Cain cited as Royals’ top defensive player; Royals share team award

Center fielder Lorenzo Cain wasn’t one of three Royals honored recently as a Gold Glove recipient, but he gained a major consolation prize Thursday when picked as the club’s top defensive player by Wilson Sporting Goods.

The Royals were also cited by Wilson as co-winners, with Baltimore, of the American League Defensive Team of the Year award.

Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Arizona outfielder Gerardo Parra were chosen as the defensive players of the year in the American and National leagues. One player from each team was also recognized.

Arizona was picked as the NL’s top defensive club.

The Wilson Defensive Awards are distinguished from the Gold Glove awards, which the company also sponsors, through differing selection criteria.

The Gold Glove awards, which date to 1957, awards are chosen through a vote by the managers and coaching staffs in each league with a sabermetric component comprising roughly 25 percent of the balloting.

The Wilson Defensive Awards, which began last year, are determined by using a “formula that balances scouting information, sabermetric analysis and basic fielding statistics.”

Cain was one of three finalists for the AL Gold Glove award in center field, which went to Baltimore’s Adam Jones.

The Royals’ three Gold Glove recipients were left fielder Alex Gordon, catcher Salvy Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer. Shortstop Alcides Escobar was also a finalist. Gordon also won the award in 2011 and 2012.