Parra, Pedroia honored for unrivaled defense

Parra, Pedroia honored for unrivaled defense

Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Arizona outfielder Gerardo Parra on Thursday were named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year in the American and National League, respectively.

Pedroia, who played most of the season with a torn thumb ligament, and Parra were naturally also named their respective teams' top defensive player as Wilson saluted the top glove man on each of the 30 Major League teams.

Wilson also crowned Parra's D-backs the NL Defensive Team of the Year, with that honor in the AL being shared by the Royals and the Orioles.

The Wilson awards, the newest in Major League Baseball's showcase, are neither the first recognition of defensive excellence -- Rawlings Gold Gloves were distributed last week -- nor the last.

The GIBBY trophy for Defensive Player of the Year will be awarded as part of the 2013 Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards, which are based on voting by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni and the Society for American Baseball Research, as well as fan balloting on MLB.com.

Voting launched on Oct. 31 and will continue through Dec. 1. Fans will be able to cast their ballots at MLB.com for the year's top defensive star, with no individual league affiliation.

This was only the second annual presentation of the Wilson awards, determined by a far more analytical approach than baseball's other top awards. In fact, fielding percentage -- the traditional measure of defensive prowess -- accounts for only 10 percent of the Wilson yardstick, with various sabermetrics and scouting measures making up the rest.

Given that novel approach, the little correlation between the established Gold Glove Awards and the Wilson citations should not be surprising. Only six of Wilson's club winners were among the 18 recipients of 2013 Gold Gloves (although multiple Gold Glove winners from the same club were eliminated by Wilson's one-per-team approach).

Outfielders were the most popular Wilson honorees, with 13 named their team's top defensive player. One outfielder not thus cited was Andrew McCutchen, who had been a finalist for his second straight Wilson award but lost out to Pirates teammate Russell Martin.

Martin was one of four catchers honored, tying third basemen for third place behind seven second basemen. Atlanta's Andrelton Simmons was the only one honored at shortstop -- stunning, considering the position is generally considered the most valuable defensively on the field.

The complete list of 2013 Wilson Defensive Player of The Year Award Winners, by divisions:

AL East
Orioles: Manny Machado (3B)
Red Sox: Pedroia (2B)
Yankees: Robinson Cano (2B)
Rays: Evan Longoria (3B)
Blue Jays: Colby Rasmus (OF)

AL Central
White Sox: Gordon Beckham (2B)
Indians: Yan Gomes (C)
Tigers: Austin Jackson (OF)
Royals: Lorenzo Cain (OF)
Twins: Brian Dozier (2B)

AL West
Angels: J.B. Shuck (OF)
Astros: Matt Dominguez (3B)
Athletics: Josh Reddick (OF)
Mariners: Dustin Ackley (2B)
Rangers: Craig Gentry (OF)

NL East
Braves: Simmons (SS)
Marlins: Donovan Solano (2B)
Mets: Juan Lagares (OF)
Phillies: Carlos Ruiz (C)
Nationals: Denard Span (OF)

NL Central
Cubs: Darwin Barney (2B)
Reds: Jay Bruce (OF)
Brewers: Carlos Gomez (OF)
Pirates: Martin (C)
Cardinals: Yadier Molina (C)

NL West
Rockies: DJ LeMahieu (2B)
Dodgers: Juan Uribe (3B)
Padres: Chris Denorfia (OF)
Giants: Gregor Blanco (OF)
D-backs: Parra (OF)

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.