Rawlings released their Gold Glove finalists at each position for both leagues today. Tommy Edman was nominated for the utility position this year; his competition includes Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Ha-Seong Kim of the San Diego Padres. This is only the second year that the utility position has been an option for a Gold Glove in Major League Baseball.
Edman logged innings at second base, shortstop, center field, and right field this year. Using Outs Above Average, Edman had -2 OAA at second, 4 OAA at short, 6 OAA in center, and 1 OAA in right field. Ha-Seong Kim played second base primarily this year with some time spent at third base and shortstop. He accumulated 7 OAA at second, 2 OAA at third, and was an even 0 OAA at shortstop. Mookie Betts, who is primarily a right fielder, was pushed to the infield this year due to injuries on the Dodgers. Betts provided good innings at second base (-1 OAA), shortstop (-2 OAA), and right field (-1 OAA), but he was a negative defender at all three positions.
Among all qualified players in baseball, Tommy Edman ranked 22nd in total Outs Above Average with 10. He saved 8 runs according to Baseball Savant, and that places him 30th among all players. Edman has been a strong defensive player across the field in multiple key positions.
Edman is clearly the best defender, but it is possible he loses out strictly due to the fact that Mookie Betts has a bigger following than Tommy does. To be able to play plus defense at two of the toughest positions (shortstop and center) is a fantastic quality to have in a player.
Tommy Edman is the lone representative for the Cardinals this year on the Gold Glove ballots. For a team that could once tout 6 Gold Glove nominees, the Cardinals have fallen mightily. Hopefully, their defense can improve next year.