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Detroit Tigers: Ian Kinsler is a Gold Glove finalist, should be frontrunner for award

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DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 19: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Detroit Tigers makes a play at second base to get out Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning during a MLB game at Comerica Park on August 19, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 19: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Detroit Tigers makes a play at second base to get out Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning during a MLB game at Comerica Park on August 19, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler is once again a finalist for the American League Gold Glove at second base. Rawlings Sports announced the news in a tweet on Thursday morning.

Detroit Tigers fans could see Ian Kinsler take home another Gold Glove.

The veteran second baseman, who earned the award in 2016, is nominated again. This time for his fielding exploits during the 2017 season.

Rawlings Sports announced in a tweet on the company’s official Twitter account that the Tigers’ infielder had been nominated for the award.

Kinsler joins Minnesota Twins’ second baseman Brian Dozier and Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia as finalists for the honor.

For what it’s worth, Kinsler was Detroit’s top defensive player after shortstop Jose Iglesias in 2017.

His 8.1 Def (defensive runs above average) finished only behind Iglesias on the team. The second baseman also turned in a +6 DRS and a 7.5 UZR/150.

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Leading the way

Kinsler’s 8.1 Def led all American League second baseman, and was just 0.5 off Miami’s Dee Gordon for the Major-League lead.

Pedroia is the only second baseman with a Def within 3.0 of Kinsler at 7.5.

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While Boston’s second baseman comes out on top in terms of UZR/150 (9.7), his DRS isn’t anywhere near Kinsler’s statistical output in the category.

As it stands, Boston’s second baseman has a -2 DRS.

Among the 10 American League second baseman with who tallied at least 800 innings in the field, only Starlin Castro and Dozier had worse numbers.

This brings us to Dozier, who ranks sixth in Def with just a 0.9 number in 1,311 defensive innings.

He also saw his UZR/150 and DRS outputs dip into the negatives at -1.2 and -4 respectively.

The reality of the situation is that there weren’t many second baseman who had strong defensive seasons from a metrics standpoint in the American League.

Def, UZR/150 and DRS are all pieces of the puzzle when it comes to analyzing defensive players.

Of the three finalists, and most all American League second baseman for that matter, Kinsler is the only one to grade out strongly in each category.

For comparison’s sake, here’s a look at how he matches up with Pedroia and Dozier.

Ian Kinsler: 1137.1 innings, 8.1 Def, +6 DRS and a 7.5 UZR/150.

Dustin Pedroia: 834.2 innings, 7.5 Def, -2 DRS and a 9.7 UZR/150.

Brian Dozier: 1311 innings, 0.9 Def, -4 DRS and a -1.2 UZR/150.

The 2017 season was a tough one to watch for Detroit Tigers fans. Not only were key players like Justin Verlander, J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton traded, but actual, literal victories were hard to come by.

Detroit finished tied with the San Francisco Giants for the fewest wins in the league with just 64.

Next: Ian Kinsler shuold win the GG, but Jose Iglesias wasn't even nominated, which is a shame

Now, it seems as though the fan base could have one last victory to cheer about this offseason as Ian Kinsler looks like the frontrunner for the American League Gold Glove at his position—at the very least from an advanced-metrics standpoint.

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