There are plenty of deserving candidates among the finalists for the 2018 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. Let's take a look at the fielding merits of the finalists, and some potential historic accomplishments that are on the board. The winners will be announced on Nov. 4 (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET) on the "2018 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards Presented by Dick's Sporting Goods" show.
Reigning AL Gold Glove winner Marcus Stroman is not a nominee. But Dallas Keuchel, who won the three previous AL Gold Gloves before Stroman in 2017, is. Keuchel had a 55 percent ground ball rate this season, the highest among qualified starters -- and he allowed just a .212 BA on ground balls. His 27 assists were tied for second most among AL pitchers.
Neither of the other two nominees has ever won a Gold Glove: Corey Kluber threw 215 innings this season without an error. That was the most innings pitched without an error this season.
Martin Maldonado snapped Salvador Perez's streak of four straight Gold Gloves last season. Both are nominated this year. Maldonado had a 45.5 percent caught stealing rate, second highest in the majors. The catcher with a higher rate? Perez at 46.0 percent.
The Indians' Yan Gomes also is nominated. He handled their pitching staff well all year and they went on to become the first team in MLB history with four pitchers with 200 strikeouts. His strikes looking rate above average -- a framing metric -- was above MLB average.
Last year's winner, Eric Hosmer, is now in the National League, and Mitch Moreland is the only one of the three nominees who has won a Gold Glove. Justin Smoak had just one error this season, the fewest as a first baseman of any player with at least 50 games played at the position. Matt Olson had 14 DRS at the position, the most among first basemen in the majors.
Yet another position where the reigning winner has switched leagues -- Brian Dozier ended the season in the NL. Ian Kinsler, who won a Gold Glove in 2016, had 10 DRS, tied for most in the AL at second base with Rougned Odor. Jed Lowrie and Odor each had 336 assists, tied for the most at second base in the AL.
Will Andrelton Simmons continue to add to his trophy chest? The three-time Gold Glove winner had 21 DRS, tied for the most at the position with Nick Ahmed -- who's in the NL. Simmons also led shortstops in double plays turned and putouts. Marcus Semien led shortstops in assists. Francisco Lindor had 14 DRS, second most in the AL at shortstop.
Matt Chapman is one of four A's nominees in the infield -- one each at 1B, 2B, 3B and SS. The Athletics have never had multiple infielder Gold Glove winners in a single season, let alone four. Chapman had 29 DRS, 19 more than any other player in the majors at the position. Alex Bregman was fifth in the league in assists, and Jose Ramirez was fifth in putouts.
Five-time Gold Glove winner Alex Gordon had 18 DRS, the most in the majors in left. He was second and tied for second, respectively, in the AL in putouts and assists. Brett Gardner won a Gold Glove in 2016. Andrew Benintendi has never won one -- but he was tied for the most assists in left field this season with Kyle Schwarber.
Adam Engel robbing home runs felt like a frequent occurrence by the end of the season. He had three, the most of any outfielder. He also had 17 outs above average according to Statcast, the most in the AL. Mike Trout -- who has never won a Gold Glove -- had more double plays than any other center fielder this season. And Jackie Bradley Jr. was tied for the second-most double plays among AL center fielders and was tied for the most assists.
Mookie Betts has won three straight Gold Gloves and doesn't show any signs of stopping soon. He led all right fielders with 20 DRS. Aaron Judge was right behind him with 14 DRS. Kole Calhoun was tied for most double plays among right fielders.
The Red Sox have an outfield nominee at each OF position. No team has ever had three players win outfield Gold Gloves in the same year. The Red Sox have had two win it in the same year three times: in 1979 (Fred Lynn and Dwight Evans), 1978 (Lynn and Evans) and 1968 (Carl Yastrzemski and Reggie Smith).
Zack Greinke is the four-time defending NL Gold Glove winner. He threw 207⅔ innings this season and did not commit an error -- the most innings pitched with zero errors among NL pitchers. His seven DRS were tied for most among pitchers with Tanaka and Julio Teheran, who's also nominated in the NL. Clayton Richard had 38 assists, most among pitchers.
After Yadier Molina won eight straight Gold Glove Awards from 2008 through 2015, there have been two different winners at the position in the past two years: Buster Posey in 2016 and Tucker Barnhart in 2017. Posey is nominated again this year along with Manny Pina, who turned six double plays this year. Molina's eight Gold Gloves are third most at catcher all time.
Joey Votto (2011) and Anthony Rizzo (2016) have won one Gold Glove each. Votto was third in the NL in DRS among third baseman. Freddie Freeman had 12 DRS, which was third most at the position overall.
DJ LeMahieu is the only NL second base nominee who has won a Gold Glove before -- and he's won two. His 18 DRS were second most in the majors at the position. Kolten Wong's 19 DRS ranked first. Javier Baez is one of two Cubs infielder nominees, along with Rizzo at first base. The Cubs have had two infield Gold Glove winners in the same year only once: in 1968, when Ron Santo and Glenn Beckert won.
Brandon Crawford has won three straight NL shortstop Gold Gloves and is nominated again this year. He turned the second-most double plays as a shortstop and had the second-most assists. Nick Ahmed had 21 DRS, which was tied with Andrelton Simmons for the most at the position. Freddy Galvis had the second-most putouts at shortstop this season.
Ever since Nolan Arenado debuted in 2013, the NL Gold Glove has belonged to him. He won it in each of his first five seasons. The only other player to win a Gold Glove in at least his first five seasons to start a career was Ichiro Suzuki, who did so in 10 straight, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. But Arenado did not lead NL third basemen in DRS -- that belonged to Travis Shaw, with nine. Anthony Rendon had the third-most putouts among NL third basemen.
The Rockies have two infielders nominated in Arenado and LeMahieu. They've had two infielders win twice before: in 2014 and 2017, both years when Arenado and LeMahieu won.
Marcell Ozuna won last year playing left field, and this time his former teammate Christian Yelich is nominated at the position. Yelich won a Gold Glove in 2014. Corey Dickerson turned four double plays, tied for the most as a left fielder, and also was in the top three in DRS and putouts. Adam Duvall, who was traded to the Braves in late July, had the most DRS among NL left fielders with 17.
Ender Inciarte has won two straight Gold Gloves. He was tied for the most outs above average in the majors according to Statcast. Billy Hamilton led all center fielders in assists. Lorenzo Cain had a flair for the dramatic, with six five-star catches according to Statcast, the second most in the majors. He also had 20 DRS, the most among center fielders.
Cain and Yelich are both nominated. The Brewers have had two outfield Gold Glove winners in franchise history (not in the same year).
Right field rounds out the Braves' all-nominated outfield, with Nick Markakis. No team has ever had three outfielders win a Gold Glove in the same year, and the Braves have had two win only once: in 2007 (Andruw Jones and Jeff Francoeur). Markakis had the most putouts among major league right fielders. Jason Heyward has won four straight Gold Gloves and five overall. Jon Jay excelled at positioning and range -- tying for fourth-most DRS among NL right fielders.