Eaton, Ramirez named Gold Glove finalists

CHICAGO – A Chicago White Sox team that had its issues on defense at times in 2014 still had two players named Thursday as finalists for an American League Gold Glove Award.

Center fielder Adam Eaton and shortstop Alexei Ramirez each were named finalists at their respective positions, with the winners to be announced Nov. 4 live on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. CST.

Neither Eaton nor Ramirez has won a Gold Glove, although Ramirez was considered to be a potential Gold Glove winner early in his career. After a mediocre season in multiple areas of his game last year, Ramirez rebounded with a standout 2014 season, including on defense.

Ramirez not only had the most chances of all AL shortstops with 696, he helped turn the most double plays with 119. He was second in fielding percentage at .978 to Erick Aybar of the Los Angeles Angels, who was at .982. Ramirez’s range factor was calculated at an AL-best 4.45.

Also nominated for an AL Gold Glove at shortstop were Alcides Escobar of the Kansas City Royals and J.J. Hardy of the Baltimore Orioles. Hardy has won the award each of the past two seasons.

Eaton’s arrival this past season helped improve an outfield defense that struggled in 2013, especially in center field. His defense strength were speed and a strong throwing arm that helped lead to nine outfield assists, third-best among all full-time AL center fielders.

Eaton was nominated for the award with fellow AL center fielders Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Boston Red Sox and Adam Jones of the Orioles. Jones has won the award each of the past two seasons.