Still collecting on their great 2012 season, the Baltimore Orioles led the American League with three Gold Glove winners.
After shocking the baseball world by winning the Wild Card spot and pushing the New York Yankees to the brink in the American League Division Series, the O’s had three players win Gold Gloves, more than any other team. Matt Wieters and Adam Jones won their second Gold Gloves, while J.J. Hardy won his first.
Wieters is always solid behind the plate, and the 2012 season was certainly no exception. Wieters led all catchers in putouts with 994 and games with 134. He threw out 38.6 percent of would-be base stealers which was good for third best rate in the American League. This is Matt’s second Gold Glove in as many years.
Jones also earned his second Gold Glove—his first came after the 2009 season. This year, Jones led all center fielders in games played with 162, and putouts with 439. Curtis Granderson had the second most putouts, but his 346 came nowhere near Jones’s. Jones also had seven assists, which were third best amongst center fielders.
Hardy had one of the best fielding years ever as an Oriole. He led all shortstops in putouts with 244 and assists with 529, and his .992 fielding percentage led the league as well. Overall, Hardy made only six errors in 779 total chances.
Baltimore had two Gold Glove winners during the 2011 season. Wieters and Nick Markakis earned their hardware after great years in the field. Had Markakis played a full season this year, there is a good chance he would have been the fourth Oriole to win a Gold Glove in 2012.
The strong showing indicates that the O’s have plenty to look forward to next year.
by Andy Mindzak