The Fielding Bible Awards are made each year and published in the annual Bill James Handbook, always before the Gold Gloves are announced. They differ from the Gold Gloves in that they give only one award for each of the fielding positions, regardless of whether the best fielder was in the American League or the National League (or as in 2009, when Jack Wilson won for shortstop, playing in both leagues in the same season!). On that basis, Paul Goldschmidt winning this for the third time is a good sign - on both of the two previous occasions, in 2014 and 2016, Goldschmidt also got to take home the Gold Glove. Here’s what they had to say about him:
Goldschmidt has tremendous range at first base, affording him opportunities to make plays that no other fielders even have a chance at. He often fields the ball 30+ feet away from the bag, diving or sliding to his right and throwing to the pitcher or racing to the bag to get the out. “He’s also great at fielding throws,” Dewan points out, “as evidenced by his MLB-leading Scoop Runs Saved, but that skill is also on display on hard-hit grounders, where he’s able to snag balls that would likely eat up other first basemen.”
Here’s how the awards are given out. Baseball Info Solutions asks a panel of twelve experts to rank ten players at each position, regardless of the team or league they played for during the year, on a scale from 1-10. They then use the same scoring technique as the Major League Baseball MVP voting: A first place vote gets 10 points, second place 9 points, third place 8 points, etc. Total up the points for each player and the player with the most points wins the award. Full details of the voting will be available in the 2018 edition of the Bill James Handbook, which ships out on Wednesday.