Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier wins Gold Glove for second straight season


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The 2016 American League and National League Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners were announced tonight on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight with Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier claiming his second consecutive Gold Glove Award and the seventh in franchise history. Kiermaier won the award over finalists Kevin Pillar (Toronto Blue Jays) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (Boston Red Sox).

Rawlings Gold Glove Award voting consists of two components: 75 percent of the vote comes from managers and coaches, who may not vote for a player on their own team, and 25 percent comes from statistical analysis in collaboration with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

Kiermaier, 26, joins third baseman Evan Longoria (2009, 2010) as the only Rays to win multiple Gold Glove Awards. Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (2012), left fielder Carl Crawford (2010) and first baseman Carlos Peña (2008) have also won Gold Glove Awards in franchise history.

"KK continues to be the best defensive player in the game," Rays Manager Kevin Cash said. "Watching him defend his position every night is a privilege for all of us. And the scary thing is, he keeps finding ways to get better."

The Rays 31st-round selection in the 2010 June Draft, Kiermaier led major league center fielders with 25 Defensive Runs Saved despite missing 48 games after sustaining two fractures in his left hand on a diving catch attempt in late-May. Defensive Runs Saved attempts to calculate how many runs a player saved or cost his team in the field compared to the average player at his position. Kiermaier’s 25 DRS ranked second in the American League behind Boston’s Mookie Betts (32), despite playing 509.1 fewer innings. Since 2000, only two players have played in fewer games at their position than Kiermaier (104) and won a Gold Glove: Texas Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez (87) in 2000 and Minnesota Twins center fielder Torii Hunter (93) in 2005.

Kiermaier returned from the disabled list for the Rays first game after the All-Star break. In the second half, his seven outfield assists tied Jake Marisnick (Houston Astros) for most among AL center fielders, and his 175 putouts ranked second to Leonys Martin (192) of the Seattle Mariners.

Kiermaier is the first AL center fielder since the awards were first presented in 1957 to claim the Gold Glove in each of his first two full seasons in the majors. The only other AL outfielder to do that was Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki in 2001-02.

Kiermaier is one of eight players to win a Gold Glove after being drafted in the 30th round or later and the sixth of those to win it more than once, joining first baseman Keith Hernandez (11 Gold Gloves, 42nd round, 1977), pitchers Kenny Rogers (five, 39th round, 1982) and Mark Buehrle (four, 38th round, 1998), second baseman Orlando Hudson (four, 43rd round, 1997) and catcher Brad Ausmus (three, 48th round, 1987).

Fan voting for the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award begins Tuesday at 9 p.m. and ends Wednesday at 9 p.m. at rawlings.com. The Platinum Glove is given to the best defensive player in each league among the season’s Gold Glove Award winners and will be announced on Friday, November 11. Kiermaier won the American League Platinum Glove Award in 2015.