While the Phillies struggled this season to win a lot of games, the team has made some progress in other areas.  Center fielder Odubel Herrera, a converted infielder, showed improvement in center field.   Shortstop Freddy Galvis, though often struggling at the plate, played solid defense up the middle at shortstop.   For their efforts, both players have been named finalists at their respective positions for the 2016 Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

Both players are up for the award for the first time.

As Sports Talk Philly's Brandon Apter made the case for Galvis winning the award last month.   In terms of statistics, Galvis has impressed among his competition in terms of fielding percentage, dWAR, UZR, and RZR.  Galvis is up against last year's winner, Brandon Crawford.  2016 is the first full season for Addison Russell of the Cubs at the shortstop position, having spent more time at second base in 2015.   It should be noted that Crawford's dWAR was highest in the league at any position.

As for Herrera's chances in center field, Herrera ranked all the way 10th in the league in fielding percentage at .977.  However, looking at range factor, Herrera ranked third - behind former Phillie Ender Inciarte and Billy Hamilton.   Herrera was second to Inciarte in total assists.

Granted, this "finalists" format is intended to get the interest of fans of more teams.  There is no double vote; they simply announce three "finalists" and the person who won will be named November 9.  At this point, Galvis and Herrera have already won or they have not.

However, it's nice that they are being recognized for their defensive abilities.  Stay tuned.

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