HOUSTON, TX — Wilson, The Official Ball Glove Supplier of Major League Baseball, announced tonight that the Houston Astros have won the 2019 Wilson Defensive Team of the Year award. Additionally, Astros right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke was named the 2019 Wilson Defensive Pitcher of the Year award in recognition for being the top defensive pitcher in MLB during the 2019 season.
This Wilson Defensive Team of the Year award was created in 2014 and is awarded annually to the top defensive team in baseball. This marks the first time that the Astros have received the award. For Greinke, this marks his third-career Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award, and second consecutive, as he also received the honor in 2016 and 2018.
The Wilson Defensive Team and Player of the Year awards are determined by using a formula that combines traditional defensive stats with advanced metrics, as well as the data logged by baseball experts working for the scouting service Inside Edge.
During the 2019 season, the Astros led the American League and ranked second in the Majors in fielding percentage (.988), as they made just 71 errors in 162 games and 5811 total chances. Per Baseball Prospectus, the Astros were the most efficient team in the Majors at turning batted balls into outs. Among all AL teams, the Astros were tops in defensive runs saved with 90.
In addition to his Wilson award, Greinke was named the NL Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner earlier this week for his defensive excellence in 2019. Among pitchers, Greinke led the Majors in total chances (68), putouts (33) and double plays turned (12), while ranking tied for first in assists (34). His 12 double plays turned were by far the most in the Majors, besting RHP Mike Soroka, who ranked second with five. On the season, Greinke committed just one error in his 68 total chances for a .985 fielding percentage.
Greinke was busy in the World Series, handling seven total chances with six assists and a putout. His six assists were the most by a pitcher in the World Series since RHP Greg Maddux had seven for the Braves in the 1996 Fall Classic. Five of those six assists for Greinke came in Game 7, marking a personal best for Greinke and the most in a single World Series Game since Maddux also had five in Game 2 of the 1996 World Series.
By winning a Gold Glove, Greinke became eligible for the Rawlings Platinum Glove, which will be given to the top defender in each league, regardless of position. The winners will be selected via a combination of a national fan vote and the SABR Defensive Index.