By: Amanda Szylin
Nine of the 18 Major League Baseball players that won the Gold Glove Award this year played AAU Baseball at some point in their careers. Two players from the National League and seven from the American League took the skills they developed in AAU Baseball to the Major League spotlight when they were chosen for the coveted award. The SABR Defensive Index, a statistical component, counted for 25 percent of the vote, with the remaining votes coming from major league managers and coaches. See the list below for highlights on the AAU members who won!
Pitcher Zack Greinke grabbed his first Golden Glove of his career. In October, he pitched seven innings, allowing only two hits and two walks. He had seven strikeouts and didn’t allow any runs.
The 6’5 right fielder led the league in Defensive Runs Saved with 32 and earned his second Gold Glove of his career. At the plate in the 2014 regular season, he came to the plate 573 times, averaging .271. He added 11 home runs and 58 RBIs to his stat line, along with 20 stolen bases. According to ESPN, Heyward has a good shot at being named the Platinum Glove winner, with his biggest competition being Adrelton Simmons, who grabbed his second Golden Glove this year after being named last year’s NL winner.
The 6’3 left hander earned his first Gold Glove of his career after having an impressive year with Houston. The 26 year old from Tulsa, Oklahoma was one of the leaders in Defensive Runs Saved. He had a total of 29 starts and five complete games. Keuchel pitched 200 innings, allowing 71 runs, 65 of them earned. He racked up 12 wins and 146 strikeouts and maintained a 2.93 ERA throughout the 2014 season.
One of three Royal to take home the award, Hosmer earned his second Gold Glove, becoming the only Royals first baseman to win one. In the 2014 postseason, the 6’4 first baseman played in 15 games and stepped up the plate 57 times. Out of those at bats, he had 20 hits and 12 RBIs with another eight runs scored. Hosmer averaged .351 in the postseason, with two home runs, a triple and three doubles, along with 16 stolen bases.
Despite a struggling Red Sox team, Pedroia managed to snag his fourth Gold Glove, winning in back to back years for the first time. The only other two Red Sox players to win more times than him is Dwight Evans (8) and Carl Yastrzemski (7). In the 2014 season, the 5’8 second baseman had 551 at bats, with 153 hits, 33 doubles, and seven home runs. He knocked in 53 RBIs and scored another 72 runs. He drew 51 walks and racked up six stolen bases.
Hardy claimed his third Gold Glove of his career, passing Cal Ripken Jr. and becoming the Orioles’ shortstop with the second-most Gold Gloves won. At the plate, Hardy had 25 at bats in the postseason, with three RBIs, a home run, a double and six hits. He drew 3 walks and scored three runs, but his team ultimately fell to the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series.
According the ESPN, the biggest surprise of the night was Mariners’ third baseman Kyle Seager, who beat out division rivals Josh Donaldson (Athletics) and Adrian Beltre (Rangers) to win his first Gold Glove. Donaldson had 20 Defensive Runs Saved, twice as many as Seager, but Seager was most likely awarded for his overall improvement defensively. He went from a minus-7 and minus-8 Defensive Runs Saved in his two previous seasons to 10 Defensive Runs Saved in 2014. Seager is the first Mariners third baseman to win since Beltre in 2008.
Gordon was another Royals’ player who grabbed Gold Glove honors, making it his fourth consecutive win in a row. His four wins are the most by a Royals outfield, edging out Amos Otis’ three. The left fielder was the AL leader in Defensive Runs Saved for an outfielder.
Jones won for a fourth time, becoming the seventh Orioles player and second Orioles outfielder to win at least four Gold Gloves. Although the Orioles fell to the Royals in the ALCS, Jones knocked in three runs and scored another six for the Orioles in the postseason. He totaled six hits with one home run and a stolen base, and maintained a batting average of .222.
Congratulations to all of the AAU members who received a Gold Glove and good luck next season!
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