The 2016 Major League Baseball Gold Glove award winners were announced Tuesday night on ESPN. Given out each year to the players who are judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League and the American League, the award is voted on by the managers and coaches in each league (managers can not vote for their own players).
Marking the 60th annual Gold Glove Awards, which began back in 1957, there have been some terrific players to receive the honor. However, no other player has won more Gold Gloves in their career or in a row than Greg Maddux, who took home 18 total and 13 consecutively.
While Maddux’s records seem fairly safe for now, there were some winners for 2016 who could win quite a few Gold Gloves as the years go on. Here’s a recap of the winners, with my thoughts on each:
AL Nominees – James McCann, Carlos Perez and Salvador Perez
AL Winner – Salvador Perez (4th career)
NL Nominees – Jonathan Lucroy, Yadier Molina and Buster Posey
NL Winner – Buster Posey (1st career)
Salvador Perez picked up his fourth Gold Glove award, and rightfully so. His defense behind the plate has proved to be extremely valuable over the past several seasons, and he could easily win several more before his career is over. In the National League, despite Yadier Molina having won eight straight Gold Gloves, this year the award went to Buster Posey, who picked up his first ever Gold Glove.
AL Nominees – R.A. Dickey, Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander
AL Winner – Dallas Keuchel (3rd career)
NL Nominees – Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke and Adam Wainwright
NL Winner – Zack Greinke (3rd career)
Pitchers aren’t generally known for being good fielders, but there are a number of them who can pick it. Dallas Keuchel and Zack Greinke each won their third career Gold Glove awards on Tuesday night, with each having proven their defensive worth in 2016. While they aren’t near Greg Maddux’s record number of Gold Gloves, they each are very deserving of the honor.
AL Nominees – Brett Gardner, Alex Gordon and Colby Rasmus
AL Winner – Brett Gardner (1st career)
NL Nominees – Adam Duvall, Starling Marte and Christian Yelich
NL Winner – Starling Marte (2nd career)
It came as a surprise to many that Brett Gardner was able to win his first career Gold Glove award, but his defense in left field for the Yankees was terrific this season and certainly worthy of the award. In the NL, Starling Marte truly broke out as one of the best left fielder in the game, taking home his second career Gold Glove award for the Pirates.
AL Nominees – Jackie Bradley Jr., Kevin Kiermaier and Kevin Pillar
AL Winner – Kevin Kiermaier (2nd career)
NL Nominees – Billy Hamilton, Odubel Herrera and Ender Inciarte
NL Winner – Ender Inciarte (1st career)
Jackie Bradley Jr., Kevin Kiermaier and Kevin Pillar were all absolutely amazing this season for their respective teams, making great plays night after night. But in the end, Kiermaier ended up winning the Gold Glove. Picking up the award for the opposite league was Ender Inciarte, who went from a somewhat unknown to a breakout player defensively in 2016.
AL Nominees – Mookie Betts, Adam Eaton and George Springer
AL Winner – Mookie Betts (1st career)
NL Nominees – Carlos Gonzalez, Jason Heyward and Nick Markakis
NL Winner – Jason Heyward (4th career)
Despite his teammate, Jackie Bradley Jr., not winning the Gold Glove for center field, Mookie Betts was able to win his first career G.G. award for his play in right field. Also getting the award was Jason Heyward, who had a down year offensively, despite his huge offseason contract, but continued to dazzle with his glove, catching nearly every ball hit his way this season.
AL Nominees – Chris Davis, Eric Hosmer and Mitch Moreland
AL Winner – Mitch Moreland (1st career)
NL Nominees – Paul Goldschmidt, Wil Myers and Anthony Rizzo
NL Winner – Anthony Rizzo (1st career)
Both Mitch Moreland and Anthony Rizzo picked up their first career Gold Glove awards on Tuesday night, and both were very deserving. Although known more for their offense more that their defense, they each can pick it at first, and make key plays for their teams throughout any given season. While both are unique players, they each share the honor of winning a Gold Glove.
AL Nominees – Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler and Dustin Pedroia
AL Winner – Ian Kinsler (1st career)
NL Nominees – DJ LeMahieu, Joe Panik and Jean Segura
NL Winner – Joe Panik (1st career)
Although nothing beats watching Robinson Cano make a smooth play each night at second base for the Mariners, seeing Ian Kinsler make the great plays he does each season is a close second. Picking up the first Gold Glove of his career, Kinsler will look to maintain his defense into 2017. Joe Panik also wins his first Gold Glove award of his career, also making him a big player to watch moving forward.
AL Nominees – Jose Iglesias, Francisco Lindor and Andrelton Simmons
AL Winner – Francisco Lindor (1st career)
NL Nominees – Brandon Crawford, Freddy Galvis and Addison Russell
NL Winner – Brandon Crawford (2nd career)
Francisco Lindor truly emerged onto the scene in 2016, becoming a household name and subsequently winning the first Gold Glove award of his career, and the first for an Indians shortstop since Omar Vizquel in 2001. Over in the National League, Brandon Crawford wins his second straight Gold Glove and has cemented himself as one of the best in baseball.
AL Nominees – Adrian Beltre, Manny Machado and Kyle Seager
AL Winner – Adrian Beltre (5th career)
NL Nominees – Nolan Arenado, Anthony Rendon and Justin Turner
NL Winner – Nolan Arenado (4th career)
The future Hall of Famer, Adrian Beltre, was able to win his fifth career Gold Glove award for his great performance all season long at the hot-corner in Texas. But the player who may turn out to be one of the top few third basemen defensively of all-time when all is said and done is Nolan Arenado. With the great plays Arenado makes each day, it’s no surprise to see him win the award for the fourth time in his career.