A New York Mets player hasn’t won a Gold Glove since 2014. Pitcher Marcus Stroman has an opportunity to end the drought in 2020.
The last time a New York Mets player won a Gold Glove was in 2014. Center fielder Juan Lagares dazzled us with a season of topnotch fielding that year. Ever since, the National League Gold Gloves have gone to guys who didn’t call Flushing home.
In 2020, this drought may end. Although the team is still questionable on defense, the favorite to end this streak is pitcher Marcus Stroman.
Stroman already owns one Gold Glove Award. Back in 2017, he won it as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. This wasn’t some fluke. As Mets fans were treated to in Pittsburgh this past season, he still has the moves to contend for another piece of fielding hardware in the future.
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Measuring the fielding abilities of a pitcher is far more based on the eye test than any other position. A lousy fielder could go an entire year without making an error because he’s unable to get to the ball fast enough to make a play.
Stroman has no problem with this. His range is incredible for a pitcher. Last year, only Zack Greinke and Joe Musgrove finished the season with a higher Range Factor than Stroman. As he typically does, Greinke took home National League honors with his sixth consecutive Gold Glove Award.
Lucky for the clear space on Stroman’s mantel, Greinke is with the Houston Astros. Assuming he doesn’t go back to the National League this winter, Stroman’s odds just went up.
Stroman will need to deal with 2019 American League winner, Mike Leake. Coincidentally enough, Leake also swapped leagues last year. He finished up the season with Greinke’s first team from 2019, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Often, Gold Gloves go to guys who have a reputation for fielding their position well. Yadier Molina has been automatic throughout his career even when there were years when someone else probably deserved the honors.
Defense has been an issue for the Mets in recent seasons. Pete Alonso hopes to win a Gold Glove one day, but I don’t think it’s happening in 2020 if ever at all. Jeff McNeil showed plenty of talent with his glove. Until the Mets use him at just one position, he’ll have trouble getting enough votes.
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In which case, it looks like it’s up to Stroman to let his reputation and ability to lead the way. Thirty years have now passed since a Mets pitcher has won the award when Ron Darling took it in 1989. It’s Stroman’s turn to add one to his collection.