December 6, 2022
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Ranger Suarez wins award as MLB’s best defensive pitcher

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Ranger Suarez is the 2022 Fielding Bible Award winner as MLB’s best defensive pitcher.

The award has been given out since 2006 by Sports Info Solutions, one of the main sources of publicly available defensive metrics. Suarez is the first Phillies pitcher to win the award.

As SIS points out, Suarez led all major-league pitchers this season with nine Defensive Runs Saved. He also did not allow a stolen base in his 155⅓ innings, which is partially owed to J.T. Realmuto’s prowess behind the plate. Realmuto caught more total runners and at a higher rate than any catcher in the majors.

Suarez moves like a cat on the mound, fielding bunts as well as anyone. None has been more important than the play he made on Trent Grisham, who tried to bunt for a hit with two men on base in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the NLCS with the Phillies leading by a run. Suarez instead retired Grisham for the 26th out and ended the game a pitch later, popping Austin Nola up to right field.

Suarez also deals with more comebackers than just about any pitcher. His 31 defensive assists led the majors.

He was not one of the three nominees for the National League Gold Glove Award. Tyler Anderson, Corbin Burnes and Max Fried are the three finalists. Reputation has a lot to do with being nominated for or winning a Gold Glove, so Suarez could start gaining consideration next season as the baseball world slowly starts to realize how uniquely well he fields his position.

 

He doesn’t really care, though. He’s in the World Series and in line to start Game 3 at Citizens Bank Park on Monday.





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