Image: Rich Graessle / Icon Sportswire
Check out the other 2022 Gallardo Award awards here.
The M-SABR Gallardo Awards, originally conceived by alumni Cam Cain and Sahil Shah, are given to the worst players in baseball. The previous editions in 2018 (AL/NL) and 2019 didn’t mimic every MLB award. This changes in 2022.
This is the second article in the series, honoring the worst defenders in the National League. The Iron Pyrite Glove Award is made of fool’s gold, and mirrors MLB’s Gold Glove Award. The Tin Glove Award is given to the worst defender overall. It’s our Platinum Glove Award.
P – Justin Steele, CHC
While the Cubs may have uncovered a potentially strong addition to their pitching staff with Justin Steele’s 3.18 ERA in 24 starts in 2022, his defense has been poor enough to call it a detriment. Similar to most Cubs defenders this year, Steele had his contributions to the defense finishing sixth lowest in fielding percentage in MLB. He committed an error once in a mere eight chances while also contributing a -0.5 DRS. While a small sample size, his defense was comparably worse when taking a look at all national league pitchers. If the Cubs want to improve in 2023, defensive mishaps will need to be lowered.
C – Elias Diaz, COL
Diaz was finally given the opportunity to take on a larger role in Colorado this year starting in 94 games, a career high. With greater opportunity, though, came struggles on both sides of the ball. Diaz will have a stacked trophy case this year as he is also bringing in an Aluminum Slugger Award and the Lewis Brinson Award as the least valuable player in baseball.
As for his defense, Diaz led all MLB catchers with 11 errors and finished with a .985 fielding percentage (very poor for a catcher due to limited opportunities for assists). Alongside this, Diaz also accumulated a NL-worst negative seven catcher framing runs, displaying his detriment on the pitching staff. Oddly enough, with regards to catching runners, he led the entire league in 2021 in terms of runners caught stealing. He caught 42% of runners, as opposed to a 24% in 2022, a massive decline. We may see Colorado shopping in free agency or giving backup Brian Serven, a plus defender, more time in 2023.
1B – Rhys Hoskins, PHI
A clutch postseason hitter and Philadelphia hero, Rhys Hoskins was purely horrible with the glove throughout 2022. For one, he had an astounding 12 errors in 151 games, a number very poor for the easiest position to play on the diamond. This resulted in a .990 fielding percentage. Hoskins also compiled a negative six OAA (outs above average) and -5 RAA (runs above average) as his defense cost his team numerous times in 2022.
Perhaps the worst of these was his crucial missed ground ball in game two of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves. While the Phils would go on to win the series, this non-error was visibly the worst mistake of the game and resulted in a three-run inning. He would also go on to have a dropped ball in game three. While Hoskins has been clutch at times, his high strikeout rate and harmful defensive play should be major concerns for Phillies fans.
2B – Nolan Gorman, STL
Highly-rated prospect, Nolan Gorman, showed flashes of potential in his 2022 rookie season, but there is no doubt the Cards were looking for better. At the plate, he struggled, compiling an extraordinarily high 32.9% strikeout rate, and in the field he was no better. Gorman only played in 68 games at second base, yet managed to compile 8 errors and a mere .975 fielding percentage. Worse, he trailed all NL second basemen with -12 OAA. He also had a -6 DRS (defensive runs saved) as his defense was by far the worst on a rather strong defensive team.
SS – Luis Garcia, WAS
Another promising young star, Luis Garcia showed his ability to hit for decent contact this year as part of a struggling Nationals lineup. However, his defense was bad enough to earn him an Iron Pyrite Glove Award. In only 59 games played at shortstop in 2022, Garcia totaled 13 errors and a league worst .938 fielding percentage. Add this to his three errors at second base, and you have arguably the worst defensive infielder in the MLB this year. With -13 OAA and -17 DRS at shortstop this year, Garcia trailed all MLB shortstops. Washington thought they had their future shortstop in the talented Garcia, but his historically bad defense likely has them thinking otherwise.
3B – Patrick Wisdom, CHC
Trailing only Kyle Schwarber in the NL in strikeouts at the plate and (spoiler alert) almost catching up for the league worst Tin Glove Award, Patrick Wisdom is honestly lucky to have a job. What Schwarber did that Wisdom didn’t was to hit 46 home runs in 2022. The Cubs third baseman racked up 14 errors and a .948 fielding percentage. While this is bad, Josh Rojas, Austin Riley, and Alec Bohm all had more errors at the position. Where Wisdom falters is his ability to make difficult plays alongside the routine ones. As a result, he finished with negative six DRS. Wisdom was also third worst in the entire MLB in OAA at a horrendous -15. The Cubs showed promise at times but failed to field the ball as this is their second Iron Pyrite Glove Award winner of the season.
RF – Juan Soto, WAS/SD
A product of excessive amounts of media coverage in 2022, Juan Soto was traded to San Diego for such a large return as a result of his ability with the bat. This is certain as, defensively, he is one of the worst in the league. Looking back at the shortened 2020 season, Soto played the majority of his games in left field. He was by far the worst in the MLB at his position, managing negative eight DRS in a mere 36 games there.
As a result, he was moved to right field and hasn’t played a game in left since. The thought was that he would see less action and be unable to produce such harmful defensive numbers. On the contrary, though, Soto was the worst right fielder in the MLB in 2022. He finished last in the NL with -16 OAA and -14 RAA. Only Andrew Vaughn of the White Sox outpaced Soto in these numbers. With limited outfield options, the Pads will be looking for their new star slugger to improve his defense in 2023.
CF – Bryan Reynolds, PIT
Bryan Reynolds has emerged as one of the most consistent offensive threats in the league and is, as a result, a large name on the current offseason trade market. Teams should be aware, though, of the extremely poor defensive season Reynolds had in centerfield in 2022. As a result of below average arm and range ratings, Reynolds finished with negative seven OAA. He also managed to compile -14 DRS. Only Joc Pederson was worse among all NL outfielders. In totality, Reynolds only committed 2 errors, but center fielders are expected to make the difficult plays too; this is something the Pirates outfielder has failed to do.
LF – Kyle Schwarber, PHI
Tin Glove Award Winner
Your 2022 NL Tin Glove Award Winner is Kyle Schwarber of Philadelphia Phillies. The National League Champion Phils made a surprise run this year, but their regular season was marred by poor defense. Schwarber, the NL home run leader, was the greatest contributor to his team’s fielding woes. He managed to compile -13 OAA and -12 RAA, finishing second in both among NL outfielders behind Juan Soto.
Schwarber also has negative range ratings in all directions, meaning he is weak on his gloveside, backhand, in front, and over his head. The Phillies slugger also managed to tie Bryan Reynolds at -14 DRS for second worst among NL outfielders. Overall, Schwarber’s lack of athleticism and inability to make anything beyond the most routine of routine plays has earned him the coveted Tin Glove. Maybe it’s time to move him to first base. Could he be any worse than fellow Iron Pyrite Glove Award winning teammate Rhys Hoskins?
Congratulations to all the winners of the NL Iron Pyrite Glove Award, with a special shoutout going to Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies for being the worst defender in the league. It is the hope that all of these players will improve this offseason defensively and contribute to their team in all ways possible. Defense wins championships, but here’s to the Phillies for being the worst defensive team in the National League and still managing to outlast the rest. This is a rare achievement that only comes around so often. Let’s all take some time to admire the Fightin’ Phils and their disastrous defense.