Cincinnati Reds Gold Glove Finalists: Zack Cozart,Billy Hamilton, Brandon Phillips


Sep 13, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton (6) hits a triple to drive in two runs in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds didn’t have much to celebrate in 2014, and their offense was one of the worst in Major League Baseball, but they did have some bright spots on defense. Now, as the World Series plays on without, a handful of Reds are taking back a tiny speck of the spotlight, thanks to Rawlings’ announcement of the 2014 Gold Glove finalists. The Reds in the running for the hardware include center fielder Billy Hamilton, second baseman Brandon Phillips and shortstop Zack Cozart.

Phillips appears on the list in large part because of his career achievements, which include four previous Gold Gloves at second. Phillips did put up a 0.9 dWAR this season, but Colorado Rockies youngster DJ LeMahieu was the class of the 2B finalists in the NL. Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies is the other finalist, and while he pales to Phillips and LeMahieu on defense, he has name recognition and played the whole season for the first time since 2009.  

More from Cincinnati Reds

The order at second should be LeMahieu, Phillips and Utley, even with Phillips extended absence.

In center, Hamilton faces off against Denard Span of the Washington Nationals and Juan Lagares of the New York Mets.  Span, frankly, does not belong on this list, and probably only appears as a finalist because of his team’s success.

Lagares, on the other hand, outplayed Hamilton defensively in 2014, but Hamilton holds a decided advantage in games played (152 v. 112). I would probably lean toward Hamilton, Lagares superior play in a shortened season, coupled with the New York glare, may be enough to net him the hardware.

Finally, we have Cozart, who is an absolutely terrible hitter, matching up against Adeiny Hechavarria of the Miami Marlins and Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves, who are just really bad hitters. Hechavarria is really not all that great in the field, either, while Cozart is fabulous.

The problem is that Simmons may just be “fabulouser” AND he plays for the Braves AND he has all kinds of highlight reel catches.

In the end the Reds might get shutout in the Gold Glove balloting, just as they did in “fun” during the 2014 regular season. If I’m ranking the three Reds’ finalists in terms their chances to take home the baubles, I’d list them as Hamilton, Cozart and Phillips.

I’m mostly just happy we get to talk about something good when it comes to the Reds, if only for a few minutes.