During a year that will be remembered for records falling and milestones being surpassed, those themes continued with the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for 2022. The winners were announced prior to Tuesday’s Game 3 of the World Series between the Astros and Phillies on “Baseball Tonight” on ESPN2, with a record 14 first-time recipients earning the honor for best defensive player at each position (the old mark was 11, recorded in both 2020 and 1958, the year the award was established).
Even with two additional awards this year — thanks to the advent of the new utility-player category — the new record surpassed the previous mark by three. In addition, there were nine first-time winners in the American League, a record for most in a single year in one league (the previous mark was seven, in 1990 and 2020, both in the AL). This year’s three rookie winners also set a new record, eclipsing the prior mark of two from 2020.
Without further ado, here are the 2022 Gold Glove Award winners:
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto, Phillies
Before impressing with his prowess behind the plate and, more prominently, at the plate during this postseason, Realmuto turned in yet another great defensive campaign for Philadelphia. The 31-year-old led all qualified MLB catchers with a 44 percent caught-stealing rate, the second time he’s led the Majors in that department (also in 2019, 47 percent). He also led all NL catchers with 11 DRS. This year’s honor is Realmuto’s second career Gold Glove (also 2019), and he’s the only Phillies player to receive the award since shortstop Jimmy Rollins in 2012.
First base: Christian Walker, D-backs
Walker quietly put together a tremendous season in 2022, both at the plate and defensively. He launched a career-high 36 homers and posted an .804 OPS for Arizona this year, but he was also excellent at first base, easily leading all MLB first basemen with 17 DRS and 14 Outs Above Average. It’s Walker’s first Gold Glove, and he is the second D-backs first baseman to win the honor, joining Paul Goldschmidt (2013, ’15 and ’17).
Second base: Brendan Rodgers, Rockies
Rodgers is one of the bigger surprises among the Gold Glove Award winners — not only did he easily lead all MLB second basemen in DRS with 22, but he was second among all players in that category, behind only Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes (24). Rodgers did that despite some struggles in the field, particularly during the first half of the season.
Shortstop: Dansby Swanson, Braves
In addition to being selected to his first All-Star team in 2022, Swanson also won his first career Gold Glove Award, and the third Gold Glove for a shortstop in Braves history (Andrelton Simmons won the honor at the position in both 2013 and ’14). Swanson led all NL players with 21 Outs Above Average, an increase of 19 from his 2021 total.
Third base: Nolan Arenado, Cardinals
Arenado earned his 10th Gold Glove Award in 10 Major League seasons, tying Ichiro for most consecutive Gold Gloves to begin an MLB career. Arenado also tied Phillies legend and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt for the second-most Gold Glove Awards by a third baseman in Major League history, trailing only Brooks Robinson (16). Arenado led all third basemen with an ultimate zone rating of 13, and he was second behind Hayes with 15 Outs Above Average.
Left field: Ian Happ, Cubs
Another first-time winner, Happ is the fourth outfielder in Cubs history to receive a Gold Glove Award, joining Jason Heyward (2016-17), Andre Dawson (1987-88) and Bob Dernier (1984). Happ’s 8.3 UZR was the highest among all MLB left fielders.
Center field: Trent Grisham, Padres
Grisham helped fuel the Padres’ run to the NLCS last month with a surprising power surge, but before that, he recorded 17 Outs Above Average in the regular season, which was tied with the D-backs’ Daulton Varsho for the MLB lead. It’s Grisham’s second career Gold Glove — he also won it for center field in 2020 — and the 26-year-old remains the only Padres player to win a Gold Glove since Chase Headley at third base in 2012.
Right field: Mookie Betts, Dodgers
Betts led all MLB right fielders with 15 DRS, which evaluates a player’s range and ability to convert a batted ball into an out. His latest Gold Glove is the sixth of his career, after he won the honor five straight years from 2016-20. He is the fourth outfielder in Dodgers history to win multiple Gold Glove Awards, along with Willie Davis (three), Raul Mondesi (two) and Matt Kemp (two).
Pitcher: Max Fried, Braves
For a third consecutive year, the NL Gold Glove Award for pitchers goes to Fried, who is one of only three hurlers in Braves history to win multiple Gold Gloves — Hall of Famers Greg Maddux (10) and Phil Niekro (five) are the others. In 185 1/3 innings pitched during the regular season, Fried had 42 defensive chances and made only one error.
Utility player: Brendan Donovan, Cardinals
Get out your trivia book — Donovan is the first NL player to win a utility Gold Glove Award, doing so in his rookie season. The 25-year-old served as St. Louis’ Swiss Army knife, appearing at every position on the diamond except center field, pitcher and catcher. He was particularly good at third base whenever he filled in for 10-time Gold Glover Arenado, racking up 8 DRS in only 189 innings at the position.
