Wieters and Markakis: A Gold Glove story (Hardy denied)

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters can add “Gold Glove winner” to his expanding resume.

Named to his first All-Star team over the summer, Wieters just learned that he’s also won his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

Wieters beat out American League finalists A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Avila for the award, which was announced on ESPN2. He’s the first catcher to win the award in club history.

Nick Markakis also won his first Gold Glove in right field, beating out the Angels’ Torii Hunter and the Royals’ Jeff Francoeur, However, it wasn’t a clean sweep for the Orioles. Shortstop J.J. Hardy lost out to the Angels’ Erick Aybar.

Managers and coaches from both leagues do the voting.

Wieters committed five errors, had one passed ball and threw out 37 percent of runners attempting to steal in 132 games this season.

Wieters has been honored for his defensive excellence twice in two days. He also was named a Fielding Bible Award winner as announced in “The Bill James Handbook 2012.”

“After Yadier Molina of the Cardinals won the previous four Fielding Bible Awards, Matt Wieters wins his first. And it wasn’t even close in the voting, Wieters 97 points to Molina 74,” said John Dewan, co-author with Ben Jedlovec of the upcoming book “The Fielding Bible-Volume III” and part of the voting panel.

“When you look at the numbers, it wasn’t close there either. Prior to 2011, Molina has thrown out 42% of baserunners. On top of that, he has picked off an average of six baserunners per year. In 2011, Yadier dropped to 25% caught stealing and only picked two runners off. Wieters threw out 36% of basestealers in 2011. But it was the pitcher handling department where Wieters really excelled. Nine of his 14 runs saved are estimated for his pitcher handling, while Molina also had a down year in this area, costing the Cardinals six runs.”

Here’s the list of Fielding Bible winners:
First Base - Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals (five-time winner)
Second Base - Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox (first-time winner)
Third Base - Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers (three-time winner)
Shortstop - Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies (three-time winner)
Left Field - Brett Gardner, New York Yankees (second-time winner)
Center Field - Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers (first-time winner)
Right Field - Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks (first-time winner)
Catcher - Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles (first-time winner)
Pitcher - Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox (three-time winner)

Markakis didn’t commit an error in 157 games. He also had 14 assists, a 2.10 range factor and 12.089 zone rating.

Markakis deserved the award just for his spectacular game-ending, game-saving catch at Tropicana Field.

Former Orioles center fielder Paul Blair, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, announced Markakis’ name on ESPN2.

The Orioles have multiple winners for the first time since 1998 (Roberto Alomar, Rafael Palmeiro and Mike Mussina.)

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