Rangers Gallo, Kiner-Falefa announced as winners of 2020 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in American League

Sep 12, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Joey Gallo (13) catches the fly out hit by Oakland Athletics right fielder Stephen Piscotty (not shown) during the x inning of a baseball game at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The following is a press release from the Texas Rangers:

Arlington, Texas — Texas Rangers rightfielder Joey Gallo and third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa have been selected as winners of 2020 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for the American League at their respective positions in an announcement this evening by the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company on ESPN.

The Rawlings Gold Gloves are presented for defensive excellence each year. Due to the shortened season in 2020 and the regional structure to the regular season schedule, winners for this year were determined using the SABR Defensive Index, a statistical measurement which combines several different metrics. The winners have previously been selected using a combination of voting by team coaching staffs as well as the SABR Defensive Index.

This year marks the first time for any Texas player to win the award since 2016, when Adrián Beltré (3B) and Mitch Moreland (1B) were both selected. This is the 10th time for the Rangers to have multiple winners in a single season, and just the second time to have multiple winners without one of the two selections being either a pitcher or catcher (also 2016). With the addition of Gallo and Kiner-Falefa, the Rangers have now had 14 different players win a Gold Glove Award in team history.

Gallo is a first-time winner and just the third outfielder selected in Rangers history, joining Juan Beniquez (1977) and Gary Pettis (1990). Gallo registered 12 total runs saved in 53 starts in right field according to Baseball Info Solutions (BIS), the highest figure for any rightfielder in MLB, one better than the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts (11). It was also the second-highest total overall in the Majors in 2020, trailing only Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado (15).

Gallo led qualified MLB rightfielders with an Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) of 6.1, good for the 4th-highest mark in that category overall behind only Arenado (8.5), Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier (7.7) and San Diego’s Trent Grisham (7.5). It was the highest UZR achieved by a Texas outfielder since Leonys Martín posted an 11.5 UZR in 2014. According to Statcast, Gallo’s 3 Outs Above Average (OAA) this season placed him in a tie with Chicago-AL’s Adam Engel and Pittsburgh’s Gregory Polanco for 2nd-most among MLB rightfielders, trailing only Betts (6) in that measure. Gallo’s 3 outfield assists were T9th-most in the A.L.

Kiner-Falefa made 57 total starts at third base (42) and shortstop (15) in 2020, combining for an overall .969 (5 E/159 TC) fielding percentage. According to Baseball Info Solutions (BIS), he finished with the 3rd-best total runs saved figure in MLB, trailing only Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado (15) as well as Gallo (12). His 8 defensive runs saved (DRS) at third base ranked second to only Arenado (15) by the BIS calculations. According to Statcast, his 4 OOA also ranked second to Arenado (7) at the position last season.

Kiner-Falefa is the third different Ranger to win a Gold Glove at third base, joining Buddy Bell (6 times: 1979-84) and Adrian Beltre (3 times: 2011-2012, 2016). He is just the third native Hawaiian to win a Gold Glove, joining outfielder Shane Victorino (4 total: 3 in N.L., one in A.L.) and the second baseman Kolten Wong (N.L. winner in 2019 and 2020).