After completing a stellar 2021 campaign, longtime SF Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford was rewarded with his fourth Gold Glove award. It was announced that he was a finalist along with Mike Yastrzemski at the end of October.
SF Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford wins fourth Gold Glove
This was his first Gold Glove since 2017. Crawford netted three consecutive Gold Gloves starting in 2015 but Nick Ahmed (2018 and 2019) and Javier Báez (2020) took home the award in recent seasons.
Nevertheless, Crawford will bring home the hardware to add to his mantle in what was arguably his most impressive season on defense. According to Baseball Savant, he was worth 15 Outs Above Average (OAA), which easily surpassed his previous career-high of 10. Similarly, he was worth six Defensive Runs Saved (DRS).
Interestingly, Francisco Lindor led all National League shortstops with 20 OAA. However, Crawford proved to be the more durable player, appearing in 138 games compared to Lindor's 125 in 2021.
Regardless of the metric you use, the Giants shortstop played elite-level defense at a premium position. That said, I do not know if the metrics can accurately capture just how good Crawford was with the glove. It seemed like he was making a highlight-reel play on a nightly basis.
His fourth Gold Glove puts him in uncommon territory within the history of the Giants franchise that dates back to 1883. Crawford is now tied with first baseman J.T. Snow for the third-most Gold Gloves won as a Giant.
Outfielders Willie Mays (first) and Barry Bonds (second) accumulated the most Gold Gloves in a Giants uniform with 12 and five, respectively.
Crawford is still in the running for one more award as well. He was selected as one of the four finalists for the Silver Slugger award at shortstop. He will face some tough competition as the other finalists include Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego Padres), Trea Turner (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Willy Adames (Milwaukee Brewers).
Unfortunately, he was not selected as a finalist for the NL MVP. Bryce Harper (Philadelphia Phillies), Juan Soto (Washington Nationals), and Tatis were announced as the three finalists. The Phillies, Nationals, and Padres all failed to make the playoffs, so it is odd that a team's overall record did not carry more weight with Crawford's case.
Despite this, the Gold Glove is a fantastic achievement for Crawford in a career that has experienced substantial success on the baseball field. He is excelling at a position that tends to get more difficult with age, but he has shown no signs of slowing down.