Adam LaRoche, Denard Span named Rawlings Gold Glove finalists
by Amanda Comak
The finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were announced Thursday afternoon by Rawlings Sports, and for the third consecutive year the Washington Nationals have two players among the honorees.
First baseman Adam LaRoche and center fielder Denard Span were named as finalists at their respective positions, but they’ll have to wait until Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. ET, to find out if either will take home the prize.
LaRoche, who won his first Gold Glove following the 2012 season, faces stiff competition in his quest for a second trophy: Adrian Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Colorado Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau.
While LaRoche continued to make many of the outstanding plays that have come to be expected from him over the years, where he shines perhaps even more is in making the fielders around him better. LaRoche’s consistency makes it easier for the fielders he works with everyday to excel. That was evident each day he was in the lineup for the Nationals this past season.
Span, a finalist for a Gold Glove in 2013 and certainly considered by his teammates as one of the finest defensive center fielders in the Major Leagues, is also joined by elite company. He’ll be up against New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares and Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton for the 2014 honors.
An exceptional fielder, Span continued to make the extraordinary play seem routine this season, giving Nationals fans something to look forward to each night he patrolled center field.
Each manager and up to six coaches on each staff voted from a pool of qualified players in their league, and cannot vote for players on their own team. As in 2013, Rawlings also included a sabermetric component to the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, as part of its recent collaboration with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
The SABR Defensive Index accounted for approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers and coaches’ vote continuing to carry the majority.
The winners of the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards will be announced Tuesday night, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 in a special one-hour Baseball Tonight.