Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and right fielder Jason Heyward won Gold Glove Awards on Tuesday, making the Cardinals one of two National League teams with multiple winners of the defensive honor. Molina (2008-15) joined Ozzie Smith (1982-92) and Bob Gibson (1965-73) as the only players in franchise history to win Gold Glove honors in at least eight consecutive seasons. He ranks only behind Ivan Rodriguez (13) and Johnny Bench (10) for most Gold Glove Awards won by a catcher.
Heyward adds a third Gold Glove Award to his collection, joining those he won in 2012 and ’14 with the Braves. Now a free agent, Heyward is one of just four Cardinals outfielders to take home this defensive award. Previous winners include Curt Flood (1963-69), Willie McGee (1986) and Jim Edmonds (2000-06).
Molina led all NL catchers with 1,149 2/3 innings. He ranked third in the league with seven Defensive Runs Saved, third with a Defensive WAR of 1.6, and second among qualifying catchers with a caught stealing percentage of 41.3.
Heyward, who started 136 of his 144 games in right field, led all NL right fielders with a 14 Defensive WAR and 22 Defensive Runs Saved. He tallied nine assists and threw out three runners at home, including two over the final month of the season.
Three Kansas City Royals – shortstop Alcides Escobar, first baseman Eric Hosmer and catcher Salvador Perez – have won American League Gold Glove Awards for the 2015 season. The three Gold Glove winners are tied for the most in a single year in club history, with Hosmer and Perez being honored for the third-straight season, while Escobar earned his first. The awards were voted on by American League managers and coaches and honor the best individual fielding performances at each position in the American and National Leagues. Outfielder Alex Gordon was also named a finalist for the award.
Escobar picked up his first Gold Glove Award, becoming the first Royals shortstop to receive the honor. He led American League shortstops with a .832 zone rating, while he was third in fielding percentage (.980) and third in range factor per game (4.28). He committed just 13 errors in 1306.2 innings, which were tied for second-fewest among the league’s shortstops that played at least 1,200 innings at the position in 2015. The 28-year-old was a finalist for a Gold Glove each of the previous two seasons and since the start of 2013 he’s tied for the most games (468), ranks second in assists (1,252), second in zone rating (.814) and third in fielding percentage (.978) among A.L. shortstops.
Hosmer earned his third-straight Gold Glove, becoming the first American League first sacker to win in three consecutive years since Rafael Palmeiro (1997-99). He is the only Royals first baseman to be honored with a Gold Glove. The 26-year-old tied for the American League lead in fielding percentage (.997), committing just four errors in 1,366 chances during the regular season. He also led A.L. first basemen in total chances (1,366), putouts (1,261), assists (101) and double plays (121).
Perez earned his third-straight Gold Glove honor, becoming the first A.L. backstop to win in three consecutive seasons since Joe Mauer (2008-10). He and Bob Boone (1989) are the only Royals catchers to win the award. Salvy led A.L. catchers in games played (139) for the second consecutive season, while his 422 games behind the plate since the start of 2013 are the most in the Majors and 50 more than St. Louis’ Yadier Molina (372), who ranks second in that span. In 2015, Perez also led the A.L. in total chances (1,068), assists (90) and pickoffs by a catcher (four). He also tied for third, throwing out 24 would-be basestealers, with his total over the last three seasons (70) ranking second in the Major Leagues.