Brantley and Gomes Named Gold Glove Finalists

On Thursday, Rawlings divulged the finalists for the 2014 Gold Glove awards and a couple of Cleveland Indians were among those honored. Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes are among the finalists at their respective positions.  Rawlings nominates three finalists at each position in both the National and American leagues. The Gold Glove award winners will be disclosed at 7:00 PM during a November 4th broadcast on ESPN2. The nominations received by Brantley and Gomes were based on 75% of results from AL Managers voting and 25% on defensive metrics.

Brantley arrived in 2014 as one of the best all-around players in the AL. During an unforgettable offensive season in which he was one of only two players to break the esteemed 200 hit plateau, Brantley committed just one error and finished 4th in the AL with 12 assists in the outfield. Brantley brought the Indians’ franchise errorless record into the 2014 campaign and saw it end on April 2nd while filling in for Michael Bourn in center field, where he played 373 innings while Bourn was shelved.  Brantley had played 273 consecutive games in the outfield without an error. Brantley was leading the league in assists when he was forced to move to center field. It is likely he would have led the league in assists if not for his stint in center, and he quickly gained a reputation for bare handing balls in mid-bounce and throwing a seed into second base before the runner knew what was happening. Quickly, teams stopped testing him.

Gomes’ appearance as a finalist comes as more of a surprise considering his 14 errors behind the plate. However, he turned his defensive game around in the second half and was exceptional in managing a no-name starting staff that broke the all-time strikeout record. Gomes was stellar in defense of the run game as he registered a 32% caught stealing rate while only using the pitch out three times all season. He finished third in Fangraphs.com defensive ratings behind the other two finalists in the AL, Kansas City’s Salvador Perez and the Detroit’s Alex Avila.

Brantley is up against the Oakland A’s Yoenis Cespedes and the three year reigning Gold Glove winner Alex Gordon of the Royals. It is a safe bet that both Indians’ nominees will not win this year considering their competition. Gomes is not quite up there with Avila and Perez yet, however Brantley might surprise and win the award. It is likely that Gordon’s reputation and three year run will help him win in 2014. Regardless, both of these players had excellent years for the Tribe in 2014 and it is nice to see them get some recognition. Coincidentally, Gomes and Brantley both signed long term deals to stay in Cleveland at the beginning of the season.

By: Brad Ward

Follow @CST_BradWard on Twitter

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