Twins center fielder Byron Buxton was honored as the American League’s top defender Friday, receiving the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award at the Gold Glove ceremony in New York.
Platinum Glove, an award established in 2011. He was also named the 2017 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year on Friday.
As the AL’s Platinum Glove winner, Buxton was selected among the league’s Gold Glove recipients via fan voting and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Defensive Index. Earlier this week, he and teammate Brian Dozier each won their first career Gold Glove Awards at center field and second base, respectively. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado won the Platinum Glove in the National League.
In his third year in the big leagues and his first full season, the 23-year-old Buxton established himself as one of baseball’s elite defenders, finishing tied for second in defensive WAR behind Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, per Baseball-Reference.com.
He led all center fielders with 24 Defensive Runs Saved and ranked third overall behind Simmons (32) and Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (31).
Buxton rates as baseball’s fastest player, per Statcast™‘s sprint speed metric, which quantifies speed by measuring how many feet per second a player runs in his fastest one-second window. Buxton is atop the leaderboard at 30.2 feet per second.
That blazing speed helped him pace the Majors in four-star catches, converting on 26 of 28 opportunities for 92.9 percent success rate that was 11.4 percent higher than any other outfielder. He also led all Major Leaguers in Outs Above Average (25), a range-based fielding metric that accounts for the number of catch probability plays made and their difficulty.
Buxton can take home even more hardware next week at the Esurance MLB Awards. He’s nominated for Best Defensive Player as well as Best Play, Offense for his inside-the-park home run on Aug. 18 that saw him break his own Statcast™ record by circling the bases in 13.85 seconds.
Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award winners:
- P: Tyler Chatwood (Rockies)
- C: Martin Maldonado (Angels)
- 1B: Carlos Santana (Indians)
- 2B: DJ LeMahieu (Rockies)
- 3B: Nolan Arenado (Rockies)
- SS: Andrelton Simmons (Angels)
- LF: Alex Gordon (Royals)
- CF: Byron Buxton (Twins)
- RF: Yasiel Puig (Dodgers)
Best overall defensive player: CF Byron Buxton (Twins)
Defensive team of the year: Los Angeles Dodgers
By Chad Thornburg