Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts named Gold Glove Award finalist

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)


Hunter Renfroe comes up short, but former Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi wins first career Gold Glove Award with Royals

Red Sox right fielder Hunter Renfroe was unable to win his first career Gold Glove Award on Sunday night.

Renfroe was named one of three finalists for the award among all American League right fielders late last month alongside Houston’s Kyle Tucker, but the honors on Sunday instead fell to Yankees outfielder Joey Gallo.

The winners were announced by Rawlings and Major League Baseball on ESPN.

While Renfroe outpaced Gallo in terms of both defensive innings (1,166 to 764 2/3) and outfield assists (16 to 9) from right field this season, Gallo led the way in fielding percentage (.980 to .956), defensive runs saved (11 to 0), ultimate zone rating (2.8 to -1.6), and ultimate zone rating per 150 games (3.8 to -2.1), according to FanGraphs.

It also did not help that Renfroe led all major-league outfielders in errors with 12 while registering negative-one outs above average in right field this year, per FanGraphs.

Renfroe, who turns 30 in January, was Boston’s lone finalist for a Gold Glove Award, though Christian Vazquez and Enrique Hernandez are among those on the team who may have had a case to be made at their respective primary positions (catcher and center field) but wound up getting snubbed.

Despite the fact that Renfroe came up short on Sunday, it should be mentioned that former Red Sox left fielder won his first career Gold Glove Award as a member of the Royals.

Benintendi, who the Red Sox dealt to the Royals as part of a three-team, seven-player trade back in February, logged 1,116 defensive innings over 129 games in left field in his first season with Kansas City.

The 27-year-old was named a finalist for the Gold Glove Award for American League left fielders alongside the likes of Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena and Toronto’s Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

All three of Benintendi, Arozarena, and Gurriel Jr. finished the 2021 campaign having put up seven defensive runs saved in left field, but Benintendi ultimately led the pack in ultimate zone rating (4.9), ultimate zone rating per 150 games (5.5), and outs above average (1).

By winning his first Gold Glove Award, Benintendi joins former teammates Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. as now-former Red Sox outfielders to win at least one Gold Glove in their respective careers.

Betts has taken home five Gold Glove Awards in his time with the Red Sox and Dodgers, while Bradley Jr. and Benintendi have each won it once.

(Picture of Andrew Benintendi: Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)