Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was named a finalist for a 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award on Thursday.
The 23-year-old was the lone Oriole to be named a finalist after the club had claimed three awards in each of the previous three seasons. Machado won the American League Platinum Glove in 2013, an award given to the best overall defensive player in the league.
Adrian Beltre of Texas and Evan Longoria of Tampa Bay are the other two AL finalists at third base. The Gold Glove winners will be announced on Nov. 10.
Though committing a career-high 19 errors at third base — he committed two more at shortstop — Machado remained one of the finest defenders in the AL with 14 defensive runs saved above average and was worth 1.9 defensive wins above replacement, according to Baseball Reference. Those numbers are a drop-off from his 35 defensive runs saved above average and 4.3 defensive WAR in 2013, but they still place him at an elite level.
Beltre committed 17 errors, but his 18 defensive runs saved and 2.3 defensive WAR would appear to give him the edge over Machado from an analytical viewpoint. In contrast, Longoria committed just nine errors in 2015, but his minus-1 runs saved above average and 0.2 defensive WAR reflect him having less range and making less of an overall defensive impact than Beltre or Machado.
As for other Orioles not in consideration at their positions, shortstop J.J. Hardy and center fielder Adam Jones will have their respective streaks of winning three consecutive Gold Gloves snapped. Both missed time with injuries this season that likely hurt their chances for consideration.
As a club, the Orioles made the fewest number of errors in the AL this year, but they dropped to 11th in defensive runs saved above average with minus-2 after leading the way with 50 a year ago. Baltimore finished eighth in the AL in Baseball Reference’s defensive efficiency mark after finishing third last season.