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Erick Aybar Wins Gold Glove

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<strong>¡ MANO DE ORO !</strong>

Angels shortstop Erick Aybar has been selected to the 2011 Rawlings Gold Glove Award team, in an announcement made Tuesday evening by the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company on a stupidly-delayed ESPN2 awards telecast. This marks the first such honor for Aybar.

The Dominican native posted a .980 fielding percentage (third in the AL). Aybar committed just 13 errors in 659 total chances. He totaled 240 putouts, 406 assists and tied for the league lead being involved in 102 double plays. Aybar also posted several offensive career highs, including 30 stolen bases, the most ever by an Angel shortstop. In perusing his advanced defensive stats on FanGraphs, I frankly could not decipher them, but in comparison to the 2011 of last season's AL SS GG, Aybar's numbers were superior at all points.

Aybar, 27, joins Orlando Cabrera (2007) and Jim Fregosi (1967) as the only shortstops in franchise history to win a Gold Glove. The Angels have had a Gold Glove Award recipient in 21 of the last 26 seasons - most recently outfielder Torii Hunter in 2009. Hunter lost out in the RF category to Baltimore's Nick Markakis in Tuesday's ballotting. Also nominated were Pitcher Dan Haren (lost to repeat winner Mark Buehrle) and CF Peter Bourjos (lost to the East Coast biased September introvert Jacoby Ellsbury). This year saw the award given to Outfileders by strict position. Had it been the top three outfielders there is little doubt Bourjos would have taken one home.