Glenn Guzzo

 

SOLID GOLD

 

More 1s on Defense This Year,

Including All Gold Glove Winners

 

 

By Glenn Guzzo

 

An uncommonly large number of players are rated as 1s defensively – 34 in all – according to the preliminary list of fielding ratings posted online by Strat-O-Matic on Dec. 15.

 

The 34 include five who qualify only in the basic game and four who qualify only in the advanced game.

 

For the first time in many years, all Gold Glove winners are 1s, although 2B Mark Grudzielanek (basic) and CF Mike Cameron (advanced) qualify on only one side of their cards.

 

That means shortstops Derek Jeter and Omar Vizquel regain the 1s they had been denied as Gold Glove winners last year.

 

Grudzielanek, who won his first Gold Glove uncharacteristically late in his career, his 12th Major League season, is one of 112players receiving a 1 for the first time.

 

Two positions accounted for more than half of the 1s this year:

 

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Six third basemen will receive 1’s, including Washington rookie Ryan Zimmerman and four American Leaguers.

 

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Twelve center fielders are rated 1, including nine for the advanced game, even though long-time CF-1 Jim Edmonds slipped to a 2. Two teams – San Diego and the New York Mets – have a pair of CFs rated 1 for the advanced game.

 

Three outfielders are 1s at more than one position. Ichiro Suzuki, a perennial 1 in right field, now is a 1 in center as well. The Mets’ Endy Chavez is a “pure” 1 in left field, but also a 1 in center and right in the basic game. The Padres’ Dave Roberts is a 1 in left field and center, both in the basic game only.

 

Eight teams have multiple 1s, accounting for more than half of the entire class:

 

Boston: 3B Mike Lowell, SS Alex Gonzalez

 

Kansas City: 1B Doug Mientkiewicz and 2B Grudzielanek

 

Seattle: 3B Adrian Beltre and CF/RF Suzuki

 

Houston: C Brad Ausmus and SS Adam Everett

 

New York Mets: CF Beltran and OF Chavez

 

St. Louis: C Yadier Molina, 1B Albert Pujols and 3B Scott Rolen

 

San Diego: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, LF/CF Roberts and CF Mike Cameron

 

San Francisco: C Mike Matheny and SS Vizquel

 

 

As always, there are notable players who did not receive 1s, including:

 

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Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, who slipped from a 1 to a 3 after an error-prone season. He played no shortstop in 2006, so will receive no rating there.

 

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Others rated 1 for 2005, but not for 2006 are catcher Jason Varitek; first basemen Derrek Lee, Todd Helton and J.T. Snow; second basemen Luis Castillo and Brian Roberts; shortstop Jack Wilson and center fielder Jim Edmonds.

 

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Yankees/Phillies OF Bobby Abreu, an unprecedented 3 as a Gold Glove winner last year, repeats as a 3 in RF (he’s a 4 in CF), without Gold in 2006.

 

Keeping in mind that changes could occur before the board and computer games are released in late January, here is the honor roll for the 2006 season, as of mid-December:

 

C: Brad Ausmus, Houston; Mike Matheny, San Francisco; Yadier Molina (basic only), St. Louis; Ivan Rodriguez (basic only), Detroit

 

1B: Darin Erstad, Los Angeles-AL; Adrian Gonzalez (advanced only), San Diego; Doug Mientkiewicz, Kansas City; Albert Pujols, St. Louis; Mark Teixeira, Texas

 

2B: Mark Grudzielanek (basic only), Kansas City; Orlando Hudson, Arizona

 

3B: Adrian Beltre, Seattle; Eric Chavez, Oakland; Joe Crede, Chicago-AL; Mike Lowell, Boston; Scott Rolen, Ryan Zimmerman, Washington

 

SS: Adam Everett, Houston; Alex Gonzalez, Boston; Derek Jeter, New York-AL; Omar Vizquel, San Francisco

 

LF: Endy Chavez, New York-NL; Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay; Dave Roberts (basic only), San Diego

 

CF: Carlos Beltran, New York-NL; Mike Cameron (advanced only), San Diego; Endy Chavez (basic only), New York-NL; Chris Duffy (advanced only), Pittsburgh; Torii Hunter, Minnesota; Andruw Jones, Atlanta; Juan Pierre (basic only), Chicago-NL; Dave Roberts (basic only), San Diego; Aaron Rowand (advanced only), Philadelphia; Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle; Grady Sizemore, Cleveland; Vernon Wells, Toronto

 

RF: Endy Chavez (basic only), New York-NL; Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle

 

First-time 1s are Molina, Adrian Gonzalez, Pujols, Grudzielanek, Crede, Zimmerman, Alex Gonzalez, Endy Chavez, Roberts, Duffy, Pierre and Sizemore.