By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
Langley Blaze and Junior National Team graduate Tyler O’Neill has been named a finalist for the National League Gold Glove Award for left fielders.
Rawlings announced its Gold Glove Award finalists on Thursday.
O’Neill (Maple Ridge, B.C.) won the Gold Glove Award for National League left fielders last year to become the first Canadian to secure a Gold Glove at any position since Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) was honoured in 2011.
By capturing the honour last year, O’Neill became the first Canadian outfielder to win a National League Gold Glove Award since fellow Maple Ridge, B.C. native Larry Walker accomplished the feat with the Colorado Rockies in 2002.
O’Neill is up against David Peralta, from the Arizona Diamondbacks, and A.J. Pollock, from the Los Angeles Dodgers, for this year’s honour.
After playing parts of two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018 and 2019, O’Neill took over as the club’s starting left fielder in 2020. The 26-year-old Canuck had 12 defensive runs saved (Rdrs) and a 0.6 dWAR in 131 games in 2021. He also had seven outfield assists.
Yesterday, O’Neill was named the winner of the Fielding Bible Award for major league left fielders by Baseball Info Solutions (BIS) for a second consecutive season. BIS relies heavily on advanced statistics to determine the recipients and the Field Bible Awards are considered an alternative to the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards.
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners are chosen by the managers of the 30 big league teams and up to six of each team’s respective coaches. Each skipper and coach vote from a pool of qualified players in their respective league. They can’t vote for players from their own team.
Eight years ago, Rawlings added a sabermetric component to the selection process, as part of its collaboration with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). The SABR Defensive Index™ (SDI) comprises approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers and coaches’ vote continuing to carry the majority.
Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, whose parents were born in Canada, was also named a National League Gold Glove finalist.
Three Toronto Blue Jays players – Jose Berrios (pitcher), Marcus Semien (second base) and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (left field) – were also named American League finalists.
The 2021 Gold Glove winners will be revealed during a special-edition “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast on ESPN on Nov. 7.
For a full list of 2021 Rawlings Gold Glove finalists, click on this link.