The Gold Gloves were announced tonight on ESPN with the award show starting at 7:30 PM Eastern time. The Arizona Diamondbacks had three finalists for the Gold Glove, and two of them took home the coveted award for their defensive excellence. The first was first baseman Christian Walker.
Walker pretty much had the award on lockdown. Since his breakout 2019 campaign, he has established himself as arguably the best defensive first baseman in the league. This past year, he had +9 defensive runs saved and +11 outs above average. Although Walker was second in DRS, no other first baseman was in the same zip code in OAA. The second most was Anthony Rizzo in MLB at +7, and the second most in the NL was Garrett Cooper at +4.
While Walker had the Gold Glove on lockdown from the start, Gabriel Moreno had some competition. While Moreno led all catchers in defensive runs saved at +20, he was a below average framer at -3.9 runs. He was up against NL West rival catcher Patrick Bailey, who had an impressive +13 DRS and +17.4 framing runs in less than 800 innings caught. But Moreno took home the award regardless.
The third finalist of the night was Alek Thomas, who sadly lost out to Brenton Doyle for the Gold Glove in center field. Thomas was more than deserving of the nomination with +5 DRS and +5 OAA in center field. Unfortunately, Doyel posted some insane defensive numbers, including +19 DRS and +16 OAA. Still, Thomas definitely has the potential to compete for one next year.
Both Walker and Moreno were deserving of their awards, especially Walker. It will be fun watching these two defend their positions with grace in 2024 and beyond. Walker has been a tremendous waiver find by the Diamondbacks, and Moreno was just a rookie this season who was acquired for Daulton Varsho, so it’s nice to see two guys the D-Backs basically stole take home noteworthy awards.