Tonight, Major League Baseball revealed their selections for the winners of the 2019 Gold Glove Awards at every defensive position, as voted on by members of the baseball media.
There is a mixture of first time winners and repeating winners who have flashed the leather the best around the diamond over the course of the 2019 regular season.
The following article will focus on the Gold Glove winners in the American League. For coverage of the National League winners, please see our other article
First Base: Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics
Olson is one of the premier offensive and defensive first basemen in baseball, but his talents have flown under the radar playing with Oakland, a club who receives little national attention. He consistently makes some of the best picks, and this season he led all first basemen in the game in the “Defensive Runs Saved” statistic, with 13, nearly matching last year’s number of 14. Olson also won the First Base Gold Glove last season.
Second Base: Yolmer Sanchez, Chicago White Sox
Another winner that is not a household name, even less so than Olson, is Yolmer Sanchez of the Chisox. Sanchez, a first time Gold Glove winner, made 116 “Out of zone plays”, which is recorded by the website Fangraphs and measures plays made out of position. This total of 116 was 37 more than any other American League Second Baseman.
Shortstop: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
Lindor missed significant time to begin the 2019 regular season, but still managed to capture his second Gold Glove award. The 25 year old Puerto Rican player has also recieved American League Most Valuable Player votes in the last three seasons, and was a runner up for a Gold Glove the last two seasons, after winning the Gold Glove in 2016.
Third Base: Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics
Not quite as unknown as his teammate who goes by the same first name, Matt Chapman has already established himself as one of the best defensive players in all of baseball, and is certinately a candidate for this year’s Platinum Glove Award, which goes to the best defensive player in any position. Matt Chapman dominated the defensive run saved metric among American League Third Basemen, he had 18 defensive runs scored, while no other AL 3B managed more than three. This is Matt Chapman’s second consecutive Gold Glove.
Left Field: Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
Now a seven time Gold Glove winner, Gordon has the second most Gold Gloves in Kansas City Royals franchise history, just behind Frank White’s eight. This season Gordon played 1,260 innings in left field, which is second most in baseball. The Thirty Five Year old Gordon is the oldest outfield Gold Glove winner since recently retired Ichiro, who won at the age of 37 in 2010.
Center Field: Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays
Kiermaier is known as a defensive prowess in center throughout the league, as his stellar defensive helped the Rays get a wild card win against the Oakland A’s, and then saw them follow it up by taking the eventual American League Champion Houston Astros to a deciding fifth game in this year’s ALDS. One of the most interesting statistics measured, the Outfielder Jump, which tracks how fast an outfielder reacts to the flight of a ball, was dominated by Keimaier, at plus 3.8 feet to average. This is Kevin Kiermaier’s third Gold Glove Award, he previously won in 2015 and 2016.
Right Field: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
After some regression at the plate from his 2018 American League MVP Season in 2018, Mookie Betts was still a force in the outfield. Patrolling Fenway Park’s awkward right field and the “Pesky Pole”, Betts captured his Fourth straight Gold Glove Award at the age of just Twenty Seven. Betts has the most defensive runs saved in all of baseball from the start of the 2016 Regular season, with a total of 98, that is 13 more than the next closest, Andrelton Simmons in that timespan.
Catcher: Roberto Perez, Cleveland Indians
Perez captured his first ever Gold Glove Award this season, and one statistic really stands out. Perez did not allow a single passed ball in 2019, not one. A grand total of zero passed balls in 993.2 innings behind the plate for the Tribe. He is just the fourth catcher since the year 1930 to catch 118 games or more without allowing a single passed ball. He also had the most defensive runs saved of any big-league catcher in 2019 with a total of twenty nine.
Pitcher: Mike Leake, Seattle Mariners & Arizona Diamondbacks
Though Leake finished the season with the National League’s Arizona Diamondbacks, he is the winner of the American League Gold Glove at Pitcher. A similar situation happened on the National League side with Zack Greinke winning, who began the season with Arizona before being traded and finishing his season with the Houston Astros. So technically, the Diamondbacks had BOTH of the current Gold Glove Pitchers in 2019.
Remember to also check out our article on the National League Side to view the winners on the senior circuit. But that’s not all, fan voting is currently open for the “Rawlings Platinum Glove Award”, which is awarded to the best overall defensive player at any position. The Platinum Glove is awarded in each league. Voting runs through Thursday night and all fans are welcome to vote through the Rawlings website, the title sponsor of the award.