Major League Baseball has announced the 2021 Gold Glove Award winners for each league, giving one player at each position an addition to their trophy cabinet.
The best fielders in the Senior Circuit.
Your 2021 Gold Glove Award winners in the NL! pic.twitter.com/FXjyLmnakS
— MLB (@MLB) November 8, 2021
These guys can flash the leather.
The 2021 AL Gold Glove Award winners ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/5kbsPPjQQK
— MLB (@MLB) November 8, 2021
As with any award, the announcements carried controversy along with it.
A handful of surprising winners took home the hardware over other worthwhile candidates.
Here is a look at the three most shocking takeaways from the Gold Glove announcements.
3. Joey Gallo Wins In Right Field
Joey Gallo started the season with the Texas Rangers, patrolling right field and putting up some of the best advanced numbers of any outfielder.
This was good enough to win the Gold Glove Award for his position.
Congratulations Joey! 👏 pic.twitter.com/ej7lvDRBHX
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) November 8, 2021
His most notable quality is his arm, tallying 14 assists throughout the season.
However, after he was traded to the New York Yankees at the deadline, he moved out of right field for most of the season.
By the end of 2021, he played 51 of his 138 total games in left field, meaning he didn’t spend all that time in right.
The most surprising aspect of this was teammate Aaron Judge’s snub of any nomination.
Judge was tied with Gallo and Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker for the American League lead with 11 defensive runs saved.
Because of this, the lack of nomination for a Gold Glove surprised many fans around the league.
This was especially true after Judge won the Fielding Bible Award for RF.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 29, 2021
That is a different fielding award that many players recognize as legitimate.
While Gallo is well deserving of the award, it was surprising for many to see him take it over his New York teammate.
2. Cardinals Set Gold Glove Record
The St. Louis Cardinals set a Major League record for the total Gold Glove Awards won by a single team in the same season.
1B Paul Goldschmidt, 2B Tommy Edman, 3B Nolan Arenado, LF Tyler O'Neill and CF Harrison Bader have all won a Gold Glove for the @Cardinals.
They're the 1st team in MLB history to have 5 Gold Glove winners in a season. pic.twitter.com/9nfQ92fVV0
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 8, 2021
They had five winners around the field, all of whom contributed heavily to the team’s Cinderella run into the postseason.
The Cardinals outfield duo of left fielder Tyler O’Neill and center fielder Harrison Bader also earned Gold Gloves.
In an age where offensive output has become so important, the Cardinals proved that defensive is still important.
Their team was built around it, and they were just a single swing from making it into the NLDS this season.
1. Royals Outfielders Win Gold Glove Awards
The Kansas City Royals were not a competitive team this year, and there were few positive takeaways from their season.
One bright spot is their new additions to the outfield.
Benintendi had a good bounce back season at the plate while also being the best defender at his position.
A gold standard in LF.
Andrew Benintendi brings home his first Gold Glove Award! pic.twitter.com/Qd9a1nQjYS
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) November 8, 2021
In well over 1,000 innings at the position, Benintendi tied for the lead with seven defensive runs saved in left field.
Statistically, Taylor was the best defensive center fielder all year.
He led the entire position in defensive runs saved with 19, outs above average with 15, and added 11 outfield assists.
Though the Royals have a lot of rebuilding left, this pair has contributed in their first season with the organization.