It’s that time of year -- awards season. And among the most prestigious honors handed out each offseason are the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, recognizing the best defensive players at each position in each league. The nominees for each position were announced on Oct. 28, and the winners were announced Sunday night on ESPN.
It’s a history-making year when it comes to Gold Glove Awards, because for the first time, a single team has five winners in the same season.
Here’s a breakdown:
NL: Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
Goldschmidt adds a fourth Gold Glove Award to his trophy shelf, and it’s his first since 2017. The Cards’ slugger led all MLB first basemen with 10 defensive runs saved in ’21, and he was tied with Anthony Rizzo for most Statcast Outs Above Average among first basemen, with six.
Runners up: Freddie Freeman, Braves; Max Muncy, Dodgers
AL: Yuli Gurriel, Astros
Other than his Astros losing in the World Series -- that’s a big “other than” -- it was a great year all around for Gurriel, who not only wins his first career Gold Glove Award, but also won the AL batting average crown by hitting .319 during the regular season.
Runners up: Matt Olson, A’s; Jared Walsh, Angels
NL: Tommy Edman, Cardinals
Edman picks up his first career Gold Glove Award after leading all MLB second basemen with 13 Outs Above Average in 2021. Though he’s been about a league-average hitter with a .736 career OPS so far, he has produced 6.5 wins above replacement (FanGraphs) over 306 games thanks in large part to his defense.
Runners up: Ozzie Albies, Braves; Kolten Wong, Brewers
AL: Marcus Semien, Blue Jays
Semien had quite a season at the plate, setting the single-season record for home runs by a second baseman with a career-high 45 in 2021. But let’s not forget his defensive contributions -- he led all second basemen with 8.5 defensive runs above average, per FanGraphs.
Runners up: David Fletcher, Angels; Whit Merrifield, Royals
NL: Nolan Arenado, Cardinals
Matt Chapman’s former high school teammate makes it nine straight Gold Glove Awards with a typically stellar defensive showing in his first season with St. Louis. Arenado had some stiff competition from former teammate Ryan McMahon of the Rockies and Manny Machado of the Padres. Arenado’s eight defensive runs above average led NL third basemen, and his 10 Outs Above Average have him tied with McMahon for second in the league among third basemen.
Runners up: Manny Machado, Padres; Ryan McMahon, Rockies
AL: Matt Chapman, A's
Make it three Gold Glove Awards in five seasons for Chapman, who missed much of the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign due to injury but bounced back with another tremendous defensive season in ’21. He led all Major League third basemen with 17 Outs Above Average and 11 defensive runs above average.
Runners up: José Ramírez, Indians; Joey Wendle, Rays
NL: Brandon Crawford, Giants
In a record-setting season for the Giants, Crawford was a big contributor with a career year at the plate and another brilliant campaign defensively. The NL MVP Award candidate adds a fourth Gold Glove Award to his trophy shelf, and it’s his first since 2017.
Runners up: Francisco Lindor, Mets; Kevin Newman, Pirates
AL: Carlos Correa, Astros
Correa’s 21 defensive runs saved were easily the most among MLB shortstops in 2021, seven more than runner-up Andrelton Simmons’ total. In fact, no one in the Majors at any position had more -- only the Pirates’ Stallings equaled him. It’s hard to believe it, but this is Correa’s first career Gold Glove Award. It’s also quite possibly the first of several to come.
Runners up: J.P. Crawford, Mariners; Andrelton Simmons, Twins
NL: Tyler O'Neill, Cardinals
Make it two straight Gold Glove Awards for O’Neill, whose bat got the headlines during a breakout campaign at the plate, but whose glove was also a big reason the Cardinals reached the postseason. He led all Major League left fielders with 12 defensive runs saved in 2021.
Runners up: David Peralta, D-backs; AJ Pollock, Dodgers
AL: Andrew Benintendi, Royals
In his first season with the Royals following five with the Red Sox, Benintendi earns his first Gold Glove Award. He finished tied with runners-up Randy Arozarena and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. with seven defensive runs saved, but spent significantly more time at the position in 2021 -- he played 1,116 innings in left field, while Arozarena played 612 1/3, and Gurriel played 943 2/3.
Runners up: Randy Arozarena, Rays; Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Blue Jays
NL: Harrison Bader, Cardinals
Bader’s first career Gold Glove Award makes it four outfielders from the two Missouri teams -- along with Benintendi and Michael A. Taylor of Kansas City -- to win the honor in 2021. Bader led NL center fielders with 15 defensive runs saved and 14 Outs Above Average.
Runners up: Bryan Reynolds, Pirates; Jackie Bradley Jr., Brewers
AL: Michael A. Taylor, Royals
Another outfielder in his first season with Kansas City, Taylor joins Benintendi as a 2021 Gold Glove Award winner for the Royals. Taylor led all MLB center fielders in both defensive runs saved (19) and Outs Above Average (15), and also racked up 11 assists to earn his first career Gold Glove honor.
Runners up: Kevin Kiermaier, Rays; Myles Straw, Indians
NL: Adam Duvall, Marlins/Braves
Duvall’s bat got most of the attention as he helped propel the Braves to their first World Series championship in 26 years after being acquired via trade. But his defense was also fantastic -- he led NL right fielders with nine defensive runs saved and led the trio of finalists for this honor with seven assists (he had 12 outfield assists overall).
Runners up: Mookie Betts, Dodgers; Mike Yastrzemski, Giants
AL: Joey Gallo, Rangers/Yankees
Gallo wins his second straight Gold Glove Award in right field thanks to a great defensive showing during a season in which he was traded from Texas to New York. The slugger finished tied for second among AL right fielders in defensive runs saved (11) and tied for third in Outs Above Average (six).
Runners up: Hunter Renfroe, Red Sox; Kyle Tucker, Astros
NL: Jacob Stallings, Pirates
Stallings wins his first Gold Glove Award in his first season of more than 61 games behind the plate for Pittsburgh. His 21 defensive runs saved were nine more than the second-place catcher in the Majors, Hedges, and tied with Carlos Correa’s 21 at shortstop for most at any position.
Runners up: Yadier Molina, Cardinals; J.T. Realmuto, Phillies
AL: Sean Murphy, A's
Murphy takes home his first Gold Glove Award after finishing fourth in AL Rookie of the Year Award voting in 2020. The 27-year-old Oakland backstop had 10 defensive runs saved this past season, trailing only Austin Hedges’ 12 in the AL. Murphy led all MLB catchers in FanGraphs’ defensive runs above average, with 19.6.
Runners up: Martín Maldonado, Astros; Salvador Perez, Royals
NL: Max Fried, Braves
The trophy presentations didn’t end at the World Series for Fried, who tossed six brilliant innings in the title-clinching Game 6 for the Braves -- he wins his second career Gold Glove Award and second in two years. Since the young left-hander became a full-time starter in 2019, he leads all MLB pitchers with 16 defensive runs saved.
Runners up: Zach Davies, Cubs; Zack Wheeler, Phillies
AL: Dallas Keuchel, White Sox
Keuchel collects his fifth career Gold Glove Award and first since 2018 thanks to another fine defensive performance in ’21, when he led MLB pitchers with 12 defensive runs saved, five more than the pitcher in second place in that category, the Mets’ Taijuan Walker.
Runners up: José Berríos, Twins; Zack Greinke, Astros