The New York Mets may not be winning any awards this season.
After finishing as Silver Slugger runner up to Freddie Freeman in 2019, despite being the epitome of a “slugger” that year, Pete Alonso may have to contend with the Atlanta first baseman once again for the award. Alonso has significantly lower statistics this year, which will make winning this award much harder.
Francisco Lindor and Javier Báez aren’t having their best defensive seasons, but can any of the Mets make an actual case for a Gold Glove?
Michael Conforto has always been a great fielder. He even saved Edwin Díaz a blown loss in the second half of the season. There’s a lot of competition over in the outfield, though, so it would be difficult to net himself a Gold Glove.
Mets catcher James McCann is making a very strong case for a Gold Glove
In McCann’s five years with the Tigers and two with the White Sox, he has yet to win a Gold Glove at catcher. Could he win one in his first year with the Mets?
He’s certainly an upgrade for the team. In Wilson Ramos’ two years with the Mets, his caught stealing rate was 16% and his pop time in steals was lower than backup catcher Tomás Nido.
That isn’t to say Nido is a bad catcher. He and McCann have actually teamed up to be one of the best starter-to-backup catcher combinations in the league.
James McCann’s caught stealing rate is a whopping 33% (Nido’s is 47%). The only catcher with more denied steal attempts is the Dodgers’ Will Smith. Smith’s CS rate is only 26% with more runners attempting to steal.
Sadly, McCann’s only knock behind the plate is how many errors he’s given the Mets. These aren’t regular errors, either, and seem completely preventable. He has 4 errors this year, all of which were deemed “catcher’s interference.”
Catcher’s interference happens when the catcher’s glove comes into contact with the hitter’s bat. In all of these scenarios, the hitter was completely fooled and a late swing induced the ball hitting the catcher’s mitt.
In every case, McCann seemed innocent when he went to grab the ball, but the call isn’t common and seems like he can fix it. Would the errors keep him out of the Gold Glove race? Maybe not. JT Realmuto won the 2019 Gold Glove at catcher with a CS rate of 47% and 9 errors.
The Mets’ strongest case might be Pete Alonso.
After his rookie season, if you would’ve said Alonso is a future Gold Glove winner, it would be hard not to laugh in your face. Now? It’s believable.
Pete Alonso has made plenty of plays worthy of a Gold Glove, including his dive this past Saturday (August 7), which was #8 on SportsCenter’s Top 10. He made himself look like a third baseman.
On any American League team, Alonso would be the DH with his offensive power.
Considering his pickup at first base, the Mets might be forced to keep him there. In 2019, Alonso ranked 31st out of 38 first baseman in Outs Above Average with -5. This year, he’s up to 2 OAA and 2 runs saved. He’s 9th among MLB 1B and 5th in the National League.
Interestingly enough, Anthony Rizzo was traded out of the NL (Cubs) to the AL (Yankees), which could give Alonso an advantage among Gold Glove competitors in the league.
Finally, the Mets could have a wild card in Marcus Stroman.
Stroman’s 2021 with the Mets is significantly better than 2019, but he’s always been one of the most exciting players to watch. Outside of Jacob deGrom, he’s the Mets biggest pitching attraction.
The 5’7” sinkerballer won a Gold Glove with Toronto in 2017 and has always been known for his strong fielding. Like deGrom, Stroman is one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball who have high regard for their fielding, both being shortstops at one point.
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Stroman, Alonso, and McCann have all made their fair share of unforgettable plays. Running on either Nido or McCann is a bad idea. Start getting used to saying “Alonso, Gold Glove winner,” because if it doesn’t happen this year, it’s happening at some point.