The shortlists for the 2011 Gold Glove awards were announced today and two Royals made it into the final three for their positions. Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur were nominated after each having career years. The rest of the nominees are here.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that Francoeur will win; he’s up against Torii Hunter and Nick Markakis. I actually suspect Markakis will win. Hunter is still a good outfielder, but his best days are behind him and Markakis is pretty well established. Francoeur is also a Royal, which never helps.
Alex Gordon has a better chance. He’s up against Brett Gardner though, who is not a better outfielder but is a Yankee. The other nominee is Sam Fuld of the Rays. In an ideal world neither should present any challenge to Gordon, but Gardner is from a big market and thus tends to have something of an advantage. I think in this case, however, the gap will be too large and Gordon will get the recognition he deserves.
There were a pair of notable snubs from a Kansas City standpoint, however. Alcides Escobar did not even get a nomination for his brilliance at shortstop, whilst somehow JJ Hardy did. Also, Zach Grienke has been overlooked for the nth year running, despite this time being on a division winning team. The awards show will be shown live for the first time on ESPN2 in the US and Canada at 21.00 CDT. I doubt it will be shown overseas though.