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Machado elected AL's top defender by fans, SABR

Machado elected AL's top defender by fans, SABR

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Machado elected AL's top defender by fans, SABR

BALTIMORE -- The fans have spoken, and Manny Machado's glove is the best in the American League.

The 21-year-old Orioles third baseman was named the winner of the Rawlings Platinum Award on Friday night, which is based on voting by fans and analytic input from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

Machado, who edged Texas' Adrian Beltre and Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria for his first career Gold Glove Award, is coming off his first full season in the big leagues and one full of highlight-reel plays. He led AL third basemen in fielding percentage (.973), assists (355), double plays turned (42) and range factor (3.02) and finished second with 116 putouts.

Additionally, Machado posted 32 total zone runs, which is the number of runs above average the player was worth based on the number of plays made. It was the highest total for any defensive player in 2013 and tied for 12th-best all time. He also posted the best defensive season by an AL infielder since Mark Belanger was credited with 35 total zone runs in 1975.

Machado, who was called up from Double-A Bowie in August 2012, made the transition from shortstop to third base look effortless as a rookie and was even more awe-inspiring in 2013. His 4.4 defensive wins above replacement led the AL and was the third-highest total in the Majors, tying him for the eighth-highest single-season total in history, regardless of position.

Machado beat out Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was named the AL's Defensive Player of the Year by Wilson, and was joined by Atlanta's Andrelton Simmons in the National League for the Platinum Glove Award. O's shortstop J.J. Hardy finished third in AL voting.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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