You may have missed the fact that the Gold Glove Awards were announced this evening, which isn’t surprising since ESPN (who carried the announcement) and MLB didn’t exactly trumpet the announcement. The Braves had five nominees for the 2018 season in Julio Teheran, Freddie Freeman, Adam Duvall, Ender Inciarte, and Nick Markakis.
For just the fourth time in the history of the Gold Gloves, there was a tie and Freddie Freeman was a part of it. In winning his first Gold Glove, Freddie tied with Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs for the award. It still counts all the same. Freddie had an excellent year defensively at first base with 12 defensive runs saved and no shortage of highlight reel scoops and snags on his ledger. Freeman was one of several Braves that seemed to benefit from better positioning brought on when Alex Anthopoulos overhauled the organization’s defensive metrics and scouting. No other Braves’ first baseman has ever won a Gold Glove.
Ender Inciarte beat a really strong field of candidates for the 2018 Gold Glove, his third straight. Lorenzo Cain and Billy Hamilton both had excellent defensive seasons with Cain’s being particularly impressive. Fortunately, Ender graded out really well on various Statcast metrics and had 17 defensive runs saved to go along with that.
This one is definitely going to open up some eyes, but Markakis did have a good defensive year in right field in a year that was weirdly weak in terms of competition. He also got a big boost from better positioning in similar ways that Freddie did, but we are not here to argue about the results. Just don’t look at the defensive peripherals too hard and enjoy that he won.