Justin K. Aller
Both Washington Nationals' shortstop Ian Desmond and first baseman Adam LaRoche were named finalists for the Gold Glove Award at their respective positions this afternoon. The 2012 Gold Glove winners will be announced at 9:00 pm EDT tomorrow night.
In his first full season in the majors, Washington Nationals' shortstop Ian Desmond committed 34 errors; 21 fielding and 13 throwing. The then-24-year-old infielder finished the year with a .947 fld% and a -9.4 UZR/150, which measures, as Fangraphs.com explains it, "... the number of runs above or below average a fielder is, per 150 defensive games." In his second season in D.C., Desmond cut down on the E's, committing 23 errors total, 19 fielding and four throwing, while posting a .967 fld% and a -5.5 UZR/150.
In 2012, the 26-going-on-27-year-old '04 3rd Round pick cut down on the E's yet again, committing just 15 errors, eight fielding and seven throwing as he posted a career-high .970 fld% and +6.5 UZR/150.
Desmond led the NL in errors in 2010, and his .947 fld% was the NL's lowest amongst qualified shortstops. The Nats' SS's 23 errors in 2011 were the NL's second-most. In 2012, Desmond's 15 errors were 12 fewer than Cubs' SS Starlin Castro's NL-leading 27 E's. The improvement was no doubt aided by Nats' first baseman Adam LaRoche's abilities at first base. Both Desmond and LaRoche were named finalist for the 2012 Gold Glove awards at their respective positions this afternoon:
#Nationals SS Ian Desmond and 1B Adam LaRoche have been named finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove at their respective positions.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) October 29, 2012
LaRoche, in his second year in D.C., finished with the NL's second-highest fld% .995 and seven errors (all fielding errors) in 153 games at first for Washington. The .995 fld% matched his career average and the 32-year-old infielder's +5.7 UZR/150 was the second-highest he posted in a full-season, behind only the +7.6 UZR/150 he put up with Pittsburgh in 2007 and up from his +0.2 UZR/150 in 2009 and +4.8 UZR/150 in 2010, the last two full seasons he played before 2011's injury-shortened campaign.
Neither Desmond or LaRoche has ever won a Gold Glove. Desmond's competition includes Miami's Jose Reyes, Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins and Cincinnati's Zack Cozart. Atlanta's Freddie Freeman and Cincinnati's Joey Votto are LaRoche's competition for the award. The winners will be announced at 9:00 pm EDT tomorrow night (Tuesday 10/30).