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Updated: October 25th, 2013 10:31am
Joe Mauer one of three finalists for Rawlings AL Gold Glove at catcher

Joe Mauer one of three finalists for Rawlings AL Gold Glove at catcher

by Derek Wetmore
1500ESPN.com
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Rawlings on Friday announced three finalists at every position for the American League and National League Gold Glove awards. 

Catcher Joe Mauer is the only member of the Twins to be nominated.

The other A.L. catcher finalists are Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals and Matt Wieters of the Baltimore Orioles. 

Some thought Brian Dozier could get a look at second base, but a trio of AL East second basemen were named finalists: Robinson Cano (Yankees), Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox) and Ben Zobrist (Rays).

Mauer won the A.L. Gold Glove in 2008, 2009 and 2010. 

For the first time, the awards process will include a sabermetric component this season.

From CBS Sports:

As part of the multi-year collaboration beginning with the 2013 season, SABR will develop an expanded statistical resource guide that will accompany the Rawlings Gold Glove Award ballots sent to managers and coaches each year. In addition, SABR will immediately establish a new Fielding Research Committee tasked to develop a proprietary new defensive analytic called the SABR Defensive IndexTM, or SDITM. The SDI will serve as an "apples-to-apples" metric to help determine the best defensive players in baseball exclusively for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award and Rawlings Platinum Glove Award selection processes. The collaboration also installs SABR as the presenting sponsor of the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award.

...

Beginning in 2013, the managers/coaches vote will constitute a majority of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners' selection tally, with the new SDI comprising of the remainder of the overall total. 

That's good news for anyone who wants to see validity restored to the Gold Glove voting process. Often the vote is swayed by how well a player performed offensively, and defensive wizards can go ignored if their bat isn't up to snuff. 

Defensive analytics are far from perfect, and should not be used exclusively. But as they are refined and continue to more accurately evaluate how much value a player yields with his glove, they should be relied on more heavily.

Other names that Twins fans will recognize: Baltimore's J.J. Hardy, an A.L. shortstop finalist; R.A. Dickey, Blue Jays starting pitcher; Carlos Gomez, Brewers centerfielder; and Denard Span, Nationals centerfielder.

Gold Glove winners will be announced Tuesday.

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore
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