Brendan Ryan Earns Fielding Bible Award

Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan was named the Fielding Bible Award winner for 2012 as the top defensive shortstop in baseball.

Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan has been named the recipient of the 2012 Fielding Bible Award as the best defensive shortstop in baseball.

A panel of 10 analysts, including Peter Gammons, Bill James, Joe Posnanski, Doug Glanville and scouts from Baseball Info Solutions—examined the 2012 seasons of every defensive player in Major League Baseball and then used the same voting technique as the Major League Baseball MVP voting. First place votes received 10 points, second place 9 points, third place 8 points, etc. A perfect score was 100. Here is what John Dewan and the Fielding Bible have to say about Ryan’s defensive play:

Brendan Ryan is the best defender in baseball. Period. Make that double period. His has saved 67 runs for his teams defensively over the last three years, the highest total among all players. The next highest runs saved total is not even close (Michael Bourn, 51). Ryan led all shortstops in 2012 with 27 runs saved, led in 2011 with 18, and finished second in both 2010 and 2009 with 22 runs saved each year. Seattle recognizes the value of Ryan’s defense, and that’s why they keep putting him out there day after day despite his .194 batting average during the 2012 season. It will be interesting to see if the American League coaches and managers, who vote for the Gold

Glove Awards, can look past Ryan’s offense and base their ballot on his defense alone. This has been one of the problems with the Gold Glove voting—a certain amount of offense has always been required for what should be a defense-only award. Gold Glove voting has never allowed for a position player hitting below the Mendoza line to win a Gold Glove. Hopefully Ryan will be the first.

Ryan fell one point shy of the maximum score after leading all shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved by a significant margin with 27. His closest competitor was Atlanta rookie Andrelton Simmons with 19.

Here is a look at some of Ryan’s stellar plays at shortstop:

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