Wong’s defensive brilliance rewarded with his first Gold Glove

Kolten Wong was named a Gold Glove winner for the first time in his career on Sunday night.
AP/Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

ST. LOUIS — After several deserving campaigns, Kolten Wong was finally recognized for his outstanding defense on Sunday night, being awarded the 2019 Rawlings Gold Glove Award for National League second basemen. He becomes just the second St. Louis Cardinals second baseman to win the award, following Fernando Viña, who won it in both 2001 and 2002.

Wong, 28, provided numerous highlight-reel plays in 2019, leading NL second basemen in total chances (671), assists (412), defensive zone rating (.819) and defensive runs saved (14) while finishing second in double plays (103).

“Kolten’s Gold Glove selection is a well-deserved honor, and the Cardinals are extremely proud of his 2019 season,” stated Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.  “Kolten is continually working hard to refine his defensive skills, and he takes great pride in his performance in the field.”

Wong also enjoyed his best season at the plate, leading Cardinals qualifiers with his .285 batting average and .361 on-base percentage while hitting 11 homers and driving in 59 runs. During the months of July and August, Wong batted .366, trailing only the Astros’ Yuli Gurriel among qualifying major leaguers during that stretch. Wong also swiped a career-high 24 bases in 28 attempts and led the majors with 10 bunt hits.

The Cardinals committed a major league-low 66 errors in 2019, leading all of baseball with a .989 team fielding percentage, as they set team single-season records in both categories.

“Congratulations to Kolten on winning his first Gold Glove award,” said Cardinals manager Mike Shildt. “Kolten has spent many years working on his craft and it’s well deserved that he is being recognized as an elite defender.”

The Cardinals had a major league-best six players rank among the 2019 Rawlings Gold Glove finalists that were announced on Oct. 24, with Wong, Jack Flaherty, Yadier Molina, Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong and Harrison Bader all finishing among the top three at their respective positions.

The Cardinals have had a total of 89 Rawlings Gold Glove selections since the award originated in 1957 – the most among all teams.