Nick Markakis had a fantastic year with the glove this year. We know it. But we've watched a bunch of Oriole games this season. How many non-Oriole fans can say that?
So Nick's hopes for a Gold Glove rest on word of mouth and the numbers.
Defensive stats are flawed but if you look at the whole spectrum, you start to get an idea of how good Markakis was this year. All stats are for AL corner outfielders.
RZR for AL Corner Outfielders
Only J.D. Drew had a better Zone Rating. But...
OOZ (Out of Zone) Plays by AL Corner Outfielders
Nick leads the corner outfielders is plays out of his "defensive zone". Great range, great jump on the ball.
Fielding Percentage is a very flawed stat since you can't make an error on a ball you didn't get to in the first place. But Markakis is still third in the league with only 3 errors all year despite leading the league in balls hit to his "zone".
Markakis is far and away the leader in outfield assists. Only B.J. Upton (a centerfielder) is close with 16 assists. Among corner outfielders, he is the undisputed champ.
All of this while leading the league's corner outfielders in innings played.
What else does he have to do?
The only problem is that voters select the Gold Glovers from the entire pool of outfielders so he'll be competing with centerfielders too. At a glance, there are four centerfielders who are worthy of serious consideration: Carlos Gomez (Twins), Grady Sizemore (Indians), our own Adam Jones and B.J. Upton (Rays).
Jones is a rookie and played fewer innings than the others due to his injuries so he is probably out. B.J. Upton led AL centerfielders in assists but didn't show great range and made a fair share of errors. Carlos Gomez had the best overall range and made the most SportsCenter caliber catches. Grady Sizemore was probably the best all-around centerfielder in the AL.
Sizemore and Gomez should win two of the three available Gold Gloves. I can't see Markakis losing to Upton. Only Torii Hunter, based on reputation alone and not current prowess, could jump up and bite him.
Stupider things have happened.