Rays Kevin Kiermaier finishes second for Fielding Bible Award
Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier is one of three finalists among AL centerfielders to win the Gold Glove, long the gold standard among fielding awards. Boston's Jackie Bradley Jr. and Toronto's Kevin Pillar are the other two.
But Kiermaier finished second to Pillar for The Fielding Bible award, which is awarded based on voting of a 12-member panel of statistical analysts and media.
The voting, done on a 10-point scale was close, 109-106, which was a credit to Kiermaier since he missed two months with a broken hand.
Here is what the panel had to say, with the full results included the Bill James Handbook 2017, which is available from Acta Sports:
Kevin Pillar upstaged Kevin Kiermaier. It was not easy as Kiermaier set a record for the highest single season total of Defensive Runs Saved in 2015 with 42. But in 2016 Pillar continued his reign as King of the Web Gem and added in 21 runs saved to boot. Kiermaier did have 25 DRS for the Tampa Bay Rays, but when it came to making catches, Pillar saved 47 bases compared to 34 for Kiermaier. The Fielding Bible Award voters rewarded Pillar with his first award in a close vote, 109 points to 106 points for Kiermaier.
Here is the provided listing of the voters:
Since you have this book, you probably know Bill James, a baseball writer and analyst published for more than thirty years. Bill is the Senior Baseball Operations Advisor for the Boston Red Sox.
The BIS Video Scouts at Baseball Info Solutions (BIS) study every game of the season, multiple times, charting a huge list of valuable game details.
As an MLB Network on-air host of MLB Now and MLB Tonight, Brian Kenny brings an analytical perspective on the game of baseball to a national television audience. He also won a 2003 Sports Emmy Award as host of ESPN's Baseball Tonight.
Dave Cameron is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs. Until recently, he resided in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where the local minor league team once forced him to watch Michael Morse play shortstop for an entire season. He has appreciated defensive value ever since.
Doug Glanville played nine seasons in Major League Baseball and was well known for his excellent outfield defense. Currently, he is a baseball analyst at ESPN on Baseball Tonight, SportsCenter, Wednesday Night Baseball, and ESPN.com, as well as a regular contributor to The New York Times, and he is the author of the book The Game from Where I Stand.
The man who created Strat-O-Matic Baseball, Hal Richman, continues to lead his company's annual in-depth analysis of each player's season. Hal cautions SOM players that his voting on this ballot may or may not reflect the eventual fielding ratings for players in his game. Ballots were due prior to the completion of his annual research effort to evaluate player defense.
Named the best sports columnist in America in 2012 by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, Joe Posnanski is the National Columnist at NBC Sports.
For over twenty-five years, BIS owner and CEO John Dewan has collected, analyzed, and published in-depth baseball statistics and analysis. He has authored or co-authored four volumes of The Fielding Bible.
Mark Simon has been a researcher for ESPN Stats & Information since 2002 and currently helps oversee the Stats & Information blog and Twitter (@espnstatsinfo). He is a regular contributor on baseball (often writing on defense) for ESPNNY.com and ESPN.com, and is the author of Numbers Don't Lie: The Biggest Numbers in Yankees History (published by Triumph Books in June 2016).
Peter Gammons serves as on-air and online analyst for MLB Network, MLB.com and NESN (New England Sports Network). He is the 56th recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing given by the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America).
Rob Neyer has been a working writer for 25 years, and most recently has contributed to The New York Times, Vice Sports, and Complex. When he's not writing, he's thinking about not writing. Rob will live in Portland, Oregon for as long as they let him.
The Tom Tango Fan Poll represents the results of a poll taken at the website Tango on Baseball (www.tangotiger.net). Besides hosting the website, Tom is the Senior Data Architect-Stats at MLBAM and is the co-author of The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball.
Our three tie-breakers are Ben Jedlovec, President of Baseball Info Solutions and co-author of The Fielding Bible-Volume III and The Fielding Bible-Volume IV, Dan Casey, veteran Video Scout and Senior Operations Analyst at BIS, and Sean Forman, the founder of Baseball-Reference.com.