Stats say Phillies have three legitimate 2019 NL Gold Glove Award contenders

Harper is the NL’s second-highest rated defensive right fielder into mid-July per SABR rankings. (Ian D’Andrea)

The Philadelphia Phillies are currently one of the most inconsistent contending teams in Major League Baseball.

The biggest problem for the team in getting on a long winning run has been consistently poor pitching from both the starters and the bullpen group.

Offensively, they are a middle of the pack team, with the Phillies run production having fluctuated wildly all year long. The club’s hitters are collectively tied for 15th among the 30 MLB teams with 4.81 runs scored per game.

The one area of the game at which the Phillies have been solid this year is on defense. The gloves are currently tied for sixth in the NL in fielding percentage, having committed 55 errors, tied for fifth-lowest in the league.

The SABR Defensive Index of individual player performances was released through games of July 7, just about 10 days ago. For the seventh consecutive season in 2019, the SDI will be used to help select the winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. The SDI accounts for approximately 25% of the Gold Glove selection process, added to votes from the managers and coaches.

Based on the SDI as of July 7, the Phillies have three players who are legitimate National League Gold Glove Award contenders. Those three are right fielder Bryce Harper, catcher J.T. Realmuto, and perhaps surprisingly to some, left fielder Jay Bruce.

All three of those Phillies players are ranked second by the SDI at their positions. Harper’s 3.7 mark trails well behind the 7.6 of Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger and his 7.6 SDI rating. In left field, Bruce’s 4.4 is right behind the 4.7 of positional leader David Peralta of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

J.T. Realmuto might be the best chance for a Phillies player to actually win a Gold Glove Award in 2019. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Realmuto, the one Phillies representative on this year’s NL All-Star team, has an 8.5 SDI. That is the third-highest mark in the entire National League among all players. Unfortunately, one of the two ahead of him is San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges and his 9.1 mark.

Aside from those three, the rest of the Phillies defenders do not fare as well. Shortstop Jean Segura has a positive mark of 0.8, which places him at 8th among the 17 players rated. Maikel Franco has a -1.3 rating, putting him at 13th of the 19 third basemen rated.

At second base, Cesar Hernandez has a -1.2 rating, putting him 14th of 16 ranked players at the keystone position in the National League. Out in center field where Scott Kingery is played out of position on most days, the club’s future second baseman carries a -1.3 rating, putting him at 13 of 18 ranked players.

On the mound, Aaron Nola‘s 1.2 and Jake Arrieta‘s 0.6 make them the only Phillies pitchers in positive territory. They rank as tied for 11th (Nola) and 19th (Arrieta) respectively. Nick Pivetta has a -0.3 rating and Zach Eflin a -0.5 as the only other two Phillies pitchers on the NL list.

With these pure stats only accounting for one-quarter of the vote, reputation among players and coaches continues to provide the largest influence in the actual final selection of the Gold Glove Award winners.

Considering that key factor, Realmuto, widely considered the top all-around defensive catcher in the game by many, has the best chance to actually take home hardware after the season ends. None of the three leading Phillies contenders has ever captured a Gold Glove Award.

The last Phillies player to be awarded a Gold Glove was Jimmy Rollins, who took home the honors at shortstop back in 2012. It was a fourth career NL Gold Glove for JRoll, who previously was honored for three straight years from 2007-09. Mike Schmidt (10) and Garry Maddox (8) have won the most Gold Glove Awards in club history.

Phillies Nation Summer Giveaway






  1. Phanatic

    July 18, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Since this is a team sport and the goal is to win the World Series, nobody really cares about anybody’s Gold Glove. It is a stupid award that gives participation trophies to self-absorbed and selfish baseball players for not winning the World Series.

    This trend of ‘individuality’ at the expense of the team has been going on for some time starting with uniform numbers, names on the back of a player’s jersey, guaranteed contracts, walk-up songs, Cy Young Awards, MVPs, and on and on ad nauseam.

    The only people who care are the individual players because they get more undeserved money. This does nothing for us fans.

    The Phillies have won a grand total of 2 World Series since 1883 and we’re supposed to care about somebody’s stupid Gold Glove?


    Go Dodgers, Braves, Nats, Cubs, Brewers, Cardinals, D-Backs, Rockies.

    BOO Phillies.

    • KelVarnsen

      July 18, 2019 at 7:39 pm

      Factoring in the random commenting of cheers for different teams with the subsequent hate of the Phillies, including the out-of-date opinions on individuality—probably the most absurdly lost comment I’ve seen in my life.

