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Nick Markakis joins Ender Inciarte as Gold Glove finalist

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Well, this one was a surprise.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The presence of center fielder Ender Inciarte on the list of Gold Glove finalists at the position did not surprise anyone in the baseball world. However, Inciarte was not the only member of the Atlanta Braves included in the proceedings, as fellow outfielder Nick Markakis made the three-man cut in right field.

While Inciarte was a no-doubt inclusion based on both the eye test and the advanced metrics, Markakis is a more... controversial choice. On one hand, the veteran outfielder did rank second among qualified National League right fielders in defensive runs saved (10) and a respectable sixth in UZR (1.3). On the other, Markakis was seen as an overall negative in the field according to FanGraphs’ all-encompassing defensive metric and barely above replacement level according to Baseball-Reference’s defensive WAR (0.3).

As for the eye test, Markakis’ lack of range and lack of arm strength have become quite apparent in the recent past, and that would seem to move against his inclusion here. Still, some value his safety in the outfield as a player that makes virtually every play that he can get to and, apparently, the voters for this particular honor also place that ability in high esteem.

Let’s keep the comments civil, shall we?