Hunter looking good as Gold again

Hunter looking good as Gold again

TORONTO -- Torii Hunter checked his ego at the door 13 months ago when he willingly moved from center field -- where he'd spent his entire Major League career -- to right in order to accommodate the arrival of the young and gifted Peter Bourjos.

The move has turned out to be pure gold for everyone concerned -- including Hunter.

With the new rules placed in effect this year by Rawlings, sponsor of the Gold Glove Awards, Hunter is well positioned to win for the 10th time, joining an elite group headed by Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente.

For the first time, players will be confined to left, center and right designations, meaning the days of three center fielders winning Gold Gloves are over.

There's a good chance Bourjos will join Hunter, emerging from a loaded American League center field pack.

Hunter, according to calculations by the Fielding Bible on actasports.com, has saved an estimated 15 runs this season, leading all big league right fielders. Ichiro Suzuki, who has monopolized the award for 10 seasons, has slipped to only two runs saved.

"Torii has made a switch that could have been difficult seamless," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's made sensational catches, stopped first to third and has had more assists [15] than any time in his career."

Bourjos is in contention with such notable center fielders as Detroit's Austin Jackson and Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury. Jackson, the Fielding Bible estimates, has saved 20 runs, Bourjos 17 and Ellsbury 12.

In Wednesday's edition of the Toronto Sun, veteran baseball writer Bob Elliott quoted two veteran scouts -- one at work in MLB since the '50s, the other since the '60s -- calling Bourjos the "best defensive center fielder" they've ever seen.