Tonight, I’m headed to the Plaza Hotel in NYC to see the 2019 Gold Glove award ceremony. There will be a few first time winners like catchers Roberto Pérez and J.T. Realmuto along with the untouchables Alex Gordon (7x winner), Nolan Arenado (7x) and Zack Greinke (6x). Lets take a look at the glove models each winner used to earn the most distinguished defensive award in baseball.
C | Roberto Pérez, Indians (1st career Gold Glove)
According to All-Star, Roberto Pérez has always worn the Pro Elite CM3000BK 35″ catcher’s mitt from All-Star (get it at Baseball Express). The glove helped Pérez become the fourth catcher since 1930 and first since Johnny Bench to catch at least 118 games and not allow a SINGLE PASSED BALL!
In the meantime, Pérez threw out 40.8% of runners to lead the AL. In addition to the Gold Glove, Pérez also won Wilson’s top award for defenders, the Defensive Player of the Year.
1B | Matt Olson, Athletics (2nd career Gold Glove)
The Oakland A’s corner infielders Matt Olson and Matt Chapman will be winning plenty of these. Olson takes home his second Gold Glove with his Rawlings Pro Preferred PROSDCT (customized at Rawlings.com).
A classic beauty that, on Olson, seems to swallow up just about anything hit or thrown his way.
2B | Yolmer Sánchez, White Sox (1st career Gold Glove)
3B | Matt Chapman, Athletics (2nd career Gold Glove)
Chapman seems to make a spectacular play on a nightly basis.
SS | Francisco Lindor, Indians (2nd career Gold Glove)
Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS205-2KB (sold as the PROSFL12)
Its a classic look that is elevated by the platinum labels to an untouchable level of swag. Lindor’s glove is 11.75″ in length.
LF | Alex Gordon, Royals (7th career Gold Glove)
Ho, hum… just another Gold Glove for the left field master, Alex Gordon, and his classic black and tan Rawlings H-Web.
CF | Kevin Kiermaier, Rays (3rd career Gold Glove)
Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO303-6KB (Most Similar)
Kevin Kiermaier, one of our favorite players in the game, told us in Spring Training that he was “coming for” Jackie Bradley and that AL Gold Glove in center field. Mission accomplished.
Kiermaier is one of three outfielders to win the Platinum Glove award (Alex Gordon, Byron Buxton), and his Rawlings H-Web puts the PLATS to use nicely alongside similar-colored trim. Get the most similar civilian version for $360 at Rawlings.com. In the video above, Kiermaier talks about how he prepares for live outfield action, and he says BP is the best way to work on getting the optimal “jump.”
Kiermaier backed up the talk by achieving the best average jump in baseball, 3.8 feet better than the average outfielder and 1.4 feet better than anyone else in the game. If you’re an outfielder looking at this data, its time to lock in during BP. If pitchers are getting in your way during BP, tell them that if they want you turning gappers into outs, to step aside.
RF | Mookie Betts, Red Sox (4th career Gold Glove)
Mookie Betts would be playing center field if it weren’t for Jackie Bradley, and if he stays in right field he might win every Gold Glove for as long as he plays. Betts’ glove is a 12.5″ Wilson H-Web and can be had as a game model via Wilson.com for $360.
Here’s a good look at the Superskin that lightens the glove and the Jordan batting glove he wears underneath.
P | Mike Leake, Mariners (1st career Gold Glove)
Mike Leake is one of a dying breed of pitchers who actually puts himself in a position to defend after throwing a pitch. This is a rarely talked-about aspect of the new wave of max-effort flamethrowers—that fielding your position is no longer a priority. It might be why we see more guys getting hit and injured by comebackers, and its definitely leading to more hits. A pitcher who can turn a hard base hit up the middle into an out, or worse, a double play, can be back-breaking for an offense. Leake is that type of athlete, and much of that comes from his mechanics after the ball leaves his hand.
Leake wears a unique Wilson A2000 1788A that you can get for $380 at Wilson.com.
C | J.T. Realmuto, Phillies (1st career Gold Glove)
Quickest pop time in baseball (1.88 seconds) + Strongest catcher’s arm in baseball (88.4 mph) = Most caught stealing in baseball (43 runners, next closest… 27). JT Realmuto is a runner’s worst nightmare.
Realmuto’s Rawlings Pro Preferred PROSCM33KB can be had for $460 at Rawlings.com.
1B | Anthony Rizzo, Cubs (3rd career Gold Glove)
Rawlings Pro Preferred PROSCMHCBBRM (Most Similar)
It feels like Anthony Rizzo wins a Gold Glove every year, but somehow this is only his third.
Rizzo wears one of the sexiest 1B mitts ever made, with PLATS and Pro Mesh. The closest you can get is this PROSAR44 12.75″ at Rawlings.com for $360.
2B | Kolten Wong, Cardinals (1st career Gold Glove)
Rawlings Heart of the Hide Hypershell PRO314 (Most Similar)
You know our feelings about this glove from our Top 5 to watch in the NLDS post. Max Swag. Kolten Wong was the best defensive 2B in the NL by just about every measure with his Rawlings Heart of the Hide Hypershell PRO314.
Wong’s glove is an 11.5″ 31 pattern, and the closest you can get is the same pattern without Hypershell (that carbon fiber look) for $360 at Rawlings.com.
3B | Nolan Arenado, Rockies (7th career Gold Glove)
One of four third basemen EVER to win 7 or more Gold Gloves, Nolan Arenado joins Brooks Robinson (16), Mike Schmidt (10), and Scott Rolen (8) as some of the greatest defensive third basemen of all time.
SS | Nick Ahmed, Diamondbacks (2nd career Gold Glove)
Mizuno MZP 60 11.5″ (Most Similar)
According to Mizuno, Nick Ahmed’s first Gold Glove came with the help of a Mizuno MZP 60 11.5″ glove that is no longer available. The closest thing to Ahmed’s glove now is a GMP2BK-400S with a deep 3 web. You can get an identical version (limited quantity) at Walmart.com for $365.
LF | David Peralta, Diamondbacks (1st career Gold Glove)
CF | Lorenzo Cain, Brewers (1st career Gold Glove)
FINALLY! Lorenzo Cain, with his simple Wilson A2000 Superskin H-Web, has deserved this for a long time, and at 33 years old he gets his first taste. Like Mookie, Cain utilizes Superskin on his glove.
The glove that robs all the home runs is available for $380 at Wilson.com.
RF | Cody Bellinger, Dodgers (1st career Gold Glove)
5-Tool superstar Cody Bellinger did just about everything that you could ask of a baseball player this year. He was a walking highlight reel, even (especially) as a defender, despite the blandness of his Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO442-6DD.
We think he was going for a suede look that failed here, but this especially flat outfield pattern can be had (and maybe spiced up a bit) via Rawlings.com for $360.
P | Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks (6th career Gold Glove)
Rawlings RGG1200 (Most Similar)
What I said about Mike Leake: ditto for Greinke. He’s an athlete, and as soon as the ball leaves his hand, his brain shifts to defense as quickly and as effectively as anyone playing the position. There might be a pitcher reading this who will eventually make it to the Big Leagues, and I promise you this… if you emphasize defensive readiness in your mechanics, you will have an advantage on 95% of the competition for a Gold Glove, since most guys are spinning off the mound with their legs flailing around, falling backwards and barely even looking at the ball. Just a thought.
Greinke wears Rawlings’ highest quality leather, the Gold Glove Series. The closest alternative is this RGG205 11.75″ glove for $500.
Which is your favorite Gold Glove?