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Ryan McMahon nominated as a Gold Glove finalist at third base

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McMahon is the Rockies’ lone representative among the Gold Glove finalists after a stellar defensive season

This afternoon, Rawlings officially announced the finalists for the 2021 Gold Glove awards at each position. Highlighting the list for Rockies fans is the sole representative for the 2021 Colorado Rockies: Ryan McMahon.

McMahon has been nominated as a finalist for the Gold Glove at third base alongside his former teammate Nolan Arenado (St. Louis) and NL West rival Manny Machado (San Diego). To be blunt... The Gold Glove should be his to lose after a fantastic season where he outperformed both of his fellow nominees.

NL Third Base Gold Glove Finalists

Player Innings PO A E DRS UZR
Player Innings PO A E DRS UZR
Ryan McMahon 848.2 64 171 5 13 6.1
Manny Machado 1238.1 94 260 13 6 5.1
Nolan Arenado 1312.0 125 287 11 6 5.7

McMahon had big shoes to fill with the departure of Arenado, and while his bat didn’t break out as expected, his sterling defensive play was a standout of the Rockies’ season. He spent time at both second and third base this season, though mostly settled in at the hot corner after the emergence of Brendan Rodgers as an everyday player.

At third base alone, McMahon was a better overall defender than Machado and, surprisingly, Arenado. McMahon had more than double the DRS of the eight-consecutive Gold Glove winner, with a superior UZR and only five errors to Arenado’s 11. Machado stands even further back from McMahon in terms of UZR and errors.

What makes Ryan McMahon stand out even further from his peers is that he was defensively excellent at two positions this year. As a second baseman, McMahon still has more DRS than Arenado and Machado do at third base with nine. He also could have a case for the Gold Glove at second base over all three of the National League’s finalists: St. Louis’ Tommy Edman, Milwaukee’s Kolten Wong, and Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies.

Ryan McMahon and NL Second Base Finalists

Player Innings PO A E DRS UZR
Player Innings PO A E DRS UZR
Ryan McMahon 368.1 76 132 2 9 2.9
Tommy Edman 1032.1 198 305 4 6 1.2
Kolten Wong 937 164 229 2 6 4.7
Ozzie Albies 1358.2 231 389 8 1 2.1

Where McMahon falters at second base is playing time compared to the other nominees, causing his put-outs and assists to be much lower. However, he still has more DRS than any of the three nominees, and only Kolten Wong has a better UZR.

McMahon finished his season as the league’s overall DRS leader with 22. His split time between two positions shows just how valuable to the Rockies he was this season, but might also hinder his chances for the award when his competitors are bigger names with more innings at third.

Regardless, his excellent 2021 fielding campaign is difficult to understate. Sorry Nolan, but I think Ryan McMahon is an incredibly deserving successor to your Gold Glove streak.