One thing that every baseball fan looks forward to every year is award season. Rawlings, who does the annual Gold Glove Awards, are announcing the three candidates per league on Twitter as we speak. Check back here for continuous updates.
Pitcher: Zach Plesac (Indians), Kenta Maeda (Twins), Griffin Canning (Angels).
Catcher: Roberto Perez (Indians), Yasmani Grandal (White Sox), James McCann (White Sox).
First Base: Matt Olson (Athletics), Yulieski Gurriel (Astros), Evan White (Mariners).
Second Base: Cesar Hernandez (Indians), Jonathan Schoop (Tigers), Danny Mendick (White Sox).
Shortstop: JP Crawford (Mariners), Niko Goodrum (Tigers), Carlos Correa (Astros).
Shortstop: Dansby Swanson (Braves), Miguel Rojas (Marlins), Javier Baez (Cubs).
Third Base: Giovanny Urshela (Yankees), Yoan Moncada (White Sox), Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Rangers).
Left Field: Alex Gordon (Royals), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Blue Jays), Kyle Tucker (Astros).
Center Field: Byron Buxton (Twins), Luis Robert (White Sox), Ramon Laureano (Athletics.
Right Field: Clint Frazier (Yankees), Anthony Santander (Orioles), Joey Gallo (Rangers).
None of the pitchers eligible have ever won a Gold Glove, although Maeda spent every year prior to this one in the National League. The White Sox have solidified that they certainly have the best catching combination in the league as they look to beat out the reigning Gold Glove catcher Roberto Perez. At first base, Matt Olson looks to win his third consecutive award. Second base is all AL Central and will see a first timer take the hardware home. None of the candidates at shortstop have ever won a Gold Glove. Matt Chapman’s injury kept him from a third straight Gold Glove, which means we will see a first time winner. Is Kiner-Falefa the first Ranger third baseman to win a Gold Glove since the retirement of Adrian Beltre? Perhaps, it’s Yankee standout Urshela, who balled out against the Indians and Rays with the glove in October? Yoan Moncada is one of the games brightest young stars, could the star shine even brighter? Isaiah Kiner-Falefa led all third baseman in defensive runs saved in 2020. In left field, Alex Gordon looks to win his eighth in his final season. Centerfield is loaded and Byron Buxton looks to get his first Gold Glove since 2017, but could this be the year Laureano finally gets his? To round out the outfield, all three rightfielders had breakout years with the glove. Which one takes it all home?
The biggest snub from the AL is Kevin Kiermaier, who is widely considered the best defensive centerfielder in the game. Even more surprising is that the Rays have zero candidates for a Gold Glove in 2020, a team known for its excellent defense that his ridden that excellent defense all the way to the World Series.
Pitcher: Max Fried (Braves), Alec Mills (Cubs), Kyle Hendricks (Cubs).
Catcher: Willson Contreras (Cubs), Jacob Stallings (Pirates), Tucker Barnhart (Reds).
First Base: Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals), Brandon Belt (Giants), Anthony Rizzo (Cubs).
Second Base: Nico Hoerner (Cubs), Adam Frazier (Pirates), Kolten Wong (Cardinals).
Third Base: Nolan Arenado (Rockies), Manny Machado (Padres), Brian Anderson (Marlins).
Left Field: Tyler O’Neill (Cardinals), David Peralta (Diamondbacks), Shogo Akiyama (Reds).
Center Field: Ronald Acuna Jr. (Braves), Trent Grisham (Padres), Cody Bellinger (Dodgers).
Right Field: Mookie Betts (Dodgers), Jason Heyward (Cubs), Charlie Blackmon (Rockies).
On the NL side of things, two top Cubs pitchers look to take out the Braves ace as all three had stellar defensive campaigns. Tucker Barnhart looks to win his second Gold Glove (2017), but has to beat out two divisional foes. Brandon Belt has never won a Gold Glove, but Paul Goldschmidt has won three (2013, 2015, 2017 all with the Arizona Diamondbacks) and Anthony Rizzo has won three as well (2016, 2018, 2019). On the second base side, it’s all NL Central once again as reigning Gold Glove second baseman Kolten Wong competes with rookie Nico Hoerner and Adam Frazier. Neither Hoerner nor Frazier have won the award previously. There will be multiple first time winners at shortstop, as all three NL candidates have never won a Gold Glove. Javier Baez has been considered by many the best defensive middle infielder for some time now, but still hasn’t won the award. He has stiff competition as Dansby Swanson is an immaculate shortstop defensively, and Rojas is no slouch. Anderson looks to bring his first piece of hardware home, but it’s a daunting task for the Fish’s hot corner. Manny Machado won multiple Gold Gloves in his days as a Baltimore Oriole, but it’s Nolan Arenado who may be the greatest defensive third baseman in baseball history, at least according to Michael Jack Schmidt. Nolan has won seven consecutive Gold Glove awards, complimented by three consecutive Platinum Gloves. He is the only third baseman to win the Gold Glove in each of his first five seasons, as he goes to do it in each of his first eight. In left, David Peralta looks to go back to back. Ronald Acuna is a fascinating young player defensively, but center has to be Bellinger’s to lose. Mookie Betts will likely take another one home, but his first in the National League.
One noticeable snub is probable MVP Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves. Freddie led all qualified first baseman in baseball in UZR/150 at 15.4, only committing just a single error all season despite having the most innings played and finishing three chances shy of most total chances. Another noticeable snub is on the shortstop side, where Fernando Tatis Jr. led baseball in Outs Above Average and was far superior to somebody like Javier Baez, who had eight errors, averaging an error per week. Baez was the 10th ranked defensive shortstop in 2020, per Fangraphs measurements and posted just a 0.4 UZR on the season.