The first round of after-season hardware is here, and Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson picked up the first of what should be several honors.
Swanson is the Fielding Bible Award winner at shortstop for 2023:
Note that the Fielding Bible Awards, which are selected by a panel of analytically-minded folks, are one-per-position. So Swanson was the winner for all shortstops, not just in the National League.
SS – Dansby Swanson won his 1st Fielding Bible Award. He was the only unanimous selection among 2023 winners. Swanson led all shortstops with 18 Defensive Runs Saved. He was +14 Plays Saved on balls hit to his right, the most of any player at the position. Balls hit to that area (the shortstop-third base hole) have been a weakness for Swanson in past seasons but in 2022 and 2023, he’s improved considerably.
Swanson is the second Cubs player to win a Fielding Bible Award at shortstop, joining Javier Báez (2020).
Swanson, who is also a Gold Glove finalist, has more or less always been a solid defensive shortstop in his big league career, but his performance took off in 2022 – at least by the public metrics – and continued into 2023. Really, there was no one particularly close to his performance this year.
And that’s exactly what the Cubs were hoping they would get when they signed him.