BOSTON – (Staff report from Official News Release) – Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts received the 2016 American League Rawlings Gold Glove Award for right field, Rawlings announced tonight on ESPN. The Gold Glove 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 Sabermetrics community accounts for the other 25 percent.
This marks the first career Gold Glove Award for Betts, who led American League outfielders with a .997 fielding percentage, committing only one error in 361 total chances. At only 24 years old, he is the youngest Red Sox player to win a Gold Glove Award at any position since Fred Lynn earned the honor in 1975 as a 23-year-old outfielder.
According to FanGraphs, Betts’ 32 defensive runs saved in 2016 were 10 more than any other player at any position. He was a part of four double plays—tied for most among major league outfielders—and recorded 14 assists, second-most among right fielders behind only Adam Eaton (15). The only other Red Sox player since 1960 to record as many as 14 assists as a right fielder is Dwight Evans, who reached that total four times.
Voted the starting right fielder in the 2016 MLB All-Star Game, Betts made each of his 157 regular-season starts at the position, more than any other major leaguer this season. He also led all right fielders in innings (1,381.2) and putouts (346) in 2016.
This is the 44th Gold Glove Award in Red Sox history—earned by 21 different players—since the award’s inception in 1957. Betts is the 10th Red Sox player to win a Gold Glove Award as an outfielder, joining Shane Victorino, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ellis Burks, Dwight Evans, Fred Lynn, Carl Yastrzemski, Reggie Smith, Jackie Jensen, and Jimmy Piersall.
The Red Sox have earned at least one Gold Glove Award in seven of the last 12 seasons (since 2005), totaling 10 awards in that time. Prior to Betts, the club’s last honoree was Dustin Pedroia in 2014.