Pittsburgh Pirates: Jacob Stallings Robbed Of Gold Glove Award


Tuesday night MLB announced their Gold Glove Award winners for the 2020 season, and a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates was robbed.

The latest stroke of genius from Major League Baseball executives, they decided to announce the 2020 Gold Glove Award winners on Tuesday night. You know, at the same time as the United States Presidential Election. Anyway, Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates had a pair of Gold Glove finalists – catcher Jacob Stallings and second baseman Adam Frazier.

Neither Stallings nor Frazier took home the award. Tucker Barnhart of the Cincinnati Reds was named the National League’s Gold Glove Award winner at cathcer, while professional killer of the Pittsburgh Pirates Kolten Wong, who was recently let go by the St. Louis Cardinals, won the second base award.

There was a strong argument to be made for both Frazier and Stallings to win their respective award. However, Stallings was robbed of the Gold Glove Award for catcher. Stallings, not Barnhart, should have been the man to take home the award.

Now, yes, Barnhart led NL catchers in Defensive Runs Saved at +9. However, Stallings still posted a strong DRS of +7 and it came in nearly 100 more innings behind the dish than Barnhart. In fact, Stallings led all NL catchers in innings caught with 345.1.

Stallings had a 6.3 dWAR, per FanGraphs, which was tied for the best among all catchers in the National League. He was tied with Omar Navarez of the Milwaukee Brewers. Also, per FanGraphs, Stallings posted a NL best 2.3 framing runs rate. Although, it should be noted that Barnhart led the NL in pitch framing per Baseball Prospectus.

Now, there is no denying that Barnhart was a worthy recipient of the award. However, thanks in large part to his durability and amount of innings caught, Stallings should have taken home the NL Gold Glove Award for catcher. While a lot more than innings caught should factor into who wins the award, the fact Stallings led the NL in innings caught while playing elite defense should have given him the edge.

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Entering the 2021 season Stallings will be one of the favorites to take home the National League Gold Glove Award at catcher. If he can put together a full season worth of the level of defense he played in the shortened 2020 season, he just may take home his first career Gold Glove Award.