SAN FRANCISCO -- If you're a Giants infielder who played more than 100 games in 2015, congratulations, you've been nominated for a Gold Glove Award.
Rawlings made the finalists public on Thursday morning, with four key Giants picking up nominations. Brandon Crawford is a finalist at shortstop for the first time after several years spent filling up highlight reels. Brandon Belt is also a first-time finalist at first base after a strong defensive season, and Matt Duffy is a finalist at third base after just one year at the position. Buster Posey rounds out the group with a nomination at catcher.
Crawford may have the best chance to actually win a Gold Glove Award. He was a frontrunner for the award throughout the season and finished tied for second in the National League in Defensive Runs Saved (20), behind fellow finalist and two-time reigning winner Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves. Advanced metrics put Crawford and Simmons neck and neck.
Posey edged Molina in Defensive Runs Saved and the two are comparable in most stats across the board, but it will be hard for the Giants catcher to unseat a player who has won the last seven National League Gold Gloves behind the plate.
Belt could face a similar challenge at first base. He's up against Adrian Gonzalez and Paul Goldschmidt, the last two winners in the National League. Belt led MLB first baseman in Ultimate Zone Rating and committed just three errors in 1,050 innings.
Duffy's inclusion isn't a surprise, but it would have been a few months ago. The rookie had never played third base until spring training and wasn't a starter until late May, when his strong play forced the coaching staff to insert him into the everyday lineup over Casey McGehee. Duffy, a shortstop throughout his career, spent hours before games working on handling the hot corner, and it paid off. He was second among NL third baseman in DRS and second in the Majors in UZR. Unfortunately for Duffy, he plays the same position as Nolan Arenado, the two-time defending Gold Glove winner from the Rockies who may be the best defensive player in the big leagues.
Joe Panik was the lone Giants infielder to not be a Gold Glove finalist after a back injury limited the second baseman to just 100 games. Ironically, Panik is the Giant viewed by some scouts as most likely to win multiple Gold Gloves down the line.
The winners will be announced shortly after the World Series ends.