Brendan Ryan wins Fielding Bible Award

For those wondering why the Mariners like Brendan Ryan at shortstop, in spite of his .194 batting average in 2012, here’s a little affirmation of the defense provided by the 30-year-old veteran.

Ryan won his first Fielding Bible Award on Thursday as the prestigious defensive team was announced.

Fielding Bible Awards have only been given out since 2006 and this is Ryan’s first. Jack Wilson was the shortstop winner in 2009 and Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies took the honors the past two years.

Besides Wilson, only third baseman Adrian Beltre (2006 and ’08) and outfielders Franklin Gutierrez (2008 and ’09) and Ichiro Suzuki (2006, ’09 and ’10) had previously been selected from the Mariners.

Here is the glowing report on Ryan by John Dewan, author of the Fielding Bible and one of 10 panelists who make the selections:

“Brendan Ryan is the best defender in baseball. Period. Make that double period. He has saved 67 runs for his teams defensively over the last three years, the highest total among all players. The next highest runs saved total is not even close (Michael Bourn, 51).

“Ryan led all shortstops in 2012 with 27 runs saved, led in 2011 with 18, and finished second in both 2010 and 2009 with 22 runs saved each year. Seattle recognizes the value of Ryan’s defense, and that’s why they keep putting him out there day after day despite his .194 batting average during the 2012 season.

“It will be interesting to see if the American League coaches and managers, who vote for the Gold Glove Awards, can look past Ryan’s offense and base their ballot on his defense alone. This has been one of the problems with the Gold Glove voting—a certain amount of offense has always been required for what should be a defense-only award. Gold Glove voting has never allowed for a position player hitting below the Mendoza line to win a Gold Glove. Hopefully Ryan will be the first.”

Ryan has yet to win a Gold Glove, so it’ll be interesting to see how that comes out when Rawlings announces those awards on Oct. 31. If you need a visual reminder of Ryan’s skills, here is a video highlight package from this past season.

And remember, he did all this with a sore throwing elbow that needed surgery to remove bone spurs the day after the season ended. Pretty impressive.

1 Comment

Defensively impressive for sure. I just can’t get past the bad hitting though. I hope he comes back strong next year both for the M’s sake and his.

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