New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso hopes to win a Gold Glove one day and he certainly can.
Something New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso hopes to do in his career is win a Gold Glove. It’s a dream for most big leaguers—particularly those who once carried the reputation as a bad defender.
Alonso has the kind of personality where if you tell him he can’t do something he will. This is a driving force in his quest to win a Gold Glove and I think it’s very possible that he does.
We can speculate forever as to what it takes to win a Gold Glove above talent alone. Things like “he’s determined” or “he can ask Keith Hernandez for advice” don’t really carry much logic. It might help a little but those things don’t guarantee success.
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Alonso’s best chance at winning a Gold Glove may be the same reason why he’ll never win it. Gold Glove Awards are far too often handed out based on reputation. Alonso doesn’t have a good reputation as a defender which works against him until we look at a different way.
A new and improved Polar Bear at first base will catch eyes. The same way David Wright benefited from becoming a much better defender at third base, so could Alonso over at first.
People enjoy underdogs triumphing even more than they like the dynasty. If Alonso had a chance to win a Gold Glove as a surprise candidate, he’s going to earn a few punched out chads from the voters.
The history of the Gold Glove Award results is up for much more debate than any other major award. It encompasses one statistic yet no one really agrees on what that statistic is.
An MVP vote takes everything into account. So does the Cy Young. In the past when voters cast their ballots for who was the top defender at a position, they have looked at errors, fielding percentage, and what others told them. Today’s baseball world has things like defensive WAR and defensive runs saved to make things a little more complicated.
More than anything, it’s the eye-test that leads voters to go the way they do.
The 1999 season is one of the best examples of tomfoolery with the Gold Glove vote. American League first baseman Rafael Palmeiro won his third straight despite playing only 28 games in the field all year long. I don’t think this would ever happen again because of how much more readily available statistics are.
However, if it teaches us anything, it’s how much reputation (at least at one point) factored into the vote. Palmeiro was the most recent Gold Glove winner so voters went with him again.
Alonso is the kind of guy baseball writers would enjoy watching. He’s not a villain in the sport. Quite the opposite.
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Award voters aren’t supposed to go with their hearts over their brains. We all know they do and the story of the big Polar Bear overcoming a bad reputation in the field is something those voters may one day like to see. First, Alonso has to give them enough reason.