Denard Span Recognized As Nationals’ Wilson Defensive Player Of The Year

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by Amanda Comak

Denard Span acknowledged early in the 2013 season that when it comes to “Web Gems” he probably didn’t have a large library of plays that had been highlighted. Those, many outfielders say, come from mistakes that turn into great plays. But Span’s greatest strength as a center fielder is making the difficult look effortless and routine.

And in a 2013 season highlighted by plenty of spectacular catches, Span did just that for the Washington Nationals.

Thursday evening, Span was recognized as the Nationals’ top defensive player and their representative for the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra were given the top honors. Additionally, the Diamondbacks were named the National League Defensive Team of the Year, while the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals tied for the honor in the American League.

Span, a finalist for a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, was a pleasure to watch patrol center field for the Nationals, often earning effusive praise from his teammates. The highlight of his defensive season likely came when he saved a 6-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants by making a sensational diving catch to end the game.

Founded in 2012, the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award winners are determined by using a formula that balances scouting information, sabermetric analysis and basic fielding statistics. They were announced in an hour-long show on MLBNetwork on Thursday night.

Here are all of the players who were honored by Wilson:

Baltimore Orioles- Manny Machado (3B)

Arizona Diamondbacks – Gerardo Parra (OF)

Atlanta Braves – Andrelton Simmons (SS)

Boston Red Sox – Dustin Pedroia (2B)

Chicago White Sox – Gordon Beckham (2B)

Chicago Cubs – Darwin Barney (2B)

Cincinnati Reds – Jay Bruce (OF)

Cleveland Indians – Yan Gomes (C)

Colorado Rockies – DJ LeMahieu (2B)

Detroit Tigers – Austin Jackson (OF)

Houston Astros – Matt Dominguez (3B)

Kansas City Royals – Lorenzo Cain (OF)

Los Angeles Dodgers – Juan Uribe (3B)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – J.B. Shuck (OF)

Miami Marlins – Donovan Solano (2B)

Milwaukee Brewers – Carlos Gomez (OF)

Minnesota Twins – Brian Dozier (2B)

New York Mets – Juan Lagares (OF)

New York Yankees – Robinson Cano (2B)

Oakland Athletics – Josh Reddick (OF)

Philadelphia Phillies- Carlos Ruiz (C)

Pittsburgh Pirates – Russell Martin (C)

San Diego Padres – Chris Denorfia (OF)

San Francisco Giants – Gregor Blanco (OF)

Seattle Mariners – Dustin Ackley (2B)

St. Louis Cardinals – Yadier Molina (C)

Tampa Bay Rays – Evan Longoria (3B)

Texas Rangers – Craig Gentry (OF)

Toronto Blue Jays – Colby Rasmus (OF)

Washington Nationals – Denard Span (OF)

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