Major League Baseball's top defensive players will be honored with the unveiling of the 2018 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards tonight at 9 ET on ESPN.The American and National League finalists were announced on Thursday in a who's who list of the game's premier defenders.Plenty of mainstays are joined by exciting
Major League Baseball's top defensive players will be honored with the unveiling of the 2018 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards tonight at 9 ET on ESPN.
The American and National League finalists were announced on Thursday in a who's who list of the game's premier defenders.
Plenty of mainstays are joined by exciting newcomers in this year's field for the Gold Glove, which is determined by a combination of votes submitted by Major League managers and coaches and a sabermetric index provided by Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Eighteen Gold Gloves are given out each year (one for each position in each league), along with the Platinum Glove, which is given out to the game's best overall defender as voted by the fans.
Here's a look at this year's finalist at each position.
National League: Zack Greinke, D-backs; Clayton Richard, Padres; Julio Teheran, Braves
American League: Dallas Keuchel, Astros; Corey Kluber, Indians; Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees
Greinke has won four straight Gold Gloves, and a fifth would tie him with Ron Guidry, Phil Niekro and Kenny Rogers for seventh all-time among pitchers. Keuchel, who induced more ground balls than any other pitcher, is seeking his fourth Gold Glove in five years.
National League: Yadier Molina, Cardinals; Manny Pina, Brewers; Buster Posey, Giants
American League: Yan Gomes, Indians; Martin Maldonado, Astros; Salvador Perez, Royals
Molina is seeking a ninth Gold Glove, which would put him closer to Ivan Rodriguez's record 13 at the position, but he has not won the award since 2015. Posey took the honor home two years ago. The Astros acquired Maldonado, the reigning AL winner, in the middle of this season specifically for defense behind the plate.
National League:Freddie Freeman, Braves; Anthony Rizzo, Cubs; Joey Votto, Reds
American League: Mitch Moreland, Red Sox; Matt Olson, Athletics; Justin Smoak, Blue Jays
The AL race is wide open now that four-time winner Eric Hosmer is in the Senior Circuit, though Moreland claimed this award in 2016. Rizzo and Votto each own one Gold Glove, while Freeman is seeking his first.
National League:Javier Baez, Cubs; DJ LeMahieu, Rockies; Kolten Wong, Cardinals
American League:Jed Lowrie, Athletics; Ian Kinsler, Red Sox; Rougned Odor, Rangers
Wong totaled 19 defensive runs saved (DRS) at second base, while LeMahieu was close behind with 18. Baez, a staple of defensive highlight reels, is seeking his first Gold Glove.
National League:Nick Ahmed, D-backs; Brandon Crawford, Giants; Freddy Galvis, Padres
American League: Francisco Lindor, Indians; Marcus Semien, Athletics; Andrelton Simmons, Angels
Crawford could become the first NL shortstop to win four straight Gold Gloves since Ozzie Smith, who won 13 straight from 1980-92. Ahmed's 21 DRS tied for the MLB lead among shortstops with Simmons, who could join Omar Vizquel as the second shortstop to win multiple Gold Gloves in each league.
National League: Nolan Arenado, Rockies; Anthony Rendon, Nationals; Travis Shaw, Brewers
American League: Alex Bregman, Astros; Matt Chapman, Athletics; Jose Ramirez, Indians
Chapman's 29 DRS were the most of any defender at any position (eight clear of Ahmed and Simmons) amid a breakout year for the A's young star. He'll face staunch competition from the stellar Bregman, while Arenado seeks a sixth straight NL Gold Glove -- which would tie Buddy Bell and Eric Chavez for the third longest streak by any third baseman.
National League: Corey Dickerson, Pirates; Adam Duvall, Braves; Christian Yelich, Brewers
American League: Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox; Brett Gardner, Yankees; Alex Gordon, Royals
Dickerson paced all qualified left fielders with eight Outs Above Average, the Statcast™ defensive metric that measures how many outs an outfielder saves over his average peer, while Yelich could pair his second Gold Glove with first NL MVP award, for which he is considered the favorite. Benintendi has dazzled with his defense in the postseason, while Gardner and Gordon are both former winners.
National League: Lorenzo Cain, Brewers; Billy Hamilton, Reds; Ender Inciarte, Braves
American League: Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox; Adam Engel, White Sox; Michael Trout, Angels
Inciarte tied St. Louis' Harrison Bader for the MLB lead with 21 OAA, followed closely by Cain with 19. Engel, who notably robbed three home runs in the span of a week in August, led all AL outfielders with 17 OAA.
National League: Jason Heyward, Cubs; Jonathan Jay, D-backs; Nick Markakis, Braves
American League: Mookie Betts, Red Sox; Kole Calhoun, Angels; Aaron Judge, Yankees
Betts is widely considered to be MLB's best right fielder, and he led the position with 11 OAA in 2018. Heyward has claimed right field honors in each of the last four years, and in five of the last six overall.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.