Kolten Wong and Tyler O’Neill Win 2020 Gold Glove Awards

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St. Louis Cardinals press release

Earlier this evening, left fielder Tyler O’Neill and second baseman Kolten Wong were named National League recipients of the 2020 Rawlings Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence.  It is the 30th time the Cardinals have had multiple Gold Glove winners in the same season and first since 2015.

The St. Louis Cardinals have had a total of 91 Rawlings Gold Glove selections since the award originated in 1957—the most among all Major League teams.

Tyler O’Neill

O’Neill, 25, won his first career Gold Glove Award and is the first left fielder in Cardinals history to earn the coveted defensive trophy.  O’Neill led all MLB left fielders with nine Defensive Runs Saved (sixth-most among all MLB players), four Outs Above Average and finished fourth among MLB outfielders in Defensive Wins Above Replacement (3.9) while committing zero errors in his 344.0 innings in the outfield.  He joins Curt Flood, Willie McGee, Jim Edmonds and Jason Heyward as the only outfielders to win a Gold Glove with St. Louis.

Kolten Wong

Wong, 30, won his second-straight Gold Glove at second base after leading all NL 2B in Defensive Runs Saved (6), Defensive Wins Above Replacement (4.5), Ultimate Zone Rating (7.5), Double Plays (29) and Double Plays Started (14).  The Hilo, Hawaii-native ties Fernando Viña, who won the award in 2001 and 2002, for the franchise lead among second basemen.

The Cardinals led all Major League teams in Defensive Runs Saved in 2020 with 33, despite playing two less regular season games.  Paul Goldschmidt was announced as a 2020 Rawlings Gold Glove finalist on October 22, finishing in the top-three among NL first basemen.

Historically, Gold Glove Award winners have been determined by a vote from all 30 MLB managers and up to six of their respective coaches.  In 2013, Rawlings added a sabermetric component to the Gold Glove Awards selection process, as part of its collaboration with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).  The SABR Defensive Index (SDI) has previously comprised of approximately 25% of the overall selection total, with the managers and coaches’ vote carrying the majority.  Due to the compressed 2020 season, the Award qualification was amended this year to rely solely on the SDI which draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batter ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts.

Starting tonight, fans can vote for O’Neill and Wong to be named the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winner at Rawlings.com.  A combination of the national fan vote and the SDI will determine who takes that honor.  Voting will remain open through Thursday, November 5 at 10:59 PM CT and the winners will be unveiled on Friday, November 6 on the MLB Network.

Brian Walton’s take

Congratulations to both the current Cardinal, O’Neill, and the ex-Cardinal Wong.

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