      I actually think you are a Philly fan though, or at-least an incredibly bitter person from around the Philadelphia area. If so, give away everything you own with a Phillies logo, then burn your home, and dive in yourself.

      • Phanatic

        July 18, 2019 at 8:34 pm

        ‘including the out-of-date opinions on individuality’

        Another intelligent comment from a knuckle-dragging Phillies fan with an IQ of 4.

        If I want individuality I’ll go to a bowling alley or golf course.

        • Barry Onyx

          July 19, 2019 at 1:33 pm

          You call yourself “Phanatic” and then boo the Phillies? In a comment about the “growing trend of individuality in baseball” where you cite these newfangled names on jerseys and MVP/CY awards? Dude, how old are you?

          Are you also mad at how the batters wear helmets? Should the fielders leave their gloves on the field? Does this newfangled “4 balls for a walk instead of 9” rule ruffle your feathers?

    • Alex

      July 18, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      My cousin is married to a hof players son, seeing a gold glove in person and hearing how much it meant to his dad made it even cooler for me. Sorry you hate awards dude, best defensive player at each position should be awarded though.

      Phillies are going to hang in there and get the wild card, have some faith.

  2. Phanatic

    July 18, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    ‘…….how much it meant to his dad ‘

    No disrespect to your cousin but this is my point. It means something to the individual winning it but nothing to the rest of us buying tickets to see the team win. Having the name ‘Phillies’ on the chest and a player’s name on the back is a complete contradiction. I don’t blame the players by the way. This is all just a money grab by MLB in attempt to rip off foolish fans and line their own pockets.

    There is no reason why I should have faith in the Phillies.

  3. Craig Glessner

    July 18, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Seeing as how this is Phillies Nation I’d say knocking the Phillies gives you the IQ of 4. Someone needs a tissue if you want to cry about the Phillies that’s fine but if you want to knock them and say you’re rooting for other teams be ready to be called out on your irrelevant rants.

    • Phanatic

      July 18, 2019 at 10:25 pm

      I’’d say knocking the Phillies gives you the IQ of 4′

      Why do I have an IQ of 4 for speaking the truth about the Phillies?

      ‘be ready to be called out on your irrelevant rants.’

      What is irrelevant about talking about the Phillies on a Phillies site? Why is stating facts and giving mild, non-profane opinions considered rants?

      Craig Glessner, to my recollection, you have never contributed one intelligent opinion or comment to this site. Ever.

      • Barry Onyx

        July 19, 2019 at 1:37 pm

        Your crazy opinions are “facts” or “the truth” and everyone else with an opinion different from yours is an idiot with an IQ of 4.

        I smell a troll. Do you even watch baseball? Did you discover this site and the Phillies today? Do you live with your mom/grandma? Are you generally angry at women?

  4. Craig Glessner

    July 19, 2019 at 1:47 am

    Now I need a tissue too BOO HOO you made me cry. Since I so stoopid I tell you what ma mama sayz about life bein like a box of chocolates oh wait she just sez dumbasses like you ain’t chocolate at all yoooo must be chit. Like I said be ready to be called out for your little rants. Go Phillies

    • Phanatic

      July 19, 2019 at 11:34 am

      Easy knuckle-dragger. Have a cheesesteak and Tastykake and Yuengling and feel better. The Phillies will be back home soon and you can go to your fake retro stadium and have all the delusional fun you want while Middleton and MacPhail and Klentak laugh at you from the Owner’s Box.

      If I knew how easy it was to rip off a Philadelphia knuckle-dragger I would have gotten in on the racket myself a long time ago. But too late now. Middleton and MacPhail and Klentak have the market cornered. How much does it cost to go to a game? Ticket? Parking? Food? Program? Yearbook? Hat’s? T-shirts? How much are they ripping you off?

      Now, I have a flight to catch. Have a great summer and go BRAVES and NATS!!!

      • Barry Onyx

        July 19, 2019 at 1:43 pm

        So, you are sitting in your (or your mom’s) house, commenting on a fan site for a team you clearly have no investment in. You google a couple of facts/names to make it seem like you know what you are talking about on a site dedicated to something you don’t really care about, which might be the saddest thing I’ve ever heard about. But otherwise, you’re just an angry loser who has an opinion on lots of things, but ultimately no real place in the world. The internet is your best friend, but you have no friends on it.

      • Smith

        July 21, 2019 at 11:10 pm

        Clearly, you have no heart, no life, no loyalty, no manners and most importantly, NO Team. Articles are written to provide information. Thus, every article written is not required to fulfill your personal agenda, or lack thereof.

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