Starling Marte won two Gold Gloves back-to-back, and the second Gold Glove left fielder we’ll look at. His first was in 2015 when he had an impressive +22 defensive runs saved, a 10.2 UZR/150, and +1.7 dWAR. Marte was far and away the best defensive left fielder. Justin Upton was a finalist with just +7 DRS and +1.1 UZR/150. The other finalist was Christan Yelich, who had +12 DRS and a +.1 UZR/150.
Marte followed that up with another defensive clinic in the outfield grass. Marte didn’t reach the 20 DRS milestone again but still had +17. He also had a +7.3 UZR/150, but outs above average in its first year did not hold Marte in high regard at -2. Yelich was a finalist once again, having +2 DRS and a +6.4 UZR/150, but Adam Duvall was Marte’s real competition. He also had +17 DRS with a greater +9.8 UZR/150. Outs above average painted Duvall as the superior defender at +4, but with OAA in its infancy, it wasn’t a factor many voters took into account then, compared to how important it is now when analyzing a defender today.
The award is 2016 could have gone either way, but in the end, Marte took home his second Gold Glove award. Marte hasn’t won another Gold Glove since. He moved to center field in 2017 but wasn’t nearly as good defensively up the middle as he was in left. But you could have made a good case he should have at least been a finalist in right field this year for the New York Mets, the first time he’s ever played right field.
Andrew McCutchen has taken home just a single Gold Glove coming in his 2012 season. This was the start of a phenomenal stretch of seasons for the all-time great Pirate outfielder. It certainly wasn’t McCutchen’s best outfield showing, though, with -6 defensive runs saved and a -3.5 UZR/150. He was far from the worst defensive center fielder, but surprisingly, he took home the award when there were far superior defenders, both with the eye test and defensive metrics.
The National League leader for outfield defensive runs saved Michael Bourn, collected +23, yet fell behind McCutchen. Bourn also had a +16 UZR/150. Drew Stubbs, the other finalist, had just +1 DRS but a +10 UZR/150. Even in an era when more advanced metrics were just gaining traction, Bourn only made one more error than McCutchen, so it should not have been that much of a deciding factor.