Pittsburgh Pirates: Best Individual Seasons That Didn't Win Awards

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2005 Jack Wilson

If you thought Ke’Bryan Hayes not winning the Gold Glove in 2022 was highway robbery, then Jack Wilson missing out on the award in 2005 was even worse. While advanced defensive statistics weren’t as available or popular as they are now, there was no doubt the 2005 Gold Glove deserved to go to Wilson.

As a shortstop, Wilson had +32 Defensive Runs Saved. That is the third most by a shortstop in a single season since the statistic was created. Not only did he have a historic year in terms of DRS, but he also had a strong +13.1 UZR/150. Even more traditional metrics like total zone runs (+17), range factor per nine innings (+5.09), and range factor per game (+4.9) loved him.

The winner of that year’s shortstop Gold Glove was Omar Vizquel. By this point in Vizquel’s career, he was an established Major Leaguer in 2005 with it being his 18th season. By no means was Vizquel bad with the glove as he had +1 DRS, a +6.5 UZR/150, and +7 total zone runs, but they are dwarfed by what Jack Wilson did.

Wilson is arguably the best defensive infielder to never win a Gold Glove. He has over 100 career defensive runs saved, and a dWAR better than the likes of Mike Schmidt, Willie Mays, and Johnny Bench. 2005 is still historically one of the best defensive seasons from a shortstop in the modern era of baseball, and yet he didn’t take home any accolades for it.

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