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:


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


n                          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:


n                          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.


n                          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.


n                          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.