It's been said over and over again by everyone who's watched Brice Turang this year, but it can't be said enough: Brice Turang deserves to win a Gold Glove.
The Brewers second baseman has been an excellent defender, making difficult plays look routine consistently and putting together quite the highlight reel. Turang is a shortstop by trade and could very easily be the starting shortstop for the Brewers if it wasn't for the presence of Willy Adames. Those skills have translated well to second base, where he's a leading contender to win the Gold Glove award this year.
But it's not always just about the eye test when it comes to Gold Gloves, it also helps to have stats that back it up.
Here are three stats that prove Brice Turang should win the NL Gold Glove for second base this season.
Stat #1: Turang leads the league in UZR
There are a number of different defensive statistics out there and while fully capturing defensive value in one stat is quite difficult, there are a number of stats that try to and one of those stats is UZR, or Ultimate Zone Rating.
When it comes to NL second basemen with a minimum of 700 innings at the position, Brice Turang is first with a UZR of 3.7. The next closest is Philadelphia's Bryson Stott at 3.4.
UZR takes into account arm strength, double play runs above average, range, and errors. Of the 10 second basemen in the NL with the 700 inning minimum, only two players rank positively in each category: Turang and Luis Arraez of the Marlins. Yet Arraez's UZR total is far below Turang's because he is only slightly in the positive in each category.
UZR/150 projects the numbers out over the course of a full season. Turang is firmly in the top spot in that category as well, coming in at a 7.4, a full two points ahead of the next closest, Ha-Seong Kim, at 5.4.
Stat #2: Outperforming in Defensive Runs Saved
Keeping with the 700 inning minimum, Brice Turang ranks second in the league in Defensive Runs Saved, or DRS. Turang has nine defensive runs saved while San Diego's Ha-Seong Kim has 12. However, Kim has played nearly 350 innings combined at third base and shortstop this year, which could make him a better candidate for the award for the Utility position instead of second base.
The two other "leading contenders" for the Gold Glove award are Stott and Chicago's Nico Hoerner. Both of them have a DRS of 8, which is close to Turang, but Turang is still ahead of them and accumulated that number in fewer innings.
DRS is a cumulative stat and Turang has nearly 200 fewer innings than Hoerner and 300 fewer innings than Stott, which only further drives home the impact that Turang has had defensively. If he hadn't been sent down to Triple-A for a few weeks because his bat was struggling, Turang would have an even more commanding lead in this key stat with more innings under his belt.
Stat #3: Runaway lead in Double Play Runs Above Average
One of the most important jobs for middle infielders is turning double plays. Brice Turang is far and away the best in the National League at it this year.
Brice Turang has a +1.5 Double Play Runs Above Average, which leads the league and he's the only player that has scored over a 0.5 even. The next closest is Luis Arraez at 0.5 and only four of the 10 second basemen with enough innings are in the positive at all.
To even further make the case for Turang, his two projected closest "rivals" for the Gold Glove award, Hoerner and Stott, are the two *worst* second basemen in the league in this category. Hoerner is sitting at a -1.2 while Stott is all the way down at a -1.7. The fact that no one else even comes close to Turang in this very important category and the two other strong contenders rate so poorly in it only further drives home the point that Turang deserves to win the Gold Glove award.
Turang has made play after play this year and has been as surehanded as they come. The eye test makes him a clear contender for the Gold Glove Award and these statistics back up the eye test and further prove his case.
We've seen in recent years that the most deserving candidate doesn't always win the Gold Glove award, but Turang should at the very least be a finalist and if the most deserving candidate did win, it would be Turang.