Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes could take home the Gold Glove, but who are the Pirates’ last five winners?
The Pittsburgh Pirates have a Gold Glove finalist this year in Ke’Bryan Hayes. The third basemen led the entire league in defensive runs saved, ranked third in outs above average (also led his position), and it would be a travesty if Hayes didn’t win the award.
Although voters have become much more analytically intelligent over the past decade, it’s still not a guarantee that he will take home the award, which is sad, given how he leads his position in nearly every meaningful category. Plus, more analytically intelligent voters don’t mean 100% accurate voting. Juan Soto is somehow a finalist despite being in the bottom 1st percentile of outs above average.
If Hayes wins the award, he’ll be the 20th Pirate to ever take it home. In total, there have been 50 Pittsburgh Pirates Gold Gloves with Roberto Clemente owning a dozen of them. The franchise has seen their fair share of good defenders taking home the award, both deservingly and undeservingly, but who is the Pirates’ last five Gold Glove winners?
Jacob Stallings won the most recent National League catcher Gold Glove. Last year, Stallings had a phenomenal year with the glove. He racked up +21 defensive runs saved, which was the most by any player in Major League Baseball. On top of that, Stallings’ framing was worth +8.8 runs, which was tied with Omar Narvaez and Jose Trevino for the third most in the sport. Overall, Stallings had a +2.2 defensive WAR.
Stallings’ competition this season included Yadier Molina and J.T. Realmuto. Molina had just +6 DRS and -2.0 framing runs, while Realmuto had +8.6 framing runs but zero DRS and a +.5 defensive WAR. Stallings was the clear-cut winner by a landslide, taking home the award and giving him arguably the biggest highlight of a career that at one point didn’t look like it was going anywhere.
Corey Dickerson’s 2018 Gold Glove was utterly out of left field, no pun intended. The Pirates had acquired Dickerson for his bat, as he was a pretty mediocre defender up until ’18. During his tenure with the Colorado Rockies and Tampa Bay Rays, Dickerson had -8 defensive runs saved, -.8 UZR/150, and -5 outs above average.
After getting traded to the Pirates, Dickerson would go on to rack up +15 defensive runs saved, post an +11.9 UZR/150, and collect +9 outs above average. Dickerson absolutely deserved the award. He ranked second in DRS behind fellow finalist Adam Duvall, had the third-best UZR/150 in the league behind Alex Gordon and Kyle Schwarber, and led the position in outs above average. Duvall had +16 DRS, an 11.4 UZR/150, and +8 outs above average. Meanwhile, the other finalist, eventual MVP winner Christian Yelich had 0 DRS, -1 OAA, and -5.4 UZR/150.
Dickerson has pretty much gone back to his pre-2018 self defensively, having -12 DRS, +1 OAA, and -4.9 UZR/150. 2018 is a strange outlier for Dickerson. It’s not often you see a guy go from below average defensively to one of the best at his position with the leather and then revert back to his career norm immediately after.