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A Panel of Ten Baseball Experts—Including John Dewan and Bill James— Announce the
Winners of the
THE 2012 FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS
“There are only nine players in the major leagues who are the absolute best at fielding
their position,” says John Dewan, co-author of The Fielding Bible, Volume III and
owner of Baseball Info Solutions, a baseball analytics company that carefully watches
and rates the actual fielding performance of every player in the major leagues.
“The ten experts on The Fielding Bible Awards panel stand up and name the one guy
who was the best at his position during the 2012 season, bar none, no matter which
league he happened to play in last year.”
“Mark Buehrle was the best-fielding pitcher when he was with the White Sox in the
American League for the last three years,” Dewan continues, “and—guess what—he was
the best-fielding pitcher this year when he played for the Marlins in the National
League. He was the ‘best-fielding pitcher in baseball’ last year, not the ‘best-fielding
pitcher in whichever league he happened to be in.’”
In fact, this year’s Fielding Bible Award winners split 5-4 between the American
and National Leagues, with Buehrle switching leagues from last year.
The 2012 Fielding Bible Awards, with a listing of all players receiving votes and
how many each received, will be announced in The Bill James Handbook 2013, which
hits booksellers on November 1, just four weeks after the end of the regular season.
The winners are chosen by a panel of ten experts, including Peter Gammons, Bill
James, Joe Posnanski, Doug Glanville, and John Dewan, “The Fielding Bible Awards
are determined by a panel of ten human beings who are charged with the task of determining
the best fielders in baseball,” Dewan points out. “We ask them to use all the tools
at their disposal to make their picks: both scouting and sabermetrics, and then
we tell the world how they voted on each position. None of baseball’s other awards
reveal who the voters voted for. The Fielding Bible Awards do.”
“The fact that Mark Teixeira of the Yankees is a first-time winner is a bit of a
surprise, only because he hasn’t won before,” Dewan says. “Everyone knows he has
always been a good fielder at first base. The Mariners’ Brendan Ryan’s first award
at shortstop is overdue as well. The other deserving first timers are Darwin Barney
of the Cubs, Alex Gordon of the Royals, Mike Trout of the Angels, and Jason Heyward
of the Braves. So many new winners shows that—at least as far as fielding is concerned—you
have to look at what a player is doing now, not last year or the year before that.
And you have to look JUST at his fielding and not at the other aspects of his game.”
Here are the results of THE 2012 FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS.
A complete record of the voting can be found in
The Bill James Handbook 2013.