There are 12 experts who comprise the voting panel for the annual Fielding Bible Awards, now in its 11th year. Their intention is to stand up and say "This was the best fielder at this position in the major leagues last season." The panel awards ten winners each year, one at each position plus an additional award that goes to the best defensive multi-position player.
Some very, very close races added to the drama this year. In fact, the last ballot received broke two exact ties: at shortstop and at pitcher. The last ballot allowed Andrelton Simmons of the Los Angeles Angels to win his fourth consecutive award with a one-point victory (106 to 105 points) over the Giants' Brandon Crawford. It was the first of Simmons' four awards that was not a unanimous vote. Astro Dallas Keuchel won his third in a row going down to the wire with Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamonbacks.
In addition to Simmons and Keuchel, four other players were repeat award winners this year, making six multiple winners among this years group of ten. Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox won his fourth award (in six years) as baseball's best defensive second baseman. Three players are two-time winners. Nolan Arenado (Rockies) at third base, Starling Marte (Pirates) in left field, and Buster Posey (Giants) at catcher all repeated from last year.
There were four first-time winners: first baseman Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs), center fielder Kevin Pillar (Toronto), right fielder Mookie Betts (Boston), and multi-position player Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs).
Here's a short refresher course on how the awards are determined: We asked our panel of twelve experts to rank 10 players at each position on a scalefrom one to ten. We then use the same voting technique as the Major League Baseball MVP voting. A first place vote gets 10 points, second place 9 points, third place 8 points, etc. Total up the points for each player and the player with the most points wins the award. A perfect score is 120.
Here are the Fielding Bible Awards for the 2016 season:
The 2016 Fielding Bible Award winners are:
First Base Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
Second Base Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
Third Base Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels
Left Field Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates
Center Field - Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays
Right Field Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
Catcher Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
Pitcher Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
Multi-Position Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
A complete record of the voting can be found in The Bill James Handbook 2017