Could Red Sox outfielders make history by winning all 3 Gold Gloves?
The Killer B's have been an absolute pleasure to watch defensively this season.
The latest example of the trios' extraordinary defensive skills came Sunday night against the Houston Astros when Benintendi threw out the potential game-tying run at the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning.
It was the fifth outfield assist for Benintendi this season and the second runner he's thrown out at the plate over the last week.
While there's still more than half the season to play, the Killer B's have positioned themselves to make history with the leather.
Since Major League Baseball began handing out the Gold Glove, no team in history has ever swept the award in the outfield, though nine different franchises have had two outfielders claim the award during the same season. The Red Sox have a chance to change that this year.
|1959||Giants||Jackie Brandt/Willie Mays|
|1968||Red Sox||Reggie Smith/Carl Yastrzemski|
|1978||Red Sox||Dwight Evans/Fred Lynn|
|1979||Red Sox||Dwight Evans/Fred Lynn|
|1981||Athletics||Rickey Henderson/Dwayne Murphy|
|1990||Pirates||Barry Bonds/Andy Van Slyke|
|1991||Pirates||Barry Bonds/Andy Van Slyke|
|1992||Pirates||Barry Bonds/Andy Van Slyke|
|1993||Expos||Marquis Grissom/Larry Walker|
|1994||Giants||Barry Bonds/Darren Lewis|
|1996||Mariners||Jay Buhner/Ken Griffey Jr.|
|2001||Mariners||Mike Cameron/Ichiro Suzuki|
|2003||Mariners||Mike Cameron/Ichiro Suzuki|
|2007||Braves||Jeff Francoeur/Andruw Jones|
|2010||Mariners||Franklin Gutierrez/Ichiro Suzuki|
|2011||Dodgers||Matt Kemp/Andre Ethier|
|2014||Orioles||Adam Jones/Nick Markakis|
The league used to hand out the Gold Glove to the three best defensive players regardless of outfield position, but changed the criteria in 2011, and now one Gold Glove goes to a right fielder, left fielder, and center fielder. That change further helps the Red Sox chances of making history.
Betts leads the majors with 15 defensive runs saved among outfielders and shouldn't have much competition repeating as the Gold Glove winner. Max Kepler, Aaron Judge, and Kole Calhoun are Betts' main adversaries, though the Red Sox outfielder also leads all three in UZR, while having the same amount of assists.
Jackie Bradley Jr.
Equipped with a cannon for an arm and an ability to handle Fenway Park's challenging dimensions with extreme ease, Bradley Jr. is making a strong case for his first Gold Glove. The competition is steep, but a long-term injury to two-time winner Kevin Kiermaier opens the door for the field. Byron Buxton and Kevin Pillar are likely Bradley Jr.'s biggest competition.
In just his first full season in the majors, Benintendi has had few growing pains playing in front of the Green Monster. A natural center fielder, the 22-year-old possesses a strong arm and plenty of range. He ranks second among AL right fielders in DRS and assists, though his UZR sees him in fourth. Reigning Gold Glove winner Brett Gardner and Alex Gordon should be considered Benintendi's main challengers.