Wong snags first Gold Glove Award

November 4th, 2019

ST. LOUIS – finally has his golden hardware.

After years of falling short in attaining the personal honor he coveted most, Wong parlayed his latest standout defensive season into a Rawlings Gold Glove Award. The announcement came during a televised special Sunday evening. None of the Cardinals’ other five finalists -- Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong, Harrison Bader, Yadier Molina and Jack Flaherty -- matched Wong with National League Gold Glove honors for 2019.

Wong joins Fernando Vina (2000 and '01) as the only second basemen in franchise history to win what has long been considered baseball’s top defensive award. This honor comes just days after Wong earned his second Fielding Bible Award, as a unanimous selection.

“Congratulations to Kolten on winning his first Gold Glove Award,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said in a statement. “Kolten has spent many years working on his craft, and it’s well deserved that he is being recognized as an elite defender.”

Edged out last year by DJ LeMahieu, Wong was the runaway leader in Defensive Runs Saved among Major League second basemen with 14. The other two NL finalists at the position, Ozzie Albies and Adam Frazier, registered eight DRS and six DRS, respectively. LeMahieu, now with the Yankees, was a finalist in the American League.

Wong also led all NL second basemen in assists (412), Ultimate Zone Rating (5.2) and total chances (671). He was second in double plays (103) and was a key piece in an overall team defense that went from worst (133) to first (66) in errors from 2018 to '19.

“Kolten’s Gold Glove selection is a well-deserved honor, and the Cardinals are extremely proud of his 2019 season,” said John Mozeliak, Cardinals president of baseball operations. “Kolten is continually working hard to refine his defensive skills, and he takes great pride in his performance in the field.”

Gold Glove winners are determined by a vote of managers and coaches, as well as through a sabermetric component that the Society for American Baseball Research contributes. Since the award originated in 1957, no team in MLB has nabbed more Gold Gloves than the Cardinals, who now have 89.

As one of the NL’s nine Gold Glove winners, Wong is now eligible for the Platinum Glove Award, which is given to the best defensive player from each league. Voting for the award, which was established in 2011, is open at Rawlings.com and will continue until 10:59 p.m. CT on Thursday. The two league winners will be announced on Friday.