The official list of finalists for the Rawlings 2012 Gold Glove awards has come out. Each position in each league has three finalists, and Chicago Cubs' second baseman Darwin Barney is one of them. Barney will compete with Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds and Aaron Hill of the Arizona Diamondbacks for the Gold Glove at second base. If the voters get it right, then Barney will win the award.
Darwin Barney led all National League second basemen with a .997 fielding percentage. He made only two errors at second base (the fewest among qualifiers) in the third-highest total chances (731) and highest number of games played (155). He is sure-handed on the routine plays and can make a great running catch in any direction with ease.
Brandon Phillips is a defensive highlight waiting to happen in every game. Phillips can make the routine plays almost flawlessly, and he can make the spectacular plays look routine. He finished tied for third among N.L. qualifying second basemen in fielding (.992), and he committed five errors in 637 chances in 146 games.
Aaron Hill also finished 2012 with a .992 fielding percentage, tying him with Phillips for third among N.L. second basemen. Hill committed six errors in 757 total chances. Hill also has very good range. He played in 153 games at second base, second only to Barney's 155.
Why Barney should win
As a Cub fan, I admit to having a little bias, but I truly believe that Barney deserves the award the most. I mean no slight at all to Phillips and Hill, who had excellent seasons both in the field and at the plate. In fact, Hill could possibly win the Silver Slugger award with his .302 average, 26 HR, and 85 RBI. However, Barney had the best defensive season of the three finalists.
In addition to his .997 fielding percentage, Barney played in 141 consecutive games at second base without making an error, which ties the Major League record. The streak lasted from April 18 to September 27 and set a new National League record. He was a very steady player on a bad team and gave us Cub fans reason to cheer when we otherwise usually had none.
The final announcement will come on Tuesday, October 30, at 9:30 p.m. I fully believe that Darwin Barney should win the Gold Glove. All three finalists are deserving, but Barney had the best defensive season overall.
Carrie Muskat, Barney's Miscue Ends 141-Game Errorless Streak, cubs.mlb.com, September 29, 2012.
Major League Baseball, Sortable Player Statistics for N.L. Second Base, mlb.mlb.com.
Zack Meisel, Finalists for Rawlings Gold Glove Awards Revealed, chcago.cubs.mlb.com, October 29, 2012.
Raymond grew up in Florida and began watching the Cubs on WGN in 1982. He became a fan in 1984 when Ryne Sandberg hit the two famous game-tying home runs off Cardinals closer and former Cub Bruce Sutter. Raymond then solidified his team loyalty when the Cubs won the division later that season and has been a fan ever since. He played baseball through high school and soon after became a varsity coach. Raymond previously produced radio sports talk shows and hosted a weekly MLB radio call-in show. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau.
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