Mookie Betts, Nolan Arenado Headline AL, NL 2018 MLB Gold Glove Winners

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2018

Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts can't catch a ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese during the fourth inning of Game 2 of the World Series baseball game Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The 2018 Gold Glove winners were announced Sunday, handing out hardware to the best defensive players in baseball.

MVP candidates Mookie Betts and Nolan Arenado highlighted the list of winners, which featured six first-time recipients.

Although most winners were expected and well-deserved, there were a few surprises along the way, including a tie at first base between Anthony Rizzo and Freddie Freeman.

Here is the full list of winners, courtesy of Rawlings Sports.


National League

P: Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks

C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals

1B: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves/Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs

2B: DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies

3B: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies

SS: Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks

LF: Corey Dickerson, Pittsburgh Pirates

CF: Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves

RF: Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves


American League

P: Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros

C: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals

1B: Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics

2B: Ian Kinsler, Boston Red Sox

3B: Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics

SS: Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels

LF: Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals

CF: Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston Red Sox

RF: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox


It was clearly hard to separate finalists at several positions, but voters thought Rizzo and Freeman were too close to pick just one, as they earned the fourth tie in the history of the award, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.

On the other hand, a few races were easier on voters, like Arenado as he made history:

Tracy Ringolsby @TracyRingolsby

Correction: Arenado 6th consecutive GG 3B; has 1 month less than 6 years in bigs. Only players more GG at start of career: Ichiro Suzuki, of, 10; Johnny Bench, c, 10; Tied for 4th in GG at 3B behind Brooks (16), Schmidt (10) & Rolen (8). Buddy Bell, Eric Chavez &Robin Ventura 6.

Alex Gordon also won his sixth at left field, while Yadier Molina blew them all away with his ninth Gold Glove award.

Brandon Crawford was looking for his fourth straight award, but Nick Ahmed unseated him.

The World Series champions were obviously impressive at the plate this season, but defense was important as well, as evidenced by three Gold Glove awards, including two outfielders.

In the infield, the Colorado Rockies had two in the National League, while the American League was dominated by the Oakland Athletics:

Mark Simon @MarkASimonSays

Athletics infield combined for 85 Defensive Runs Saved, most in MLB They had 2 Gold Glove winners to set the tone

Mark Simon @MarkASimonSays

Matt Chapman: 1st career Gold Glove Award Thanks @PerezEd for the shout-out to Defensive Runs Saved Chapman had 29. No other 3B had more than 10! Chapman's 29 Runs Saved were most in MLB (by 8!)

The A's had finalists at all four infield spots but will leave with only two trophies.

Overall, 12 out of 19 awards came from players on playoff teams, showing the value of good defense.

Meanwhile, Jon Heyman of Fancred noted some quality players who didn't win Sunday:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Many great defenders are snubbed in gold glove awards: Jason heyward, Lorenzo Cain, kolten Wong and Brandon Crawford all snubbed in the nl alone

In competitive fields at a lot of positions, someone has to be left out.

The Gold Gloves were the first of the major awards handed out following the 2018 season, although fans will have to wait a couple of weeks for the biggest honors. The Cy Young Awards will be handed out on Nov. 14, with Most Valuable Players being named on Nov. 15.