Strong defense has been a staple of the Orioles under manager Buck Showalter, and the Orioles won 12 Gold Glove awards over a five-year span from 2011 to ’15.
Davis, who was a finalist for the second time of his career, lost out to former teammate Mitch Moreland of the Rangers.
The Gold Gloves are determined by two components: voting by managers and coaches (they are not allowed to vote for their own players) accounts for 75 percent. And for the fourth straight year, a sabermetric component, a statistic called the SABR Defensive Index, makes up the other 25 percent.
The SABR Defensive Index – which combined defensive evaluations from batted ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts – appeared to play a significant role in deciding the winners.
Machado ranked third in the metric among AL third basemen, receiving a 9.3 score, which trailed fellow finalists Beltre (14.6) and Seattle’s Kyle Seager (11.9).
Davis ranked second (4.3) to Moreland (6.4) in the SABR Defensive Index among AL first basemen.
Three-time Gold Glove winner J.J. Hardy, who wasn’t a finalist this season, ranked second among AL shortstops in the SABR Defensive Index, his 11.9 score trailing only winner Francisco Lindor (18.5) of the Cleveland Indians.
Machado led all AL third baseman in defensive WAR (2.2) – a statistic used to gauge a player’s all-around defensive value.
Machado also led all major league third baseman with a .979 fielding percentage, but Beltre led all major league third basemen with 21 total zone runs and Seager led all third basemen in range factor per game with 3.10. Beltre and Seager tied for the AL lead with 15 defensive runs saved.
This year was different for Machado in that he saw his first extended work at shortstop, filling in for Hardy for seven weeks while Hardy was out with an ankle injury. The fact that he split time at two positions might have hurt his candidacy for the Gold Glove.
Despite committing the second-most errors by a first baseman (10), Davis led all AL first baseman in range factor per game at 9.13 and tied for most double plays turned at 138. His eight defensive runs saved, as computed by the Fielding Bible, ranked fifth among all first basemen.