Throughout the season, the Houston Astros have been known for their powerful hitting and surprising pitching, but one constant has kept them in games, solid fielding.
The Astros have consistently been a solid defensive team, but this year it has been reaffirmed and recognized by Rawlings. The Astros brought home the Rawlings AL Team Gold Glove Award, and it was well deserved.
Back in October it was announced the Astros had five Rawlings Gold Glove finalists, Carlos Correa (Shortstop), Yuli Gurriel (First Base), Kyle Tucker (Right Field), Martin Maldonado (Catcher) and Zack Greinke (Pitcher). Gold glove finalists are the top three players defensively at their respective positions and the player must have played in at least 108 games.
How did the Astros have the best defense in the American League?
Correa led the way defensively, as he was named the AL Platinum Glove award winner as well, after being named Gold Glove for AL shortstop. The 27-year-old led the major leagues in defensive wins above replacement (WAR) and Defensive Runs Saved.
The right-hander is known for having one of the strongest arms at shortstop allowing him to turn double plays and make plays on balls in the hole or weak ground balls that other players wouldn’t have a chance.
Gurriel won a gold glove at 1st base for the Astros as well this season, flashing the leather at a position he has worked very hard at to be the best. Gurriel has played multiple infield positions throughout his time in professional baseball, but with the amazing talent in the Astros infield he has spent all his time of late at first base and worked to become the best.
Gurriel led the American League in zone rating and assists for an Astros team that ranked first in total chances and came in second in putouts for the AL, many of which Gurriel was involved in at first base.
Maldonado had an amazing season behind the plate and as Astros fans saw in the postseason he is known for his strong arm. He threw out attempting base stealers in the playoffs helping the Astros run to the World Series and was second in the AL in caught stealing percentage at .396 and second in putouts with 1049.
Maldonado was tied for fifth in the AL in fielding percentage at .993 and fifth in assists as well with 44 and third in passed balls with seven. Greinke similarly was a wizard at his position with a 1.000 fielding percentage along with his teammate Lance McCullers Jr.
Greinke tied for sixth in assists, was second in putouts and was third in range factor in the AL. Tucker had an amazing season in right field as well, ranking second in putouts, sixth in assists and 13th in dWAR and had a much deserved finalist spot for a Gold Glove.
With all these honors and mentions for the Astros’ Gold Glove nominees and winners, the Astros still have an amazing group of fielders left with Altuve who tied for fourth in the AL in fielding percentage at .985 and third in errors with eight.
Alex Bregman, whose season was clouded by injuries, still ranked 10th in the AL in putouts with 59 and had a decent .964 fielding percentage. As a team, the Astros led the AL in fielding percentage at .988 and had the fewest errors with 69. As a whole, there is no doubt the Astros fans want to see all of their players, and infielders especially back next season.