First-Half Awards: AL Gold Gloves
Looking back on the first half of the regular season, here are my choices for the AL Gold Glove winners based on everything until now:
P - Ricky Romero (Toronto Blue Jays)
In 18 games this season, Ricky Romero has proven to be one of the, if not the best, defensive pitcher in the American League thus far. Although he has only recorded five putouts, Romero leads all AL pitchers with 27 assists to go along with a perfect 1.000 fielding-percentage.
C - Jeff Mathis (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
Although Mathis is tied with Boston's Jarrod Saltalamacchia with a near-perfect .997 fielding-percentage, his 34 assists is tops in the AL among catchers, all the while committing just one error. Mathis' solid defensive play is why the Angels are nipping at the heels of the Rangers in the AL West.
1B - Adrian Gonzalez (Boston Red Sox)
Although his .997 fielding percentage is second to Tampa Bay's Casey Kotchman (1.000), he led all AL first basemen with 67 assists and was high on the list with 699 putouts and 66 double plays. It's safe to say the Red Sox love having A-Gon everywhere.
2B - Robinson Cano (New York Yankees)
Although his .987 fielding percentage isn't tops among second basemen, the same can't be said for Robinson Cano's putouts (200) and assists (255). Cano's work down the middle helps the Yankees immensely even if he isn't the most sought-after member of his team.
3B - Jack Hannahan (Cleveland Indians)
He doesn't have the most putouts (57) or assists (142) among third basemen so far but Jack Hannahan's .975 fielding percentage gives his pitchers comfort knowing that they have a reliable arm and a just as reliable pair of eyes at the hot corner.
SS - J.J. Hardy (Baltimore Orioles)
It may be another tough year in Baltimore for the Orioles but shortstop J.J. Hardy is a bright spot for the club with his keen defensive prowess so far in 2011. Along with stellar .993 fielding percentage, Hardy has 116 putouts, 184 assists and has made 32 double plays along the way.
OF - Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston Red Sox), Torii Hunter (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Nick Markakis (Baltimore Orioles)
All three outfielders currently boast a 1.000 fielding percentage. Ellsbury leads the way in putouts with 221 while Hunter and Markakis have 159 and 190 respectively. With both Hunter and Markakis each have a double play to their credit, Ellsbury leads the way with three in that category.