Major League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods unveiled their finalists for 2019 Gold Glove Awards earlier Thursday. Four Red Sox received nominations, with Christian Vazquez being named a finalist for the first time in his career among American League catchers, Andrew Benintendi being named a finalist for the second consecutive year among American League left fielders, Jackie Bradley Jr. also being named a finalist for the second straight year among American League center fielders, and Mookie Betts receiving his fifth straight nomination among American League right fielders.
In addition to putting up a career year at the plate in 2019, Vazquez led the American League in FanGraphs’ DEF metric (22.2) while also throwing out 37.9% of the 58 runners who ran against him.
The 29-year-old Vazquez is joined by Toronto Blue Jays backstop Danny Jansen and Cleveland Indians backstop and fellow Puerto Rico native Roberto Perez, both of whom are also going for their first career Gold Glove Award.
Benintendi, meanwhile, was named a finalist for American League left fielders for the second straight season, joining the Oakland Athletics’ Robbie Grossman and Kansas City Royals’ Alex Gordon in this year’s field.
In his third full season in the majors in 2019, Benintendi played 131 games in left field, recording seven outfield assists and posting an UZR/150 of 0.2, good four fourth among qualified American League left fielders, per FanGraphs.
Coming off his first Gold Glove Award-winning season last year, Bradley Jr. was back at it again for the Sox in 2019 by leading all American League center fielders in outfield assists with 10 on the year.
The field for this year’s Gold Glove Award among American League center fielders includes the soon-to-be 2019 AL MVP in the Angels’ Mike Trout and Rays speedster Kevin Kiermaier. Some stiff competition for sure.
And last but not least, the still-reigning American League MVP Mookie Betts will look for his fourth consecutive Gold Glove Award in right field.
Like Bradley Jr., Betts also racked up 10 outfield assists in 2019, with eight of them coming from right field.
Among qualified American League outfielders, the 27-year-old Betts ranked third in UZR/150 (13.3), trailing only George Springer of the Houston Astros and Max Kepler of the Minnesota Twins.
Betts is joined by Springer’s teammate Josh Reddick and Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun as the other finalists for the award.
If Betts were to claim his fourth Gold Glove Award next month, he would move into a tie with Fred Lynn for the third-most Gold Glove Awards won by a Red Sox outfielder in the franchise’s history. Dwight Evans has the most with eight under his belt over the span of a 19-year career with Boston.