Rizzo named top defender at first base

November 11th, 2016

CHICAGO -- Cubs first baseman , who won his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards this week, added a third trophy on Friday, winning the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award.

The award recognizes the nine best defensive players in the Major Leagues, with one honored at each position.

Complete 2016 Awards coverage

Rizzo led all first basemen in defensive runs saved (11), and ranked 10th in fielding percentage (.996), but he may have secured the defensive award on Aug. 16, when he made an acrobatic play against the Brewers. With one out in the fifth inning in the second game of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field, Rizzo chased 's popup in foul territory near the rolled-up tarp. Rizzo then stepped onto the top of the wall with his right foot, reached over the fans to catch the ball, and somehow maintained his balance. The first baseman hopped on one foot, then jumped to the ground.

What was Cubs manager Joe Maddon thinking as he watched Rizzo's feat?

"Just that he would stick the landing," Maddon said. "I was hoping for at least a 9.5 from the Luxembourg judge. It was a great play. He did a nice job of getting there. ... He knows the wall, he knows that area. He did a great job. It was a big play."

The Cubs won the game, 4-1, to complete a sweep of the doubleheader.