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Mariners’ Mike Zunino named Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at catcher

Mariners backstop Mike Zunino was announced as Wilson’s 2018 Defensive Player of the Year at catcher on Wednesday afternoon.

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The award uses a combination traditional defensive stats and advanced metrics to select the defender at each position in Major League Baseball.

The 27-year-old Zunino becomes the third Mariners player to win a Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award, joining shortstop Brendan Ryan (2012) and second baseman Dustin Ackley (2013). He joins closer Edwin Díaz (American League Reliever of the Year) as Mariners to win awards this offseason.

Per Fangraphs, Zunino led all catchers with 12 defensive runs saved in 2018. His .998 fielding percentage ranked third in the AL and fifth in the majors among qualifying catchers, and his 3.86 catcher ERA was fifth in the AL. Of catchers with at least 700 innings in 2018, Zunino’s 34.6 caught stealing percentage (18 of 52) ranked seventh.

Here is the full list of Wilson’s Defensive Player of the Year awards:

C: Mike Zunino, Mariners (first Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award)
1B: Freddie Freeman, Braves (first)
2B: DJ LeMahieu, Rockies (third)
3B: Matt Chapman, Athletics (first)
SS: Andrelton Simmons, Angels (fifth)
LF: Alex Gordon, Royals (third)
CF: Kevin Kiermaier, Rays (second)
RF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox (second)
P: Zack Greinke, D-backs (second)

Best Overall Defensive Player: Chapman (first)
Defensive Team of the Year: Arizona Diamondbacks (second)

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