Two Royals stalwarts won Gold Glove awards Sunday night.
Alex Gordon won as the American League’s top left fielder. Teammate Salvador Perez won as the AL’s top catcher. It’s Gordon’s sixth Gold Glove and Perez’s fifth.
The final results were unveiled during a special edition of Baseball Tonight on ESPN Sunday evening.
“I’m honored to win the Rawlings Gold Glove this year, and excited to share this award with Salvy,” Gordon said in a statement released by the Royals. “... I’m happy to share this award with my coaches, teammates and the Royals.”
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The Royals are the only AL team to win at least one Gold Glove in each of the past eight years.
Gordon, 34, compiled a 1.0 defensive WAR (wins above replacement) in 2018, via Baseball Reference, his best number in the category since 2014. Gordon won four straight Gold Gloves from 2011-14.
Gordon beat out Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner and Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi, the other two finalists in the category. Gordon had nine assists and committed only two errors.
Perez, 28, started 96 games behind the plate this year, representing his fewest since 2012, when he started just 74. He became just the seventh major-leaguer in history to commit no errors in 96 starts or more since 1913.
He threw out 24 base-stealers in 51 opportunities, and had the best stolen-base percentage against in club history at 52.9 percent, breaking Darrell Porter’s 56.1 percent in 1979. With three pickoffs this season, Perez now has an MLB-best 22 since 2011.
Just seven catchers have won five or more Gold Gloves: Perez joins Iván Rodríguez (13), Johnny Bench (10), Yadier Molina (9), Bob Boone (7), Jim Sundberg (6) and Bill Freehan (5).
Other finalists for this year’s AL Gold Glove at catcher were Cleveland’s Yan Gomes and Houston’s Martin Maldonado.
“I want to give thanks to God for blessing me every day, my family and my coach Pedro Grifol,” Perez said in a statement. “They all have been a huge part of my success and accomplishments in my career. Without their help and support, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.”