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Rasmus recognized as Blue Jays' best defender

Rasmus recognized as Blue Jays' best defender

Rasmus recognized as Blue Jays' best defender play video for Rasmus recognized as Blue Jays' best defender

TORONTO -- Colby Rasmus received his first accolade for a breakout 2013 season by being named the Blue Jays' winner of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Rasmus took home the club's top defensive honor as part of an awards show that aired Thursday night on MLB Network. Wilson named one winner for each club, as well as the best defensive player and best defensive team in the American and National Leagues.

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The 27-year-old Rasmus enjoyed a resurgence in 2013 by posting a .276 average, 22 homers, 66 RBIs and an .840 OPS in 118 games. But this award was for his work in the field, where Rasmus tied for fifth in putouts for American League center fielders with 308.

Rasmus also finished third among AL outfielders with a 2.71 range factor per game, according to Baseball Reference. He was just edged out by Oakland's Coco Crisp and Minnesota's Aaron Hicks. The downside to his performance was the fact that he was tied for fourth in errors for center fielders with four.

The vast majority of Rasmus' issues in the field were related to his throws to home plate. He displayed very impressive range all year, even though his season was cut short after 118 games due to an oblique issue and later an injury to his orbital bone.

Third baseman Brett Lawrie appears to be the Blue Jays player who was overlooked for the award. Lawrie has established himself as one of the best defensive third basemen in the game, but wasn't named a finalist for the recent Gold Glove Awards, and also came up short in a bid for the top club honor.

Arizona was named the best defensive team in the National League while Baltimore and Kansas City shared the honors in the AL. Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia was the overall winner in the AL and Arizona's Gerardo Parra won in the NL.

The GIBBY trophy for Defensive Player of the Year will be awarded as part of the 2013 Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards, which are based on voting by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni and the Society for American Baseball Research, as well as fan balloting on MLB.com.

Through Sunday, Dec. 1, fans will be able to cast their ballots at MLB.com for the year's top defensive star, with no individual league affiliation.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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