Detroit Tigers: No Gold Glove for Ian Kinsler


What does the Detroit Tigers Ian Kinsler need to do be awarded for his excellence at second base? Again, he was not awarded the coveted Gold Glove; instead, the award went to Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros. This was Kinsler’s second nomination in a row and his second year losing. The 2014 award was given to Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox. 

Kinsler has completed 10 years in the MLB, with four of them being recognized as an All-Star. In Altuve’s five years, he has been to the All-Star gig for three of them. In 2015, Altuve played second in 1330.2 innings. Kinsler played 1324 innings. The two performed similarly at their bases:

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When looking at the stats, Kinsler is a more valuable player than Altuve at second base, especially when considering his dWAR number. There is a significant difference between 0.8 and 2.5 However, the errors at second cannot be ignored. Even though Kinsler did have about 60 more chances to field the ball, he did commit 8 more errors at his base. The double plays number is also a big difference, with over 25 more successful double plays.

Jun 27, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder J.D. Martinez (28) is thrown out at second base on an attempted double during the fourth inning as Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) applies the tag at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Kinsler regularly puts on a tutorial at playing second base. According to Rawlings, only one player is better at that position – although I beg to differ. When he and Jose Iglesias are working in sync, their 6-4 combination is relatively unbeatable. However, Jose Altuve puts on a show at second, too. His range is significantly bigger than his size. But, his size does limit the catches he can make and the diving plays he can successfully reach. Kinsler does not have those problems.

As a Tigers fan, it would have been great to see both Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez win Gold Gloves. But, after looking at the stats, it appears that Kinsler needs to work on committing fewer errors and making a few more assists, at least according to the decision makers at Rawlings.