For the easy ones, there were quite a few. We’ll start with the National League Yadier Molina won his 7th Gold Glove at catcher, which was pretty much undoubtedly deserved. Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers won at first base, and no one will doubt his defensive prowess at first base. Andrelton Simmons, who is perhaps the best defensive shortstop in baseball, won his second Gold Glove easily.
Christian Yelich won a Gold Glove for the first time, but after 10 Defensive Runs Saved in 2014 for the first time as a full-time starter, no one can doubt that. Mets centerfielder Juan Lagares won his first Gold Glove after saving 28 Defensive Runs Saved for the second year in a row – hard to believe he didn’t win last year! Jason Heyward is one of the best outfielders in baseball, so his second Gold Glove is no surprise, either, especially after posting a 32 DRS in 2014! Zack Greinke also won his first Gold Glove, but he’s been known as a fine defender for a pitcher for a long time.
First time winner second baseman DJ LeMahieu, definitely deserved the award. He had 16 Defensive Runs Saved in 2014 after saving 10 runs in 2013 in 40 fewer games. He doesn't hit well at all, but he's an exceptional defender. His teammate, Nolan Arenado, is already understood to be one of the best defensive third basemen in the game. After saving a ridiculous 30 runs in 2013, he saved "only" 16 this year, which was still enough to win the National League Gold Glove for third base.
For the American League, we have Astros left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel winning his first Gold Glove. After the amazing pitching season he had, he also happened to save ten runs as a pitcher on defense. That is extremely well-deserved. Catcher Salvador Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer of the Royals both easily deserved their awards. Dustin Pedroia, even playing the 2014 season hurt, secured his 4th Gold Glove for second base (17 DRS). J.J. Hardy at shortstop may be one of the most underrated players in the game, so his third Gold Glove makes tons of sense.
The biggest surprise was first-time Gold Glove winner Kyle Seager. To be fair, however, he did greatly improve this year with his defense at the hot corner. He went from an offensive-minded third baseman that would easily cost his team 7 or 8 runs a year to one who suddenly saved 10 in 2014. The strange thing is that Josh Donaldson of the Oakland A’s saved twice as many runs (20) as Seager did. It would seem that Donaldson deserved the award, but Seager winning it isn’t the worst snub ever – as he clearly deserved
In the outfield, Alex Gordon of the Royals (27 DRS!) was a pretty easy winner. Adam Jones has an amazing defensive reputation, despite DRS never really liking him much – he only had a 2 DRS this year. Nick Markakis of the Orioles was a bit of surprise, as he only posted 1 DRS, but he has been a Gold Glover before (22 DRS in 2008) and injuries have been hampering him in the field in the previous few seasons. Nick’s 11 outfield assists definitely helped his cause. But it’s pretty clear Jones received one on reputation only. Leonys Martin of the Texas Rangers (15 DRS) and Josh Reddick of the Oakland A’s (13 DRS) probably should have had those awards. If they made co-awards, Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson would deserve a Glove between them for saving 28 runs combined!
Overall, it seems the voters got the Gold Glove awards right for the most part, but the awards for Jones and Markakis especially seem undeserved. What do you think?