Brandon Crawford captured the fourth Gold Glove of his career Sunday, the second major honor for his stellar play for the Giants during their resurgent 2021 season.
Crawford beat out fellow finalists Francisco Lindor of the Mets and Kevin Newman of the Pirates for the honor as the best defensive shortstop in the National League. Midway through the season, the 34-year-old Crawford was also recognized as an All-Star, and while he isn’t likely to be named the NL’s Most Valuable Player, he will surely field some votes when that award is announced Nov. 18.
He’s also a finalist to be the NL’s Silver Slugger at short, which will be announced Thursday.
After experiencing a decline since his last All-Star appearance, Crawford shined for the 107-win Giants and the organization rewarded him midway through the season with a two-year extension to stay in San Francisco.
Advanced metrics may have preferred Lindor or Newman to Crawford, who graded out below average in some defensive measures. But the eye test, which many players and coaches rely upon for voting on these awards, showed enough to lead voters to believe Crawford had returned to form.
He ranked fifth in the NL in putouts (168) and third in assists (340) and fielding percentage (.983).
Fellow Giant Mike Yastzemski was also a finalist for the award in right field but lost out to Atlanta’s Adam Duvall.
A’s Chapman and Muprhy earn hardware, too
A’s third baseman Matt Chapman received the third Gold Glove Award of his five-year career Sunday evening while teammate Sean Murphy received his first.
Chapman won Gold Gloves in 2018 and 2019 before missing out in 2020’s shortened season, which ended in hip surgery for him. He also won the Platinum Glove in each of those seasons, awarded to the league’s best overall defender.
Chapman led Major League third basemen in 2021 with a .987 fielding percentage, ranked first in total chances (446) and putouts (166), ranked second in double plays (38), and was fourth in assists (274).
Murphy is the first catcher in A’s history to win a Gold Glove. He was tied for third among MLB catchers in defensive runs saved (10) and ranked fourth among AL catchers in ERA (3.99).
Teammate Matt Olson was beaten out in his bid for a third career Glove by Houston’s Yuli Gurriel.