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Astros, Cardinals Named 2021 MLB Team Gold Glove Award Winners

Erin WalshNovember 13, 2021

Cole Burston/Getty Images

MLB announced on Friday that the Houston Astros won the 2021 Rawlings Gold Glove Team award as the best defensive team in the American League, while the St. Louis Cardinals won the National League version of the award.

The Astros had two individual Gold Glove winners this year (Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel), while the Cardinals had a record five individual winners (Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Tyler O'Neill and Harrison Bader). 

The Cardinals had one of the most impressive defenses in 2021, making an MLB-best 36 percent of their non-routine plays, per Inside Edge. The league average was 28 percent. 

Per FanGraphs, St. Louis finished first in MLB with 86 defensive runs saved and third in defensive runs above average (DEF) with 37.0, which measures defensive value relative to league average and adjusts for positional value.

They had the best individual fielder in Arenado, who won the NL's Platinum Glove winner for the fifth straight year. He finished the season top five amongst NL third basemen in DRS (six), DEF (8.0), assists (287), putouts (125) and double plays turned (38).

MLB @MLB

*Scheduled tweet*<br><br>For the 5th straight year, the NL Platinum Glove belongs to Nolan Arenado! <a href="https://t.co/SAn2mEyXmq">pic.twitter.com/SAn2mEyXmq</a>

While Arenado maintained his defensive dominance, the Cardinals featured four other players who were the best defenders at their respective position. Though Goldschmidt and O'Neill added to their collection, Edman and Bader won for the first time in their careers.

The Astros' defense was also impressive in 2021, making 32 percent of their non-routine plays, the fourth-best mark in baseball. Houston finished second in baseball with 78 DRS and sixth in DEF (24.1). 

Like Arenado, Correa took home the AL's Platinum Glove award after leading MLB with 21 DRS. He ranked second amongst AL shortstops in DEF (9.6) and third in both putouts (186) and assists (384).

MLB @MLB

.<a href="https://twitter.com/TeamCJCorrea?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamCJCorrea</a> can flash the leather!<br><br>He is your 2021 AL Platinum Glove winner! <a href="https://t.co/XKuG29YriV">pic.twitter.com/XKuG29YriV</a>

In addition to Correa and Gurriel, catcher Martin Maldonado, outfielder Kyle Tucker and second baseman Jose Altuve were big reasons why the Astros defense was solid in 2021. 

Maldonado ranked second among AL catchers with 1,049 putouts and tied for fourth with 44 assists. Meanwhile, Tucker finished second among AL right fielders with 246 putouts, and Altuve finished fourth among AL second basemen with 199 putouts, third with 344 assists and fifth with 71 double plays turned.  

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