The winners of the Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards for 2017 have been unveiled. Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, who also won the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award, took home the American League award. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado won the National League honors.
Buxton was playing in just his third major league season, and topped 100 games played for the first time in his career. The former number one overall prospect had excellent Inside Edge Fielding numbers. He made 5 of 18 plays with an out probability of ten percent or below. He saved a whopping 24 runs by the Defensive Runs Saved statistic; a full nine runs higher than any other center fielder in baseball. By Ultimate Zone Rating's estimate, Buxton saved 13.1 runs per 150 games.
Arenado continued an impressive streak this year by winning his fifth consecutive Gold Glove Award. He's now the only infielder in baseball history to win the honors in each of the first five years of his career. However, this was the first time that Rawlings has named Arenado the best defensive player in the entire National League. An offensive season in which the third baseman crushed 37 home runs and batted .309/.373/.586 would have been impressive enough, but Arenado also managed to tack on 20 Defensive Runs Saved across 1343.1 innings. His 6.2 UZR/150 was third best among NL third basemen.
The history of the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award began in 2011. The award was initially based largely on fan discussion. However, a sabermetric component was soon introduced in 2013. This component is provided by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR); it's said to help accurately compare players across different positions in baseball. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina leads all of baseball with four career Platinum Glove Awards, Adrian Beltre of the Rangers is the only other player to win the award twice.