5th Platinum for Nolan; Cards' D best in NL

Third baseman wins fifth straight honor; club nets overall defensive award

November 13th, 2021

New location, same result.

Cardinals third baseman on Friday was awarded the NL Platinum Glove, given to the top overall defensive player in the league, his fifth consecutive year capturing the hardware in his first season as a Redbird.

And it should be no surprise that Arenado’s Cardinals -- who set a single-season record with five Gold Glove winners in 2021 -- were recognized with the overall NL Team Defensive Award after leading the Majors in Defensive Runs Saved and using their fielding acumen to soar into an unlikely postseason berth.

Since the Platinum Glove was first awarded, in 2011, it’s been won by an NL player not named Nolan Arenado or Yadier Molina only twice.

Similar results played out in the American League, with Carlos Correa capturing his first career Platinum Glove and his Astros taking home the overall AL Team Defensive Award.

Arenado was central to the Cardinals’ defensive steadiness. His aggressiveness at the hot corner allowed the rest of his infield to shade more conservatively toward their respective positions, knowing that he would swallow up almost anything hit to the left side.

Arenado worked past some early-season hiccups to finish tied for fourth among qualified third baseman in the Majors with Defensive Runs Saved (six), and 11th among all infielders and tied for third among third basemen in Outs Above Average (10).

In his first year with the Cardinals, Arenado showed his new team the high points of his play. A few “Nolan being Nolan” moments captured the attention of the city and the baseball world as a whole, including his diving stop and throw from his knees against the Pirates on Aug. 29, a ranging over-the-shoulder catch against the Phillies on April 27, and countless barehanded stops and throws to Paul Goldschmidt at first base. He also played a pivotal role in several key double plays turned by the Cardinals in September.

Arenado admitted at the start of 2021, after joining the Cardinals just weeks before Spring Training in that blockbuster deal with the Rockies, that he was a tad uneasy in his new digs, needing some time to adjust. By season’s end, with his ninth consecutive Gold Glove, fifth consecutive Platinum Glove and a 100-RBI season in his back pocket, he clearly got comfortable.