July 21, 2024

With a recent history of outstanding outfield defense, the Cardinals have identified their next winner of the prestigious honor.

The Cardinals have taken great satisfaction in their glove work, having developed players like Ozzie Smith, Jim Edmonds, and Yadier Molina into defensive stars. Jose Oquendo laid the groundwork for infield growth, while Willie McGee did the same for outfield development. The end product has been extremely efficient, with the organization serving as the industry model for how a squad should play the field.

Since 2019, the Cardinals’ outfielders have improved significantly. Harrison Bader won the Gold Glove in 2021; Tyler O’Neill won in 2020 and 2021; Tommy Edman won in 2022; and Brendan Donovan won in 2022. How can anyone forget the record-breaking year for team Gold Gloves in 2021?

The organization’s development has been called into question over the last two seasons, but it is safe to say that the organization has an advantage in generating outfielders that dominate on the field. The front office felt quite optimistic in the starting outfield in 2024. They expected gold glove winner Tommy Edman to take full command of centerfield, Lars Nootbaar and his superb glove to dominate left field, and rookie phenom Jordan Walker to survive in right by hitting moonshots into Big Mac Land. All three of these strategies failed utterly.

The freshly established outfield core includes gold glove winner Brendan Donovan in left field, rising star Alec Burleson, who will replace Walker in right field in the near future, and the surprise Michael Siani in center. With half of the season practically complete, Michael Siani appears to be a strong contender for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2024.

Siani does not pose much of a danger at the plate. He is a true nine-hole hitter that slashes.217/.259/.290/.549 (56 OPS+), which is unsuitable for most major league combinations. But with that horrible slash line, he still has a WAR of -0.1. He has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 461.1 innings played. He has made no errors this season and is worth three defensive runs saved over average and seven total fielding runs above average. By the metrics, he has been faultless and is adding value to the club by playing centerfield. But if the figures don’t convince you, try the eye test.


Cardinals Claim Michael Siani From Reds - MLB Trade Rumors
Michael Siani

There is still plenty of time remaining in the season, and Tommy Edman is anticipated to take over centerfield when he returns from the IL. However, with numerous key players returning in the coming weeks, the front office and coaching staff will be forced to make difficult decisions. With veterans potentially being DFA’d and players being traded, it’s unclear what Michael Siani’s projected role will be. But so far in 2024, he looks like a National League Gold Glove winner in center field.

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