November 6, 2023
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
Three Toronto Blue Jays players were named American League Gold Glove Award winners on Sunday.
Pitcher Jose Berrios, third baseman Matt Chapman and centre fielder Kevin Kiermaier were announced as winners.
It’s the first time in Blue Jays’ history the team has had three Gold Glove Award winners in the same season.
The athletic Berrios is a first-time winner. In his 32 starts this season, he had a .953 fielding percentage and 26 assists and 15 putouts in 189 2/3 innings. He becomes the third Blue Jays pitcher to win the award after R.A. Dickey (2013) and Marcus Stroman (2017).
This is the fourth American League Gold Glove for third baseman Matt Chapman. He took home the honour in 2018, 2019 and 2021 while with the Oakland A’s. Chapman had a .968 fielding percentage in 137 games at the hot corner for the Blue Jays and topped AL third baseman in double plays turned (35), Total Zone Runs (15) and was second in putouts (114) and range factor (2.68). He is the second Blue Jays third baseman to win a Gold Glove. Kelly Gruber was the recipient in 1990.
Kiermaier takes home his fourth Gold Glove as an outfielder. His previous three came with the Tampa Bay Rays (2015-16, 2019). A rejuvenated Kiermaier was outstanding in centre field for the Blue Jays this season, posting a 2.2 dWAR, which was second among American League outfielders.
Kiermaier is the first Blue Jays outfielder to win a Gold Glove Award since Vernon Wells in 2006. That was the third of three consecutive Gold Gloves Wells captured. Over the years, three additional Blue Jays outfielders have won Gold Glove Awards: Jesse Barfield (1986-87), Devon White (1991-95) and Shawn Green (1999).
To determine the Gold Glove winners this year, each team’s manager and up to six coaches on his staff voted from a pool of qualified players in their respective league. They could not vote for players from their own team.
Ten years ago, Rawlings added the SABR Defensive Index™ (SDI) to the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process. This accounts for approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers’ and coaches’ votes continuing to carry the majority.
Here is a complete list of 2023 American League Gold Glove winners followed by some Blue Jays Gold Glove trivia:
Toronto Blue Jays Gold Glove Trivia
Most Gold Gloves for a Blue Jays player: 5 (tie) – Roberto Alomar (1991-95) and Devon White (1991-95)
First Blue Jays outfielder to win a Gold Glove: Jesse Barfield, outfielder, 1986
First Blue Jays infielder to win a Gold Glove: Tony Fernandez, shortstop, 1986
First Blue Jays pitcher to win Gold Glove: R.A. Dickey, 2013
Blue Jays that have won multiple Gold Glove Awards:
5 – Roberto Alomar (1991-95)
5 – Devon White (1991-95)
4 – Tony Fernandez (1986-89)
3 – Vernon Wells (2004-06)
2 – Jesse Barfield (1986-87)
FUN FACT: The only position the Blue Jays have never had a Gold Glove Award winner at is catcher. (I suppose you could also say left field).