Flashing the Leather: Austin Hays, Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle named gold glove nominees.

Earlier today, Rawlings announced the finalists for the Gold Glove Award. First given in 1957, the Gold Glove Award has been given to the best defender at each position in each league. Three players are nominated for each position, and 75% of the vote comes from managers and coaches from that league. The other 25% goes to the sabermetrics community. This community has people that use statistics to analyze baseball records to make determinations about players.

The Baltimore Orioles had three nominees this season: first basemen Ryan Mountcastle, catcher Adley Rutschman and outfielder Austin Hays. Mountcastle is the O’s second infielder to be nominated in the last two seasons, joining teammate Ramon Urias in 2022. Adley Rutschman becomes the second O’s catcher to be nominated after Matt Wieters won the award in 2012. Austin Hays becomes the second outfielder in the last three years to be nominated after his teammate Cedric Mullins was nominated in 2021. Since the award was created in 1957, the Baltimore Orioles have had 67 gold glove winners. Longtime third basemen Brooks Robinson has the most in team history with 16.

Adley Rutschman had a fielding percentage of .994 in 2023, making it the fourth best in baseball. Rutschman had 0 passed balls, which is outstanding. This means that no extra runs are scored when he’s behind the plate. He had the sixth best caught stealing % at .219 but had the fourth fewest errors. Adley did this in only 935 innings, which is 11th most in the league. It’s safe to say that Rutschman will be a brick wall behind the dish for years to come in Baltimore.

As for Austin Hays, he continued to showcase his cannon of an arm all season in left field. Hays had 233 putouts which is the 7th most in baseball. He was 20th in assists, but that’s after people finally stopped testing his arm. Hays has a perfect fielding percentage, which is tied for best in baseball with Randy Arozarena.

Last but certainly not least, Ryan Mountcastle. Even though vertigo and a back issue kept him out the majority of the season, he’s still a very respected first basemen. in 86 games at the corner, Mountcastle had a fielding percentage of .997 which would have been top 5 in baseball if he had enough games to qualify. Mountcastle was a part of 79 double plays, good for top 15 in baseball.

Anchored by their three gold glove finalists, the Baltimore Orioles had a top 5 defense in baseball in 2023. They had the fifth fewest errors, fifth best fielding percentage, and the most putouts in baseball. Ever heard of the saying, “defense wins championships”? Well, the Orioles are in good shape for years to come.

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