BOSTON – Boston Red Sox right-fielder Mookie Betts captured yet another Golden Glove Award, his fourth consecutive all-defensive team award. The Gold Glove awards were announced Sunday night and the list featured a mix of first-time winners and multiple honorees, including seven-time winners Nolan Arenado (Rockies) and Alex Gordon (Royals).
The honor marks Arenado’s seventh straight and is also the third consecutive award for Gordon. According to mlb.com, the only other player to begin his career with least seven consecutive Gold Glove awards is Ichiro Suzuki, who earned 10 straight.
Betts joins Arenado and pitcher Zack Greinke as the only major leaguers to win a Gold Glove Award in each of the last four years (2016-19). Betts is only the fifth Red Sox player since the award’s 1957 inception to be recognized as many as four times, joining second baseman Dustin Pedroia (4) and outfielders Dwight Evans (8), Carl Yastrzemski (7), and Fred Lynn (4). Betts and Evans (1981-85) are the only Red Sox ever to win a Gold Glove Award in as many as four consecutive seasons. Betts—who turned 27 years old on October 7—is the only player in team history to win as many as four Gold Glove Awards at the age of 27 or younger.
In 132 games (126 starts) in right field and 17 games (16 starts) in center field, Betts recorded 10 assists and was charged with only two errors in 2019. According to FanGraphs, he led American League outfielders with 15 defensive runs saved and ranked second with a 12.6 ultimate zone rating. On September 23 at Tropicana Field, Betts threw out Avisaíl García at third base in the sixth inning with a throw that traveled an estimated 305 feet in the air. In the past four seasons (2016-19), his 37 outfield assists rank second in the AL behind only Jackie Bradley Jr. (38). During that same four-year span, Betts’ 98 defensive runs saved lead the majors at all positions.
The Gold Glove Award honors the best defenders at each position in each league. Major League managers and coaches, voting only within their league and unable to vote for players on their own teams, account for 75 percent of the selection process; the SABR Defensive Index statistic accounts for the other 25 percent.
Since the award was founded, 23 different Red Sox have combined to earn 49 Gold Glove Awards, including 15 over the last 15 seasons. The Red Sox have received at least one Gold Glove Award in each of the last four seasons, their longest streak since earning recognition in a franchise-record 11 straight campaigns from 1975-85.
Four players with Diamondbacks connections – past and present – took home hardware, including pitchers Mike Leake and Greinke.
Leake was traded to the D-backs at the trade deadline, but he did enough in the American League prior to win his first career award. Similarly, Greinke was sent to the Astros ahead of the trade deadline, but still earned his sixth consecutive Gold Glove. Other Arizona honorees are shortstop Nick Ahmed, earning his second straight, and left fielder David Peralta, who took home his first Gold Glove.
Among the fresh faces in the NL are Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain, Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger, Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto and Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong. In the AL, Indians catcher Roberto Perez and White Sox second baseman Yolmer Sanchez were first-time winners.
Winners are field determined by a combination of votes by Major League managers and coaches and a sabermetric index provided by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
The following is a full list of the Gold Glove winners:
C: J.T. Realmuto, Phillies
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
2B: Kolten Wong, Cardinals
3B: Nolan Arenado, Rockies
SS: Nick Ahmed, Diamondbacks
LF: David Peralta, Diamondbacks
CF: Lorenzo Cain, Brewers
RF: Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
P: Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks/Astros
C: Roberto Perez, Indians
1B: Matt Olson, Athletics
2B: Yolmer Sanchez, White Sox
3B: Matt Chapman, Athletics
SS: Francisco Lindor, Indians
LF: Alex Gordon, Royals
CF: Kevin Kiermaier, Rays
RF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox
P: Mike Leake, Mariners/Diamondbacks
–Field Level Media