prowess on the regular however Justin Smoak undoubtedly should have been a finalist selected over the Royals’ Eric Hosmer. The numbers don’t lie yet Smoak was somehow overlooked for the opportunity to win the award.

Last season Smoak made only 2 errors in 1312 total chances, all three nominees made more errors including Carlos Santana and Mitch Moreland in considerable fewer chances. Santana made 5 errors in 1155 chances, Moreland made 5 errors in 1010 chances and Hosmer was on the hook for 4 errors in 1314 chances.

Everyone loves Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating to quantify one’s defensive value versus Fielding Percentage. Although Smoak trailed both Santana and Moreland metrically in these two categories, he was ahead of Hosmer.

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Both Santana and Moreland accumulated 10 Defensive Runs Saved while Smoak tallied just 1 and Hosmer was a -7. The same was seen in Ultimate Zone Rating where Santana had a UZR of 4.8, Moreland 4.0 UZR, Smoak 1.7 UZR while  Hosmer was last again with a -0.3 UZR in 2017.

Smoak was percentage points higher than all three in fielding percentage with a .998  rating compared to that of Hosmer .997, Santana .996 and Moreland .995. Moreland won the award last season while with the Texas Rangers while Hosmer had successfully earned the golden honour the previous three seasons in 2013 through to 2015.

The Blue Jays did have two finalists selected at other positions in Kevin Pillar and pitcher Marcus Stroman as both players will vie for their first Gold Glove award. The awards will formally be announced on November 07th on ESPN.

Next: Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar will be denied Gold Glove again

There is no telling if Smoak would have unseated Moreland due to the discrepancy in metrics between the two players but Smoak definitely deserved to be on the ballot over Hosmer. From there, anything could have happened.