The 2020 award finalists are just being announced at the end of October. Throughout the 2020 season, Kansas City Royals’ Nicky Lopez was the main storyline from game 1 to game 60. Lopez showed he could be a big-league second-basemen and make some incredible plays. Despite this, Lopez was not named a finalist for the Gold Glove at the second-base position. Instead, Cesar Hernandez, Danny Mendick, and Johnathan Schoop were the three finalists for the second-base Gold Glove. That is until someone caught a mistake by Rawlings Twitter.
I can breathe again now. Just after this article was originally published, Rawlings notifed the Royals. Here is the case I had laid out for why Lopez deserved the crown jewel of fielding…
Case For Nicky Lopez
Nicky Lopez played in 59 of the Royals’ 60-game season. During these games, he played most of the time at second base, while appearing in four games at shortstop and two at third-base. However, second is where Lopez really shined. He recorded 74 put-outs, 135 assists, and only committed two errors in the 2020 season. After playing over 400 innings at second, Lopez ended the 2020 campaign with a .991 fielding percentage.
The Kansas City Royals were not the best team during the season and were not nationally televised much. The Gold Glove awards are voted on by 10 sabermetrically inclined journalists and bloggers, including sabermetric pioneer Bill James, and several others.
However, according to the Rawlings Gold Glove selection criteria on their website says this:
“Due to the compressed 2020 season, the Award qualifications have been amended to rely solely on the SABR Defensive Index™ (SDI). To be considered, pitchers must have pitched at least 50 innings, catchers must have played in at least 29 games and infielders/outfielders must have completed at least 265 defensive innings. Each player qualifies at the position he has played at most.”
Lots of question marks around how Royals infielder, Nicky Lopez did not become a finalist for a Gold Glove. When the finalists were announced, the Royals’ young fielder did not take the news lightly and took it to social media.
All in all, Nicky Lopez showed the Royals he could play in the big leagues after making his MLB debut in 2019. KC manager, Mike Matheny, has been a big fan of Lopez since he got the job last October.
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