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Span named Twins' top defensive player by Wilson

Span named Twins' top defensive player by Wilson

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Span named Twins' top defensive player by Wilson

MINNEAPOLIS -- Center fielder Denard Span was named the Twins' winner of the first-ever Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award as announced on MLB Network on Sunday night.

Each Major League team had a winner, while Angels center fielder Mike Trout was named the best defensive player in the American League and Braves center fielder Michael Bourn was named the best defensive player in the National League. The Braves were named the best defensive team.

The award winners were determined by the detailed statistical analysis of MLB Network's "shredder system" used by "Clubhouse Confidential", plus input from MLB Network analysts.

Span has been consistently regarded as one of the better center fielders in the AL and it was again the case in 2012.

The 28-year-old made four errors in 349 chances with six outfield assists. He was also highly rated by advanced defensive metrics, as he finished with the second best Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) among qualified center fielders behind only Bourn, according to FanGraphs.com. He also finished with the third-most defensive runs saved (DRS) behind Bourn and Trout as well, according to FanGraphs.

This GIBBY Awards will feature nominees in 21 categories. Individual honors will go to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout hitter, breakout pitcher, comeback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.

GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year's top play, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic and postseason moment, from MLB.com's Must C highlight reels. Winners will be presented their GIBBY trophies at the MLB.com Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards extravaganza during the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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