The Blue Jays didn’t have a Gold Glove award winner in 2018 after the results showed Justin Smoak didn’t bring home the hardware for the first base position.
Though it was perhaps a bit of a longshot to suggest that Justin Smoak would take home the Gold Glove Award for American League first baseman, it still would’ve been undeniably nice to have at least one Toronto Blue Jay take home an award.
Unfortunately for Smoak and the Jays, though, Oakland’s Matt Olson, who was spectacular nearly all season long, was given the award, also edging out Mitch Moreland of the Boston Red Sox, who himself won a Gold Glove Award in 2016. The official Rawlings Twitter account confirmed Olson’s victory late Sunday night.
The SABR Defensive Index, which, according to the SABR Twitter, was used to choose the winners, wasn’t exactly kind to Smoak. Among qualifying American League first basemen, Smoak finished seventh (or fourth last) with -1.3 SDI, a complex sabermetric stat that takes into account widely used metrics to measure the effectiveness of a fielder.
By those standards, it’s a miracle that Smoak was even nominated, seeing as Moreland, who finished in third with a 2.1 SDI, and Olson, who blew the rest of the group out of the water with a score of 12.4, were his competition. Additionally, no Toronto Blue Jay placed in the top 25 of top AL qualified players by SDI.
Though Smoak was generally solid in the field, it likely wasn’t going to go his way, especially when Olson was in the running. With a season like that, it was hard to imagine him getting much love.
Regardless, the nomination still was nice and should surely boost Smoak’s trade value, should the Blue Jays decide to entertain a deal this offseason. If he remains a Blue Jay, he’ll surely continue to exercise his dependable glove and natural baseball instinct.