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Manny Machado and Andrelton Simmons voted Rawlings Platinum Glove winners

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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(USA Today)

Last Wednesday, Major League Baseball and Rawlings announced the nine individual Gold Glove winners from each league based on votes by players and managers, along with a new sabermetric component that seemingly served its purpose in separating results from reputation. Those nine winners were then grouped together by league, with fans voting and a sabermetric component being utilized to determine the Platinum Glove winners — or the very best fielder in each league.

It's the third season the Platinum Glove award has existed. St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre both won the award in 2011 and 2012, but were unseated this season by Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

Machado, 21, was the runaway winner in the AL race, easily beating Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. He led baseball in defensive runs saved at the hot corner during the regular season and became the first Oriole third baseman to win the award since Brooks Robinson, beating out Beltre, who's a four-time winner in his career, and Evan Longoria.

The voting was much closer in the NL, where Simmons beat out Molina by two-tenths of a percentage point and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez by half a point.

It's tough to argue against any of three options, but Simmons' season was among the best we've seen from a shortstop defensively. At season's end, he was credited with 41 runs saved defensively. That's more than double the next closest shortstop in either league. At 24, he seems poised to contend for Gold and Platinum Gloves for years to come.

It should also come as no surprise that both Machado and Simmons are among Big League Stew's candidates for best infield play. If you haven't already, check them out and cast your vote now on our Facebook page.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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