The 2018 Gold Glove Awards is a mix of familiar faces joined by several newcomers, as Major League Baseball recognized its top fielders at each position.
Yadier Molina is the elder statesman among this year’s honorees, with the Cardinals catcher winning his ninth Gold Glove. The only catchers with more Gold Glove Awards are Hall of Famers Ivan Rodriguez (13 awards) and Johnny Bench (10), widely considered the two best defensive catchers of all-time.
Rockies star third baseman Nolan Arenado won his sixth award, the only infielder in major league history to win a Gold Glove in each of his first six seasons.
National League Gold Glove winners
But this year also saw six players win their first Gold Glove, including Athletics third baseman extraordinaire Matt Chapman, a former high school teammate of Arenado in Southern California. Fellow first-timers this year are A’s first baseman Matt Olson, Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., Pirates left fielder Corey Dickerson, Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed, and Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman.
We also had a rare tie, with Freeman sharing the first base Gold Glove in the NL with Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs. It’s just the third tie in Gold Glove history, along with 1985 in the AL outfield and 2007 in the NL outfield, both with four winners for three spots.
Three Braves won Gold Gloves, and three Red Sox won as well.
Managers and coaches account for the bulk of the Gold Glove decisions, with the only caveat that one can’t vote for someone on their own team. A sabermetric defensive index, which combines five different sources of defensive statistics, make up 25 percent of the total vote.
American League Gold Glove winners
|2B||Ian Kinsler||Angels/Red Sox||2nd|
|CF||Jackie Bradley Jr.||Red Sox||1st|
|RF||Mookie Betts||Red Sox||3rd|