Announced just minutes ago, Major League Baseball’s annual defensive awards are given to the best defensive player at each position for a total of 18 awards–9 for the National League and 9 for the American League. While Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, and Matt Duffy all were Gold Glove finalists, Crawford was the sole Giants player to receive this honor. The Gold Glove awards are voted by the managers and coaches of each MLB team, but they cannot vote for a player on their own team.
Crawford becomes the first San Francisco shortstop to win the award since 2006 when Omar Vizquel won his second consecutive. Crawford joins Vizquel as the only Giants shortstops to ever win a Gold Glove award.
Sep 22, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (35) catches a pop up from San Diego Padres center fielder Melvin Upton Jr. (not pictured) during the ninth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
As mentioned before, Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves had won two consecutive Gold Glove awards for shortstop in the National League, including Platinum Award for best overall defensive player in the league, leading people to believe that Crawford would always be second-best. Manager Bruce Bochy was optimistic in Crawford’s chances to win the award over Simmons as he said, “They [opposing coaches] love watching him. That’s why they voted him to the All-Star team. He’s the best. That’s not being biased, that’s a fact” (via Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area).
While Simmons had a league best fielding percentage (.988), a slightly better defensive WAR (3.5) compared to Crawford (.979; 2.9), the 28-year-old Bay Area-native led all shortstops in Defensive Index with a 16.1 score.
From diving backhands to his left, to glove-flips from his stomach to start a double play, Crawford added power at the plate to go along with his always stellar defensive play, which earned him his first All Star Game honor. Some of this plays this year were just unreal. Take a look:
Besides making it seem so free and easy, Crawford makes these plays on any given night and has proven that he is in fact the greatest shortstop in the game. Although this argument may be another story, Crawford now joins the elite company in Ozzie Smith, Barry Larkin, and Ernie Banks as National League Gold Glove winning shortstops.
As expected, Crawford’s teammates were ecstatic for their beloved shortstop:
It has been a long time coming for BCraw, but Giants fans from around the world could not be happier for a class act and dynamite shortstop.