SF Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was named a Gold Glove finalist alongside Chicago Cubs Anthony Rizzo and St. Louis Cardinals Paul Goldschmidt.
Major League Baseball announced the 2020 gold glove finalists on Thursday. While shortstop Brandon Crawford and third baseman Evan Longoria had a shot at making the cut, first baseman Brandon Belt was the only SF Giants player to earn a selection.
Belt has struggled with injuries over the past few seasons but had a resurgent performance in 2020. Carried by an incredible stretch of play through the middle of the season. He posted a career-high in every average offensive category. His .309/.425/.591 triple-slash line ranked among the best first baseman in baseball. He also posted a career-high 16.8% walk-rate and career-best 20.1% strikeout-rate.
Even as his bat has wavered though, Belt has remained one of the best defensive first basemen in baseball. However, as most fans know, the gold glove tends to focus on players with strong offensive profiles as well. Granted, Belt’s extensive injury history has not made matters any easier for him. Nevertheless, he has never previously won the award.
Rizzo and Goldschmidt were both finalists for the award last season, and Rizzo won the third gold glove of his career. Goldschmidt has also won three career gold gloves, with his last victory coming in 2017.
According to Statcast, Goldschmidt and Belt were tied as the best defensive first basemen in the National League this year recording one out above average. Rizzo, on the other hand, ranked tied for 8th at one out below average.
The SF Giants have not had a player win a gold glove since Crawford received the award in 2017. In the year of their last postseason run, 2016, Crawford, Joe Panik, and Buster Posey all received the honor. Brandon Belt has a chance to change that.