Catcher: Jose Trevino, Yankees
Trevino is the third player in Yankees history to win a Gold Glove Award at the catcher position, joining Thurman Munson (1973-75) and Elston Howard (1963-64). Trevino led all Major League catchers with 21 defensive runs saved, which was also tied for the third-most Defensive Runs Saved in baseball, regardless of position.
First base: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
Guerrero is another first-time Gold Glove winner. He had 3 DRS at first base for Toronto (a career best) and also became the first player in franchise history to win the award at first base. It marks the second straight year a Blue Jays position player has won a Gold Glove Award (Marcus Semien won at second base last year) after a 15-year drought.
Second base: Andrés Giménez, Guardians
Giménez enjoyed a breakout season at the plate in 2022, posting an .837 OPS with 17 home runs and 20 stolen bases, but he also shined defensively to garner his first Gold Glove. The 24-year-old led all AL second basemen with 16 DRS, and he also had 12 Outs Above Average, per Statcast. He’s the third Cleveland player to win a Gold Glove at second base, joining César Hernández (2020) and Roberto Alomar (1999-2001).
Shortstop: Jeremy Peña, Astros
If it wasn’t enough that Peña introduced himself to the wider baseball world with a huge homer in the 18th inning of Game 3 of the AL Division Series against the Mariners — following that up with AL Championship Series MVP honors against the Yankees — the 25-year-old rookie has now added a Gold Glove Award to his resume. Peña finished the regular season tied with the Marlins’ Miguel Rojas for most DRS among MLB shortstops, with 15. Peña is the first Astros rookie to win a Gold Glove, and the third player in franchise history to win one at shortstop. He joins the man he replaced, Carlos Correa (2021), and Roger Metzger (1973). Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Peña is also the first rookie shortstop to win a Gold Glove.
Third base: Ramón Urías, Orioles
The Orioles surprised the baseball world with their 83-win season, and Urías was an important part of Baltimore’s success. He is another first-time Gold Glove Award winner, and he’s the first Oriole to capture a Gold Glove since Manny Machado also won at third base in 2015. Urías, who joined Machado and Brooks Robinson as the only Orioles third basemen to win the award, led all AL third basemen with 14 DRS in ’22. He was also tied with the Yankees’ Josh Donaldson for the most Outs Above Average at the hot corner in the AL, with 7.
Left field: Steven Kwan, Guardians
Another surprise team this year, the AL Central-champion Guardians had a rookie left fielder who was key to their unexpected surge, both with his offensive and defensive contributions. With Myles Straw also winning a Gold Glove, this marks the first time two Cleveland outfielders won the award in the same year. Defensively, Kwan led all MLB left fielders with 21 DRS and 10 Outs Above Average. According to Elias, he is the first Cleveland rookie to win a Gold Glove. Kwan is also the fifth rookie outfielder to win the honor, joining Tommie Agee (1966), Fred Lynn (1975), Ichiro Suzuki (2001) and Luis Robert (2020).
Center field: Myles Straw, Guardians
The 28-year-old Straw led all MLB center fielders with an ultimate zone rating of 8.0. He also led AL center fielders with 13 Outs Above Average. Prior to Kwan and Straw this year, the most recent Cleveland outfielder to win a Gold Glove was Grady Sizemore in 2008.
Right field: Kyle Tucker, Astros
Known primarily for his bat — and understandably so, considering his .860 OPS and 60 homers over the past two seasons — Tucker has shown he’s also a fantastic right fielder. He led AL right fielders with 13 DRS, and with his first career Gold Glove, he joins Michael Bourn (2009-10) and Cesar Cedeno (1972-76) as the only Astros outfielders to win the honor.
Pitcher: Shane Bieber, Guardians
Bieber is the first pitcher in Cleveland history to win a Gold Glove, pairing excellent defense off the mound with his typical excellence on it. He’s now added the honor to a resume that already included the 2019 All-Star Game MVP Award and the ‘20 AL Cy Young Award. With the quartet of Bieber, Giménez, Kwan and Straw, Cleveland set a franchise record with four Gold Glove winners in the same year, breaking its previous mark of three set in 2000 (second baseman Alomar, shortstop Omar Vizquel and third baseman Travis Fryman).
Utility player: DJ LeMahieu, Yankees
Get those trivia books back out: LeMahieu is the winner of the first AL utility player Gold Glove Award. He was limited to 125 games due to injury, but he still saw significant time at three infield positions, playing 35 games at first base, 41 at second and 47 at third. He had 2 Outs Above Average each at first and second and 4 at third, which ranked 11th among all MLB third basemen, despite his limited appearances there. LeMahieu is no stranger to the Gold Glove Award; this is his fourth, but his first since 2018, with the Rockies. He is also the first Yankees player to win a Gold Glove since left fielder Brett Gardner in 2016.