This evening, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, second baseman Tommy Edman, third baseman Nolan Arenado, left fielder Tyler O’Neill and center fielder Harrison Bader were named National League recipients of the 2021 Rawlings Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence. It is the first instance any MLB team has had five individual award winners in a single season and the most by any team since the Cardinals and Seattle Mariners had four each in 2003.
The St. Louis Cardinals have had 96 Rawlings Gold Glove selections since the award originated in 1957—most among all Major League teams. It is the 31st time the Cardinals have had multiple Gold Glove winners in the same season and the fourth time the franchise has had at least four winners in one year (1963, 2002, 2003, 2021).
Arenado, 30, won his ninth consecutive career Gold Glove Award, having won in each of his first nine seasons since debuting in 2013. He is the first MLB player to win nine consecutive Gold Glove Awards since outfielders Ichiro Suzuki and Torii Hunter won their ninth straight following the 2009 season, and the second player in MLB history to win the coveted trophy in each of his first nine seasons (Suzuki, 10, 2001-2010). This year, Arenado ranked first among NL third basemen with 125 putouts and 38 double plays turned. He also ranked 2nd among NL 3B in Defensive Runs Saved (6) and Outs Above Average (10). Arenado is the 18th player in MLB history to win nine consecutive Gold Gloves at any position, the third to do so as a third baseman (joining Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson-16 and Mike Schmidt-9), and the first infielder to win at least nine consecutive since Omar Vizquel from 1993-2001. He is the 10th infielder (23rd player) in MLB history to win at least nine career Gold Gloves and surpasses Cardinals Hall of Famer Scott Rolen for third-most all time among MLB third baseman. Arenado joins Rolen (2002-04, 2006), Terry Pendleton (1987, 1989), Ken Reitz (1975) and Ken Boyer (1958-61, 1963) as third basemen to win a Gold Glove with St. Louis.
Goldschmidt, 34, won his fourth career Gold Glove Award and first since 2017 with Arizona. He led all MLB first basemen with 10 Defensive Runs Saved and a 3.5 Ultimate Zone Rating (nearly double the next closest first baseman). His two errors (1313.0 innings) were the fewest among all first basemen with at least 920.0 innings played. Goldschmidt is now tied for the most Gold Gloves among active first basemen with Anthony Rizzo and Eric Hosmer. He is the first Cardinals first baseman to earn the award since Albert Pujols in 2010.
O’Neill, 26, won his second consecutive Gold Glove Award after winning his first in 2020. For the second straight year, O’Neill led all MLB left fielders in Defensive Runs Saved (12) and Ultimate Zone Rating (6.7). His seven outfield assists ranked T1st among National League left fielders. O’Neill is the first Cardinals outfielder to win consecutive Gold Glove Awards since Jim Edmonds took home six straight from 2000-05.
Edman, 26, won his first career Gold Glove Award playing primarily at second base (115 starts) while also starting 35 games in the outfield. He led all MLB second basemen with 13 Outs Above Average and ranked T2nd among NL 2B in Defensive Runs Saved (6). His five errors were tied for the fewest among all second basemen with at least 1000.0 innings played. Edman joins Kolten Wong (2019-20) and Fernando Viña (2001-02) as the only second basemen to win the award in franchise history. The Cardinals have won three straight Gold Glove Awards at second base, with Kolten Wong taking home the honor the previous two seasons.
Bader, 27, won his first career Gold Glove after being named a finalist for the award in 2019. Bader led all NL outfielders with 15 Defensive Runs Saved and 14 Outs Above Average. His 11 “four and five star catches”, defined as catches with probabilities of less than 50% of being made, ranked 4th among all MLB outfielders. Bader is the first Cardinals centerfielder to win a Gold Glove since Jim Edmonds in 2005 and joins Curt Flood (1963-69), Willie McGee (1983, 1985-86), Jason Heyward (2015) and Tyler O’Neill (2020-21) as Cardinals outfielders to win a Gold Glove. This marks the first time in franchise history that two Cardinals outfielders have won Gold Gloves in the same season.
According to FanGraphs, the Cardinals led all Major League teams in Defensive Runs Saved in 2021 with 86, eight more than the next closest team. Nine-time award winner Yadier Molina was announced as a 2021 Rawlings Gold Glove finalist on October 28, finishing in the top-three among NL catchers.
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners are selected by the managers of all 30 MLB teams and up to six of their respective coaches. Each manager and coach vote from a pool of qualified players in their League, but cannot vote for players from their own team. 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.
Starting tonight, fans can vote Arenado, Goldschmidt, O’Neill, Bader or Edman 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 11 at 10:59 PM CT and the winners will be unveiled on Friday, November 12 on the MLB Network.