It's time to give the glove some love, and our top-five list focuses on the best of the best defensive players. Traditional numbers such as fielding percentage tell only part of the story. So we're going to dig deeper into some defensive metrics and examine which players rate the best in some key areas.
BEST AT GETTING TO EVERYTHING: Andrelton Simmons, SS, Braves Simmons has drawn comparisons to Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel for his defensive ability at shortstop. Over the past three seasons, he's accumulated 74 defensive runs saved. The next-closest infielder is Manny Machado with 49. Daniel Shirey/USA TODAY Sports BEST AT MAKING TOUGH PLAYS: Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Red Sox Baseball Info Solutions has 30 categories of Good Plays and 60 of Misplays & Errors. Most second basemen have a good-to-bad ratio of 2-1. Pedroia, a three-time Gold Glove winner, is nearly 4-1 in 2014, with 57 Good Plays and 15 Misplays & Errors. Jeff Curry/Getty Images BEST OUTFIELD ARM: Alex Gordon, LF, Royals Gordon shared the MLB lead in outfield assists last season (17) with Gerardo Parra. In 2014 he has only six, but no one will run on him. Runners are taking an extra base on balls he fields only 18 percent of the time. The MLB average is 38 percent. Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports BEST CATCHER ARM: Yadier Molina, Cardinals It has been and always will be Molina until he retires. In the past three seasons his 34 defensive runs saved are the most for a catcher, and runners have a 55 percent stolen-base rate against him. The next-lowest rate? Ryan Hanigan, 62.3 percent. Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports BEST HOME RUN ROBBER: Carlos Gomez, CF, Brewers
Over the past three seasons, Gomez has snagged six would-be home runs, thanks to his speed and leaping ability. That's one more than Mike Trout. AP Photo/Andy Manis