CHICAGO – The regular season ended less than a month ago and already Darwin Barney has one defensive award to his credit.
Barney was a first-time winner of a Fielding Bible Award, an honor that goes to one player at each position, regardless of league. The award is voted on by a panel of 10 baseball insiders that include Peter Gammons, Bill James, Joe Posnanski and Doug Glanville.
According to John Dewan, author of “The Fielding Bible, Volume III,” Barney led all second baseman in baseball with 28 runs saved, 17 more than his closest pursuer at second base, Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox. Pedroia won last year’s Fielding Bible Award winner at second.
Other Fielding Bible Award winners included, Mark Teixeira of the Yankees at first base, Adrian Beltre of the Rangers at third, Brendan Ryan of the Mariners at shortstop, Alex Gordon of the Royals in left field, Mike Trout of the Angels in center, Jason Heyward of the Braves in right, Yadier Molina of the Cardinals at catcher and Mark Buehrle of the Marlins at pitcher.
So how good of a predictor can the Fielding Bible Awards be for the eventual Gold Glove Award vote?
Pedrioa did follow is Fielding Bible Award with a Gold Glove at second base last season, but 2010 winner Chase Utley did not win a Gold Glove and neither did 2009 winner Aaron Hill. In 2008, Brandon Phillips of the Reds won both the Fielding Bible Award and the Gold Glove at second.
Barney’s closest competition for a National League Gold Glove Award this season is Phillips, who has won the award three times in the previous four seasons and each of the past two seasons.