MLB celebrated the best defensive players from 2017 as Rawlings handed out the Gold Glove Awards for each position Tuesday night.
Below are the Gold Glove winners from the American and National Leagues.
- Catcher: Martin Maldonado, Los Angeles Angels (first time)
- First Baseman: Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals (fourth time)
- Second Baseman: Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins (first time)
- Third Baseman: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays (third time)
- Shortstop: Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels (third time)
- Left Field: Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals (fifth time)
- Center Field: Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins (first time)
- Right Field: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox (second time)
- Pitcher: Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays (first time)
- Catcher: Tucker Barnhart, Cincinnati Reds (first time)
- First Baseman: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks (third time)
- Second Baseman: DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies (second time)
- Third Baseman: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies (fifth time)
- Shortstop: Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants (third time)
- Left Field: Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins (first time)
- Center Field: Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves (second time)
- Right Field: Jason Heyward, Chicago Cubs (fifth time)
- Pitcher: Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks (fourth time)
Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado wasn't among the three finalists for National League Most Valuable Player, but his defensive efforts weren't ignored in 2017. The 26-year-old won his fifth straight Gold Glove, which ties Larry Walker for the most in franchise history.
ESPN Stats and Info put Arenado's achievements in perspective:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Nolan Arenado has won a Gold Glove in all 5 of his MLB seasons. The only other player to win at least 5 Gold Gloves to start his career is Ichiro Suzuki, who won in each of his 1st 10 seasons (2001-10). @EliasSports Gold Glove Award show live on ESPN https://t.co/F7fWkmr0GW2017-11-8 02:22:44
Denver7 News' Troy Renck wondered whether Arenado can make history with his glove at the hot corner:
Troy Renck @TroyRenck
#Rockies Arenado wins his fifth Gold Glove. Has chance to go down as best defensive third baseman of all time. #Denver72017-11-8 02:15:09
Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward joined Arenado in winning his fifth Gold Glove.
Heyward once again struggled at the plate in 2017, batting .259 with a .326 on-base percentage. Nobody questioned his defense, though, as he tied for fourth among outfielders in defensive runs saved (18), according to FanGraphs.
In one of the tighter Gold Glove races, Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton beat out Lorenzo Cain of the Kansas City Royals and Kevin Pillar of the Toronto Blue Jays. That list didn't even include Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who remains one of the best defensive players in MLB despite appearing in 98 games.
Buxton reacted to his win on Twitter:
Thankful for all the support all season long through the ups and the downs! Beyond blessed to win my 1st Gold Glove! #Gold2017-11-8 02:33:37
Neither MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince nor Rhett Bollinger expects Buxton's 2017 Gold Glove to be his last:
Anthony Castrovince @castrovince
I feel like Byron Buxton will win a few of these Gold Glove things before all is said and done.2017-11-8 02:34:53
Rhett Bollinger @RhettBollinger
No surprise. Byron Buxton wins his first Gold Glove Award in center field. Could be the first of many for Buxton. #MNTwins2017-11-8 02:31:14
While the 2017 season represented the long-awaited breakout for Buxton, the year was a return to form for fellow American League Central player Alex Gordon.
The Kansas City Royals outfielder won four straight Gold Gloves between 2011 and 2014 and added a fifth Tuesday night. Gordon's 11.6 ultimate zone rating was third-best among outfielders, according to FanGraphs.
Tucker Barnhart provided the biggest surprise as the Cincinnati Reds catcher beat out the reigning NL Gold Glove holder, Buster Posey, and eight-time Gold Glove winner Yadier Molina.
Barnhart's wife, Sierra, predicted his win more than a month ago:
Sierra Barnhart @SierraMBarnhart
When you lowkey think that your dad should get the gold glove #thatsmirk https://t.co/tbS7fAkWnA2017-9-27 13:26:57
MLB award season is far from over following Tuesday's reveal of the 18 Gold Glove winners. On Monday, the league announced the finalists for the top honors, including MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year. All three awards will be handed out from Nov. 13-16.
Fans can also vote for the Platinum Glove Award, which goes to the best defensive player in each league.
Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo were the Platinum Glove winners in their respective leagues in 2016, and neither one even won a Gold Glove this year. This year's Platinum Glove vote will likely come down to the wire.