MLB gibby awards for best defensive player:
Here are the top five MLB gibby awards with their percent share of MLB votes and dWAR (defensive Wins Above Replacement in 2011)
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS 27% -.7
Brandon Phillips, 2B 18.2% .1
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF 17% .4
Brett Gardner, LF 13.7% 3.2
Mark Teixeira, 1B 6.8% -.1
The next five played RF, CF, CF, CF. Gee, do you think CF has the best OF? Wow! And Gardner makes the top five because he's a CF being compared to LF, usually among the weakest defenders.
Numbers one and five have negative dWAR. MLB announcer, former relief pitcher Mitch Williams, emphatically and repeatedly assured us this morning that Asdrubal Cabrera was by far the best defensive SS in AL in 2011.
I ran a query on bb-ref: "for 2011, Played 50% of games at SS, (requiring Qualified for league batting title), sorted by greatest runs_fielding":
Cabrera was number 16 with minus 6 runs. In double figures plus:
Troy Tulowitzki 13
Alex Gonzalez 11
Jhonny Peralta 10
Remember Cabrera was selected the top defensive player regardless of position, not just the top SS.
I then ran the query for players of any defensive position. Tulowitzki was number 11. Top three:
Brett Gardner 34 LF
Carlos Lee 21 LF
Mike Stanton 20 RF
What the heck? Defensive stats are elusive at best for individuals.