UPDATE: Bourn did indeed win his second Gold Glove, according to Brian McTaggart here.
As we wait for word on whether or not The Human Highlight Reel a.k.a. Michael Bourn has won his second Gold Glove, let us reflect upon his brilliance in the field.
Michael Bourn is one of the few players whom you need no statistics to confirm his defensive aptitude of playing the outfield. However let's take a quick gander at some of his defensive numbers. At FanGraphs he has an Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) of 17.6 which is 8.3 points higher than the next centerfielder Marlon Byrd who has a 9.3 UZR. On Baseball-Reference his 2.4 Defensive Wins Above Replacement Player (dWAR) is tops in the league just ahead of Angel Pagan and Justin Upton. For those of you that enjoy the more traditional statistics Bourn had 3 errors and a .992 Fielding Percentage. Unlike a certain New York shortstop whose name rhymes with Jerek Deter, the statistics confirm the product on the field.
As I alluded to above, you don't even need statistics to see how good Bourn is defensively; all you need is two pairs of eyes.
As I sifted through Bourn's highlights on MLB.com I began to realize that Bourn didn't have nearly as many highlights as I expected. In any given month, you can find between two and seven highlights of his defense in center field. Is this the media's bias against the Astros we all love to bemoan about? Maybe. I have a different theory though. I really and truly believe the term "easier than it looks" is Bourn's middle name. If you look through some of the highlights, a majority of them are "Bourn makes a running catch."
He gets to balls that other outfielders are diving for or just simply not getting to. This resonates with coaches and players who vote on the Gold Glove award. Bourn does have the occasional diving play but it's far and few between, and furthers the notion that he is one of the best defensive outfielders today. I remember several years ago reading a comment made by another outstanding defensive outfielder, I believe it was Andruw Jones. He mentioned something along the lines of "If you're making a diving catch as an outfielder, it's because you were out of position."
It makes sense and certainly applies to Bourn who almost always seems to be in the correct position to make a play. Any fly ball hit to center will almost certainly come down in Bourn's glove. As an Astro fan and more specifically as a baseball fan, it's an amazing thing to watch.
What are some of your favorite defensive moments from Bourn this year?