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Barney named Cubs' top defensive player

Barney named Cubs' top defensive player

Barney named Cubs' top defensive player

CHICAGO -- Second baseman Darwin Barney was named the top defensive player on the Cubs for 2012 during the first Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards, announced Sunday on MLB Network.

Barney, who won his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award as the top defensive second baseman in the National League, finished with a .997 fielding percentage, committing just two errors. It was a Cubs record for a single season by a second baseman, topping Ryne Sandberg's previous high of .995 set in 1991.

The Wilson Defensive Player of the Year awards were determined by statistical analysis of MLB Network's "shredder system" used by Clubhouse Confidential, plus input from MLB Network analysts.

Barney was flawless in a 141 error-free games streak, which tied a Major League single-season record for second basemen set in 2007 by Placido Polanco. Barney was three outs away from setting the mark before he was charged with a throwing error in the eighth inning Sept. 28 against the D-backs.

Barney, who turns 27 on Thursday, does own the NL mark for consecutive error-free games at second base, surpassing Sandberg's former record 123-game streak, allowing for multiple seasons, that ran from June 21, 1989-May 17, 1990. David Eckstein owned the previous NL single-season mark of 113 consecutive games, set with San Diego in 2010.

Barney's streak at second base spanned 1,154 1/3 innings. His only other miscue this year at second base came on April 17 in Miami.

His streak featured more total chances per nine innings (5.30) than any other second baseman in baseball. During the 141 games, Barney also had more putouts (293) than any one else in that span. White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham was next closest at 259. Barney's 676 total chances trailed only Arizona's Aaron Hill (687).

Barney has the potential to be a candidate for one of the 2012 Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards. The GIBBY trophy for Defensive Player of the Year will be awarded, based on fan voting at MLB.com, media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni and the Society for American Baseball Research.

From Monday, Nov. 12, through Sunday, Dec. 2, fans will be able to cast their ballots at MLB.com for the year's top defensive star, with no individual league affiliation.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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