Seven Baseball Factory Alums Capture 2019 Gold Gloves
Gold Glove winners were announced on Sunday evening and seven former Baseball Factory athletes were honored with the award of the game’s best defensive players. This award is determined by a combination of votes submitted by Major League managers and coaches, along with a saber-metric index provided by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
Congratulations to the following winners:
Matt Olson – Oakland Athletics
At age 25, the 2011 Under Armour All-American won his second gold glove in consecutive seasons and led all first baseman in defensive runs saved with 13. He was third in WAR (wins above replacement) on the A’s at 5.1 and had a fielding percentage of .993 (2nd best in the American League). Beyond the fielding percentage, Olson is an outstanding defender range-wise, as he had a range factor of 8.76, which was tops in the AL. Range factor is determined by dividing the sum of a fielder’s putouts and assists by his total number of defensive games played. With the bat, Matt hit a career-high 36 homers, while driving in 91.
Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
Rizzo wins the third gold glove of his career and in back-to-back years. Known for his bat throughout his career, Rizzo’s defense at first has gotten better as he has gotten older. He committed just five errors in 2019, turned 120 double plays, recorded 123 assists (2nd-most in National League) and according to MLB.com, was one of three MLB first basemen with 30-plus scoops in 2019. Rizzo a Baseball Factory Tryout in June 2006 and later that summer, was part of the 2006 Cape Cod High School All-Star Game.
Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians
The dynamic shortstop won his second career gold glove after posting a .979 fielding percentage, good for 2nd-best in the AL in 2019. On the offensive side, Lindor put up his third-consecutive 30-home run season, belting 32, while driving in 74 with 101 runs scored in 143 games. Francisco attended a Baseball Factory National Tryout and the Team One South Showcase in 2009.
Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
Arenado is quickly becoming one of the top defensive third baseman’s of all time, garnering his seventh consecutive gold glove in as many seasons as he’s played. Arenado already has the fourth-most gold gloves in major league history – in just his seventh season. In the National League, he was first in putouts (111), first in assists (337), first in total zone runs (18) and was first in range factor per game at 2.91 in 2019. Offensively, he’s put together a strong case for serious consideration in the NL MVP race, hitting .315 with 41 homers, 118 RBI, 102 runs scored and a OPS of .962.
Kevin Kiermaier – Tampa Bay Rays
Kiermaier snagged his third gold glove, showing off some of the best range and arms in the game from the centerfield position. Kiermaier committed just four errors all season, and per fangraphs, he had 13 defensive runs saved, which is tops among centerfielders. MLB’s StatCast information took things even deeper for the former Baseball Factory National Tryout participant. He led the American League with 17 outs above average, which according to mlb.com’s explanation, is, “a range-based metric of skill that accounts for not only the number of plays an outfielder makes (or doesn’t), but also the difficulty of them.” He was also tied with the Washington Nationals OF Victor Robles with a 6 percent catch percentage added, that is the difference between StatCast’s expected catch probability and the specific fielder’s actual catch percentage.
Mike Leake – Seattle Mariners/Arizona Diamondbacks
Leake is an outstanding defender with athleticism on the mound and finally wins his first gold glove in his 10th big league season. Leake was traded to the D-Backs at the deadline, but had enough stats to be included on the American League side, which is where he won the gold glove. Leake was tied with Lucas Giolito (White Sox) for the lead among AL pitchers in SABR Defensive Index.
Zack Greinke – Arizona Diamondbacks/Houston Astros
This is the sixth-consecutive gold glove for Greinke, who was traded over to the Astros during the stretch run, but won the award because of his time with the Diamondbacks. He led all qualified pitchers with 33 putouts and committed just one error in his 33 starts between Arizona and Houston. Greinke went a combined 18-5 with a 2.93 ERA and 187 strikeouts in 208 2/3 innings this season. Zack performed at the 2000 Team One East Showcase.
Stay tuned to Baseball Factory News when the remaining awards are announced – AL and NL Rookie of the Year (November 11th), AL and NL Cy Young (November 13th) and AL and NL MVP (November 14th).