Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pirates' Marte wins first Gold Glove award

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, 8:06 p.m.

May 12, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (6) has a laugh during postage handshakes after win against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Pirates defeated the Phillies, 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports  

When Starling Marte collected his first Gold Glove Award on Tuesday night, it confirmed what Pirates fans already know: Marte is the finest left fielder in the National League — and arguably the best outfielder in the majors.
Marte, 27, was a finalist for the award in each of the past two seasons. This year, he bested Christian Yelich of the Miami Marlins and Justin Upton of the San Diego Padres to win the honor.
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole and center fielder Andrew McCutchen finished as runners-up at their respective positions.
A.J. Pollock of the Arizona Diamondbacks won the Gold Glove for NL center fielders. Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers won the pitchers' award.
With Marte, McCutchen and right fielder Gregory Polanco, the Pirates boast a top-flight defensive outfield.
“We know how good we are out there,” Marte said during this season. “We hear it from time to time from other players. We make it hard for the hitters because they know we can run and catch every ball … and we can throw, too. Even when they think we can't make a play, we'll still make it.”
Making just one error in 196 chances, Marte's .995 fielding percentage was tops among NL left fielders. He also led NL outfielders with 16 assists, the most by a Pirates outfielder since Jose Guillen had 16 in 1998.
Marte's 24 defensive runs saved was the most by any left fielder this season, according to Baseball Info Solutions. The metric takes into account a fielder's range, arm strength, accuracy and general ability.
Yelich ranked third in the NL with 13 DRS; Upton was 11th with eight.
Marte also topped left fielders with an outfield arm runs above average rating of eight. This metric takes into account baserunner kills and baserunner advances.
Marte is the eighth Pirates outfielder to win a Gold Glove. Roberto Clemente earned 12 of them from 1961 to 1972. Andy Van Slyke won five, and Barry Bonds and Dave Parker won three apiece.
Single-time winners are McCutchen (2012), Nate McLouth (2008) and Bill Virdon (1962).
Three Pirates pitchers — Harvey Haddix (1959-60), Rick Reuschel (1985) and Bobby Shantz (1961) — also won the award.
Other Pirates winners are Bill Mazeroski (eight), Tony Pena (three), Gene Alley (two), Jay Bell, Mike LaValliere and Jose Lind (one apiece).
Infielder Jung Ho Kang is among the top three vote-getters for the NL Rookie of the Year Award.
The other two finalists are Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs and Matt Duffy of the San Francisco Giants. The winner will be announced Monday.
Kang batted .287 with an .816 OPS before sustaining a season-ending knee injury in mid-September.
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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