St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong was named the winner of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for National League second basemen, earning the honor for the first time in his career.
In doing so, he joined Fernando Viña as the only Cardinals second basemen to have ever won the league’s award for defensive excellence. Viba won in both 2001 and 2002.
Wong, 28, provided numerous highlight reel plays in 2019, leading N.L. second basemen in total chances (671), assists (412), defensive zone rating (.819) and defensive runs saved (14), while finishing second in double plays (103).
“Kolten’s Gold Glove selection is a well-deserved honor, and the Cardinals are extremely proud of his 2019 season,” said Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. “Kolten is continually working hard to refine his defensive skills, and he takes great pride in his performance in the field.”
Wong also enjoyed his best season at the plate, leading Cardinals qualifiers with his .285 batting mark and .361 on-base percentage, while hitting 11 homers and driving in 59 runs. During the months of July and August, Wong batted .366, second in the majors to the Astros Yuli Gurriel during that stretch. Wong also swiped a career high 24 bases in 28 attempts and led the majors with 10 bunt hits.
The Cardinals committed a Major League low 66 errors in 2019, leading all of baseball with a .989 team fielding percentage, as they set team single-season records in both categories.
“Congratulations to Kolten on winning his first Gold Glove award,” said Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt. “Kolten has spent many years working on his craft and it’s well deserved that he is being recognized as an elite defender.”
The Cardinals had a major league best six players rank among the 2019 Rawlings Gold Glove finalists that were announced on Oct. 24, with Wong, Jack Flaherty, Yadier Molina, Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong and Harrison Bader all finishing among the top three at their respective positions.
Each manager and up to six coaches on each team’s staff vote from a pool of qualified players in their League, but cannot vote for players from their own team. In 2013, Rawlings added a sabermetric component to the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, as part of its collaboration with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). The SABR Defensive Index comprises approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers and coaches’ vote continuing to carry the majority.
The Cardinals have had a total of 89 Rawlings Gold Glove selections since the award originated in 1957 – the most among all teams.
First Base: Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
Second Base: Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals
Third Base: Nolan Arenado, Colordao Rockies
Shortstop: Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks
Left Field: David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks.
Center Field: Lorenzo Cain, Milwaukee Brewers
Right Field: Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
Catcher: JT Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies
Pitcher: Zach Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks
First Base: Matt Olson, Oakland A’s
Second Base: Yolmer Sanchez, Chicago White Sox
Third Base: Matt Champman, Oakland A’s
Shortstop: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
Left Field: Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
Center Field: Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays
Right Field: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
Catcher: Roberto Perez, Cleveland Indians
Pitcher: Mike Leake, Seattle Mariners