Orioles CF Adam Jones won his first Gold Glove today. It was the first Gold Glove for an Oriole outfielder since Paul Blair won one in 1968 and the first for any Oriole since Mike Mussina in 1999.
I’ve heard some naysayers downgrading Adam’s defense and making the argument that he didn’t deserve the Gold Glove. When you dig into the defensive stats like Zone rating and Range factor it may very well be that Adam was not one of the AL’s top 3 defensive outfielders. Maybe Franklin Gutierrez got to more balls and Mitch Maier had more assists. I’d make the argument that Adam wasn’t even the Orioles’ best defensive outfielder. Nick Markakis has deserved a Gold Glove for 2 years and it still waiting.
Today is a chance to revel in an Oriole actually being recognized on a National stage, much like Adam’s All Star selection. Adam’s fast offensive start, coupled with his All Star appearance and highlight reel catches won him the Gold Glove, not his defensive stats. Gold Glove selection is mostly a popularity contest which explains Jeter’s 4 Gold Gloves. Either way, Adam is now a made guy and much like the Mafia he’s in the Gold Glove club for life, just ask 9 time winners Torii Hunter and Ichiro. Congrats to Adam for receiving this honor. He’s an exciting young player and one of the few reasons to actually watch an O’s game.