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Byron Buxton wins Wilson award for best defensive player in baseball

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This is actually a thing, gosh darn it, and I’m writing about it.

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Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins
Yes, OF COURSE Byron Buxton made this catch.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Byron Buxton won his first Rawlings AL Center Fielder Gold Glove award last week, but it didn’t take him long to add more to his trophy cabinet. Today, Buxton won the 2017 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award. Yeah, as in “player” — all players — not just center fielders. So I guess this is better than an AL Center Field Gold Glove? I’ve just never really heard of the award before. It makes sense, though, that Wilson, the other baseball glove maker, wanted to get their say on who uses the glove the best.

Apparently, the award was created in 2012, and actually uses a mathematical formula instead of just eye balls to award a winner. That formula uses:

  • 25% Defensive WAR
  • 25% Defensive Runs Saved
  • 20% Inside Edge fielding ratings
  • 20% Inside Edge arm ratings
  • 10% fielding percentage

Obviously, Byron Buxton came out on top this year.

Don’t tell Rays fans, though — they still have Kevin Kiermaier on the top of their defensive totem pole, working hip or not.

Kiermaier is an absolutely great defender, perhaps even better than Buxton in past years, but you kind of need a working hip to play center field defense, no? And Kiermaier’s existence shouldn’t preclude Buxton from getting his props this year, which are very well deserved.

Video time (and I can’t do the defensive highlight videos, because I already did that in the Gold Glove post):

Now all Buxton needs to do is hit like he did in the second half of 2017 all the time and he can start winning all the awards we’ve actually heard of!

In any case, congrats Buck!