Tommy Edman’s elite defense
Tommy Edman won a Gold Glove in 2021 for the Cardinals. Now, we all know that this award is incredibly subjective and even the statistics I am about to share is not an exact science. However, what the collective argument suggests for him is that he is above average and, in some areas, even elite. But I still feel that he is overlooked!
Since 2019, when Edman became a mainstay in the lineup, he created invaluable flexibility for Manager’s Mike Shildt and currently Oli Marmol. That first season, he appeared at second base, third base, and each of the outfield spots in 92 appearances. His diverse use continued through 2022 as well. In his last three seasons he appeared 227 times at second base, 39 times at third base, 97 games at shortstop, 8 games in left field, 1 game in center field, and 56 games in right field.
His wizardly ability to be productive in each of those positions is even more astonishing. Any manager can put a name on a lineup card and place a muffin-style player out in the field. Edman’s worst Outs Above Average was -1 at second base in 2020. Every other season and position breakdown was at least an even 0 or greater. Thus meaning, he was at minimum Major League Average at each of those positions. See below his Runs Prevented Above Average according to Fangraphs.
2B – 17 RAA
SS- 12 RAA
3B – 10 RAA
LF – 0 RAA
CF – 0 RAA
RF – 3 RAA
In 2022 specifically, based on my Jaybird Baseball Statistical model I estimate that he was 1.79 wins above replacement player based solely on his fielding metrics. That evaluation is worth roughly $9.66 million last season. Note that is specifically based on his fielding.