In an interesting twist, Leake, who was acquired by the D-backs at the Trade Deadline, won the American League award for his efforts while with the Mariners and Greinke, who was traded by the D-backs to the Astros at the Deadline, won the National League one for his work in Arizona.
Ahmed now has two Gold Gloves after winning his first last year, while Greinke won his sixth straight. Peralta and Leake each won for the first time.
It was a bit of good news in an otherwise frustrating year for Peralta, who was bothered throughout much of 2019 with a right shoulder injury that eventually required season-ending surgery.
While the injury impacted his swing at the plate, it did not interfere with his fielding work. He tied for the Majors lead in defensive runs saved by an outfielder with 10.
“I have no words to describe how happy I am,” said Peralta. “But what I can tell you is that I have to give the credit to Dave McKay.”
McKay, the D-backs' first base/outfield coach, has long been respected for his teaching ability. Peralta said that McKay continued to push him, telling him this past spring that while he was good, he could get even better.
“He made me who I am right now on defense,” Peralta said. “He made me, every day in batting practice, spend one full round reacting to every ball hit that was hit so I would get even better with my jumps. He never stopped believing in me and never stopped pushing me.”
Peralta won an NL Silver Slugger Award in 2018 when he hit 30 homers and had an OPS of .868. That made this year’s Gold Glove even sweeter for him.
“This award means that David Peralta can play defense too, not just hit,” Peralta said. “I’ve worked so hard to try and not just be a hitter but also be good on defense. I’m just so grateful that the work has paid off.”
Defense has never been a question for Ahmed, who has long been a smooth fielder but in recent years has proven himself to also be valuable at the plate.
In 2019, Ahmed led all Major League shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved with 18 and he also contributed at the plate with a slash line of .254/.316/.437 while setting a club record with 1,381 innings at shortstop.
“Nick’s value to our team and pitching staff is huge,” ace Robbie Ray said. “Just knowing you have the most sure-handed guy in the league out there at shortstop giving everything he has on every play and more times than not making the play look routine is the best feeling as a pitcher.”
Since 2015, the D-backs lead the Majors with 10 Gold Glove Award winners, ahead of the Royals (nine) and Rockies (seven).
As one of the NL’s nine Gold Glove winners, Ahmed and Peralta (as well as Leake and Greinke) are 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.