The 2011 Fielding Bible Award Winners Revealed

by Jason Epstein

Earlier this evening ACTA Sports published this season’s Fielding Bible Awards winners:

FIRST BASE—ALBERT PUJOLS, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (82 POINTS)Winning his fifth Fielding Bible Award wasn’t easy for Pujols, as he only edged out Adrian Gonzalez by 4 points, 82 to 78, in the closest race of any of the awards.

SECOND BASE—DUSTIN PEDROIA, BOSTON RED SOX (97 POINTS)Despite already having a Gold Glove to his name and doing well in the voting in previous years, a Fielding Bible Award had eluded Pedroia until now. He was selected overwhelmingly this year, coming in 21 points better than runner-up Ben Zobrist.

THIRD BASE—ADRIAN BELTRE, TEXAS RANGERS (98 POINTS)Beltre won this year’s Fielding Bible Award pretty convincingly with 98 points out of a possible 100. However, last year’s winner, Evan Longoria, didn’t go down without a fight, garnering 90 points himself. No second place finisher at any other position had more than 78.

SHORTSTOP—TROY TULOWITZKI, COLORADO ROCKIES (94 POINTS)Tulowitzki signed a huge contract extension last offseason. Clearly the Rockies wanted to make Tulo the rock of their defense for years to come, as this is the third time he has been honored with a Fielding Bible Award as the best defender at one of the most critical positions on the field.

LEFT FIELD—BRETT GARDNER, NEW YORK YANKEES (99 POINTS)Gardner has established himself as one of the elite outfielders in the game. He saved an estimated 22 runs for his team this year, a total usually only seen amongst center fielders. As a result, he was only one point shy of being a unanimous selection for The Fielding Bible Award in left field.

CENTER FIELD—AUSTIN JACKSON, DETROIT TIGERS (89 POINTS)Jackson has rewarded the Tigers for clearing space to make him their starting center fielder. His 22 Defensive Runs Saved led all center fielders, the second year in a row he has done that.

RIGHT FIELD—JUSTIN UPTON, ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (84 POINTS)With a down year from three-time Fielding Bible Award winner Ichiro Suzuki, the door was opened for a new honoree. Seven different players received first place votes, but Upton emerged from the pack as this year’s winner, excelling on deeply hit balls where he fielded 18 more balls in 2011 than the average right fielder would have.

CATCHER—MATT WIETERS, BALTIMORE ORIOLES (97 POINTS)This year Wieters unseated the winner of the last four Fielding Bible Award winners at catcher, Yadier Molina. Wieters led all catchers with  14 Runs Saved, and garnered 97 points as the overwhelming choice for this year’s award.

PITCHER—MARK BUEHRLE, CHICAGO WHITE SOX (90 POINTS)Buehrle again won this award handily. Runner up R.A. Dickey only had 61 points. This is Buehrle’s third straight Fielding Bible Award, as he continues to field his position very well and is a master of controlling the running game. Only three of ten would-be base-stealers were successful against him, and he picked off two additional baserunners.

Pujols earns his fifth honor in the six years that the award has existed. Pedroia, Jackson, Upton, and Wieters are first-time winners.

On a related note, ESPN2 will broadcast the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards Show tomorrow at 10 p.m. EDT.

Right Field

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