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Rays’ Kiermaier Wins Third Golden Glove Award

Kevin Kiermaier | Tampa Bay Rays | Baseball

He  becomes the third center fielder to win three (or more) Gold Glove Awards since they began being awarded to individual outfield positions in 2011.

ST. PETERSBURG – The 2019 American League and National League Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners were announced Sunday (Nov. 3) on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, with Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier claiming his third Gold Glove Award (2015, 2016).

With the win, Kiermaier tied third baseman Evan Longoria (2009, 2010, 2017) for the most in franchise history. Kiermaier won the award over finalists Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Boston Red Sox and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels.

“It seems like every game, KK does something special in the field that impacts the game,” Rays Manager Kevin Cash said. “He has so much natural talent, but it’s the hard work he puts in daily that makes him great. We’ve been fortunate to get to watch him every day for several years now, but we don’t take his defense for granted.”

Kiermaier, 29, becomes the third center fielder to win three (or more) Gold Glove Awards since Rawlings began awarding them to individual outfield positions in 2011. The other such winners are Adam Jones (2012-14) and Ender Inciarte (2016-18). Kiermaier became the first Rays player to win the AL Platinum Glove Award in 2015.

According to FanGraphs, Kiermaier led AL center fielders with 13 Defensive Runs Saved, which attempts to calculate how many runs a player saved or cost his team in the field compared with the average player at his position. Since the start of his first full season in the majors (2015), Kiermaier’s 116 Defensive Runs Saved are the most in the majors, ahead of shortstop Andrelton Simmons (110). Despite only 680 career games at the major league level, Kiermaier’s 116 Defensive Runs Saved already rank 13th since the metric was introduced by Baseball Info Solutions in 2003.

According to StatCast, Kiermaier ranked second among all major leaguers with 17 Outs Above Average behind Victor Robles (21) of the Washington Nationals. Outs Above Average is the cumulative effect of all individual catch probability plays with which a fielder was credited or debited. In addition, Kiermaier ranked first in StatCast’s metric measuring best outfielder “jumps” at 3.8 feet above average, and was the only player better than 2.5 feet above average.

Kiermaier, who was selected by the Rays in the 31st round of the 2010 June Draft, is one of eight players to win a Gold Glove after being drafted in the 30th round or later and the sixth to win it at least three times, joining first baseman Keith Hernandez (11, 42nd round, 1977), pitchers Kenny Rogers (five, 39th round, 1982) and Mark Buehrle (four, 38th round, 1998), second baseman Orlando Hudson (four, 43rd round, 1997) and catcher Brad Ausmus (three, 48th round, 1987).

Kiermaier previously won the Rawlings AL Gold Glove Award for center field in both of his first two full seasons (2015-16) but spent a combined 118 games on the injured list over the following two seasons. In 2015, he won the Rawlings AL Platinum Glove Award as the best defender at any position. He has also been honored with two Wilson Defensive Player of the Year awards in center field (2016, 2018) and the Defensive Player of the Year in the 2015 Esurance MLB Awards. The 2019 Wilson Defensive Awards will be announced on Wednesday.

Rawlings Gold Glove Award voting consists of two components: 75 percent of the vote comes from managers and coaches, who may not vote for a player on their own team, and 25 percent comes from statistical analysis in collaboration with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

Fan voting for the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award began Sunday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 7) at rawlings.com. A combination of the national fan vote and the SABR Defensive Index will determine who takes home the honor of each league’s top defensive player, which will be announced during the 2019 Rawlings Gold Glove Award Ceremony on Friday (Nov. 8) in New York.

Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays.

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