Arenado, LeMahieu, Chatwood heralded as league's best defenders
By Manny Randhawa
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, second baseman DJ LeMahieu and pitcher Tyler Chatwood won the 2017 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award at their respective positions. The awards were announced Friday evening on MLB Network.
The Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award is given to the best defensive player in MLB at each position, and began in 2012. The formula used to determine the winner consists of defensive wins above replacement (25 percent), defensive runs saved (25 percent), Inside Edge fielding ratings (20 percent), Inside Edge arm ratings (20 percent) and fielding percentage (10 percent). The formula is different for pitchers and catchers.
Arenado's Defensive Player of the Year Award is his third straight, and comes three days after he won his fifth consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Arenado is the only infielder in MLB history to win five consecutive Gold Glove Awards to begin his big league career. The only player at any position to win more is Ichiro Suzuki, who won 10 straight in the outfield to begin his career.
With his third Defensive Player of the Year Award, Arenado joins three other players to win three or more: the Angels' Andrelton Simmons (four), the Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia (three) and the Royals' Lorenzo Cain (three).
Arenado was also a finalist for the Players Choice Award for Major League Player of the Year and National League Outstanding Player. The MLB award went to the Astros' Jose Altuve, and the National League honor went to the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton.
Arenado led all Major League third basemen in defensive wins above replacement, with 2.3. He also led all third basemen with 20 defensive runs saved.
In a season filled with highlight-reel plays at the hot corner, Arenado's signature play for 2017 came at AT&T Park on June 28: He dove full-extension to his left to knock down a Ty Blach ground ball, grabbed it with his bare hand as it bounced away, spun on his rear end and made a Statcast-projected 117-foot throw across the diamond to get Blach at first. The play is a nominee for Best Defensive Play in the MLB Esurance Awards.
LeMahieu's Defensive Player of the Year Award is his second (he also won it in 2013), to go along with his second Rawlings Gold Glove Award, which he won on Tuesday. He led all National League second basemen in defensive WAR (1.2) and led all MLB second basemen in defensive runs saved (eight).
Chatwood won his first Defensive Player of the Year Award, and the first defensive award of any kind for a pitcher in franchise history. He finished the season tied with the Astros' Dallas Keuchel for most defensive runs saved by a pitcher (nine). He was also tied for third in assists (37), despite pitching 40-plus fewer innings than the two pitchers ahead of him, the Braves' R.A. Dickey (44 assists) and Julio Teheran (40).
Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.