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Mookie Betts named best defensive player in baseball

11.11.16 at 7:31 pm ET
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Mookie Betts. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Mookie Betts. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Of all the honors bestowed on Mookie Betts thus far, this might be the most impressive.

The second baseman-turned-outfielder was named by Wilson as the best defensive player in Major League Baseball for the 2016 season. The following is the press release announcing the honor:

Mookie Betts and the San Francisco Giants have been named the top recipients of the fifth annual Wilson Defensive Player of the Year and Wilson Defensive Team of the Year awards, which are given annually to the top defensive players and Club in Major League Baseball. The winners were announced tonight as part of a one-hour special on MLB Network hosted by Greg Amsinger and Eric Byrnes.

In addition to Betts, who was named the top defensive player in baseball, the following Major Leaguers were honored as the top defensive players at their respective positions: Zack Greinke (pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks), Buster Posey (catcher, San Francisco Giants), Anthony Rizzo (first baseman, Chicago Cubs), Dustin Pedroia (second baseman, Boston Red Sox), Nolan Arenado (third baseman, Colorado Rockies), Brandon Crawford (shortstop, San Francisco Giants), Brett Gardner (left fielder, New York Yankees), Kevin Kiermaier (center fielder, Tampa Bay Rays) and Betts (right fielder, Boston Red Sox).

Betts, a first-time All-Star in 2016 and a first-time recipient of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award, led MLB with 32 defensive runs saved. He is the youngest player ever (24) to win a Defensive Player of the Year Award.

The Giants, who reached the Postseason as a National League (NL) Wild Card team this year, set an NL record in 2016 for the longest errorless streak in league history, spanning more than 17 games. The Giants (Posey and Crawford) were one of two Clubs with multiple 2016 award winners (Red Sox).

Of the nine players honored, five (Greinke, Rizzo, Kiermaier, Gardner and Betts) are first-time winners, with five hailing from the NL and four from the American League. Pedroia, the overall Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, earned his third award this year while Posey, Crawford and Arenado won for the second time in their careers.

Wilson, the Official Glove of Major League Baseball, has handed out the Defensive Player of the Year awards at the conclusion of each season since 2012. The winners are determined using a formula that combines traditional defensive stats with advanced metrics, as well as the data logged by the baseball experts working for the scouting service Inside Edge.

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