Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has been named a finalist for a Gold Glove Award, Major League Baseball and Rawlings announced earlier Thursday afternoon.
Bogaerts was named an American League finalist for the second time in his career and for the first time since 2015. The 30-year-old infielder will be vying for his first Gold Glove Award while going up against Astros rookie Jeremy Pena and Twins star Carlos Correa.
Between the three of them this season, Bogaerts ranked first in games started (146), innings played (1,249 2/3), putouts (171), assists (401), double plays (74), Ultimate Zone Rating (4.9), and tied for first in fielding percentage (.983). He also ranked second in Defensive Runs Saved (4) and Outs Above Average (5), per FanGraphs.
As those numbers indicate, it was a standout year for Bogaerts defensively. The 6-foot-2, 218-pounder out of Aruba has been regularly critiqued for his fielding abilities since breaking in with the Red Sox as a 20-year-old in 2013. But he proved the doubters wrong this season by putting up career highs in Defensive Runs Saved, Ultimate Zone Rating, and Outs Above Average.
Bogaerts, who is expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent this winter, will be looking to become the first Red Sox player to win a Gold Glove Award since Mookie Betts did so in 2019. Pena is also going for his first while Correa will be aiming to win it for the second year in a row.
Betts, meanwhile, was once again named a finalist in the National League for the defensive work he did in right field for the Dodgers this season. Circling back to the American League, two more former Red Sox outfielders were named finalists as well.
Jackie Bradley Jr., who closed out the year with the Blue Jays after being released by Boston in August, has the chance to win his second Gold Glove Award. Andrew Benintendi, who was traded from the Royals to the Yankees in July, has the chance to go back-to-back after taking home his first Gold Glove Award in Kansas City last season.
Gold Glove Awards have been handed out since 1957 to honor the best defenders at each position in each league. Voting is conducted by major-league managers and coaches (who are only allowed to vote within their league and cannot vote for players on their own teams) as well the sabermetrics community. The former accounts for 75 percent of the vote while the latter makes up the other 25 percent.
This year’s winners will be unveiled during an hour-long special edition of ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” leading up to Game 4 of the 2022 World Series on Tuesday, November 1.
(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)