There is really no defensive statistic that I fully trust and believe in. Defense has proven to be perhaps the toughest thing to statistically measure in baseball, but it is interesting that several of these stats seem to agree that Cano was not up to the standard of the other two American League second base finalists.
I believe Cano’s a very good defensive player, but Dustin Pedroia has shown several times this offseason that he’s also a fine second baseman able to make some great plays. Pedroia was also announced as the Fielding Bible Award winner at second base, which is a pretty good indication that the advanced metrics show he was a better second baseman than Cano this season.
Here are the three American League Gold Glove finalists:
Fielding percentage: .991
Ultimate Zone Rating: 0.8
Defensive WAR: 1.2
Fielding percentage: .993
Ultimate Zone Rating: 10.9
Defensive WAR: 2.3
Fielding Percentage: .993 (in 125 games at 2B)
Errors: 4 (plus one at shortstop)
Ultimate Zone Rating: 10.0
Defensive WAR: 1.3
Associated Press photo