Major League Baseball announced the finalists for the Gold Glove awards on Thursday afternoon and the Pittsburgh Pirates have three players who could win at their respective position.
Jacob Stallings is up for the catcher award, along with Yadier Molina and JT Realmuto. Stallings posted a 2.3 defensive WAR this season, which ranked him second to third baseman Ryan McMahon in all of the National League. Molina had 1.5 dWAR, while Realmuto, who won the Gold Glove in 2019, finished with 0.4 dWAR. Molina threw out 41% of runners attempting to steal. Realmuto was at 26%, while Stallings was at 21%. Stallings went the entire season without a passed ball, catching a total of 892 innings.
Kevin Newman is a finalist for shortstops, along with Brandon Crawford and Francisco Lindor. Newman had outstanding improvements on his defense, putting up a 1.5 dWAR this year, after compiling -0.6 dWAR in his first three seasons combined. He was sure-handed this season, committing three errors in 453 chances, which gave him the best fielding percentage (.993) in the National League for shortstops. He ranked fifth in the league in assists, double plays and total zone runs.
Lindor had 1.0 dWAR and failed to lead the league in any defensive categories listed on Baseball-Reference for league leaders. He won the American League Gold Glove in 2016 and 2019. Crawford won the 2015-17 Gold Gloves at shortstop in the NL. He finished with 1.3 dWAR, place third in the league in assists, double plays, fielding percentage and range factor/per game.
Bryan Reynolds is a finalist in center field along with Jackie Bradley Jr and Harrison Bader. Reynolds definitely passed the eye test for defense in 2021, but he finished with a -0.3 dWAR, which includes his 17 games in left field. He led all outfielders in putouts, and despite some play in left field, he also led all center fielders in putouts. He led all center fielders with a .994 fielding percentage. His range factor rated well too, placing him 2nd/3rd in per game and per nine inning averages.
Bradley Jr finished with 1.3 dWAR, but he had an interesting case for the award. He played just 89 games in center field, and only 79 were starts. He started a total of 99 games all season (saw LF/RF time), mostly due to very poor hitting that led to a lowly .497 OPS. Bader finished with a 1.8 dWAR, which was the sixth best in the league for all positions. He had the best range factor in center field in the NL, and he ranked second in Total Zone Runs.
Ke’Bryan Hayes didn’t make the finalists at third base. While Ryan McMahon would probably win since he was the best rated player (by dWAR) in the entire league, Hayes ranked fifth with 1.8 dWAR in the league. I thought it may have been because of Hayes only starting 89 games this past year, but we just saw how much Jackie Bradley Jr played. Nolan Arenado got a nomination, going for his ninth straight Gold Glove. He put up 0.9 dWAR, which is the lowest mark of his career. The other player is Manny Machado, who has won two Gold Gloves, though the last one was in 2015. He posted 0.8 dWAR.
The winners will be announced November 7th on ESPN at 8:30 PM.