For the first time in his MLB career Ke'Bryan Hayes, the best defensive third baseman in baseball, has won a Gold Glove Award
The 10 year reign of terror of Nolan Arenado is over. For the first time since 2012, someone other than Arenado has won the National League Gold Glove Award at third base. That player is Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes.
There is a strong argument to be made that Hayes should have won the award in 2022 as well. While he may have been robbed of the award last season, Hayes will still gladly take the honor this season. An honor that he 100% earned.
Hayes was responsible for +21 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and +18 Outs Above Average (OAA). Even though they both led all MLB third basemen, they were both regression from 2022, once again proving he should have won the award last season as well.
In terms of combination of offense and defense, 2023 was a career year for Hayes. Even though he missed a month with a back issue, he hit for a .271/.309/.453 slash line with a 101 wRC+ and a 105 OPS+. His isolated slugging (ISO) of .182 was the highest of his career outside of his spectacular one month in the majors in 2020, and hsi 15 home runs were a new career high. All of this led to Hayes posting a career best 4.0 WAR.
Hayes finally winning a Gold Glove Award is overdue. Since making his MLB debut in September of 2020, Hayes has been the best defensive third baseman in baseball. He leads all MLB third basemen in both DRS and OAA since he made his debut.
To be honest, this could be the first of many Gold Glove Awards for Hayes. Now that he has finally toppled Arenado for the award, Hayes could start his own run of winning the award yearly. Hayes may not win 10 in a row like Arenado did, but this should be the first of multiple awards for Hayes.
Congrats, Ke! Here's to many more!