Accolades of scouts and organizations like Baseball America lauded the glove work of Kevin Kiermaier, and smartly so. The kid is fast, to the point that even less efficient routes are generally rather catch-able baseballs.
His work since his promotion, which included play between right and center fields, is now being rewarded.
That's right, Kevin Kiermaier is already a gold glove talent.
His work this season notched a 15.5 on Fangraph's defensive measurement, fourth highest among outfielders, contributing to a 3.8 fWAR over 111 games played (89 games started). Using the Fangraphs data from INside Edge used to formulate the rating, we can see how he performed in various scenarios, by the eye test of the professionals who man the booths.
|Inside Edge Rank||Opportunities||Catches||Percentage|
Compared to his competition, Calhoun caught none of his eleven remote opportunities and four of seven unlikely, while Markakis caught two of nineteen remote and eight of nine unlikely. The latter has the shiniest numbers in that regard, but there's a touch more to it.
Again relying on Fangraphs, we can reference the total defensive runs saved (DRS), which is a more reliable determination of value. Calculated by The Fielding Bible, using Baseball Info Solutions data as an input, the organization rates individual players as above or below average on defense play-by-play. Using the same source data as the famed-but-complicated stat UZR, players are measured in "runs" above or below average, and given a total for the season.
Until the FieldF/X revolution, which could come as soon as next year, this is our best measurement.
According to DRS, outfielder Nick Markakis saved one run last season, despite all his impressive catch counts. Kole Calhoun, the other competition, saved two runs. Kevin Kiermaier, on the other hand, saved 15 runs in total. Not bad, rookie.
There's no guarantee that voters will pay attention to such metrics, but as they will be provided to each voted in a booklet, one can hope.
May the odds be in your favor, Outlaw.