CM – Pirate catcher Jacob Stallings receives the NL Gold Glove Award for outstanding defense

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have defended Jacob Stallings as the greatest honorable defensive catcher in baseball deserved of the game.

When the winners of the NL Gold Glove were announced on ESPN on Sunday evening, the Rawlings belonged to Stallings.

Stallings was in elite company with its fellow finalists. He ousted nine-time gold glove winner Yadier Molina from the St. Louis Cardinals and 2019 gold glove winner J.T. Philadelphia Phillies Realmuto.

« It’s really cool, » Stallings told ESPN. “The guys in the National League, it was a pretty star-studded list. I don’t know if I feel worthy to be in the same sentence with these guys but to be elected by the coaches … I wasn’t sure I would get enough votes but I couldn’t be happier. It really is a dream come true. « 

It was the first gold glove for Stallings, a 2020 finalist who won all major league catchers in the defensive runs with Save (21) and Pitch- Led the block rate (95.5%) and demonstrated his reputation as an elite blocker by not allowing a pass ball in 892 innings.

« If there’s one constant it’s Jacob Stallings, and he’s improving just keep going, « said Pirates manager Derek Shelton in early September. “He should win. It’s statistically proven. ”

According to Rawlings, Gold Glove finalists and winners are selected by the managers of all 30 MLB teams and up to six of the coaches on each team based on the SABR Defensive Index in their league. You are not allowed to vote for players from their own team.

Stallings is the first Pirates player to win a Gold Glove since left-field player Corey Dickerson in 2018. Tony Pena won three straight wins from 1983-85, and Mike LaValliere won in 1987.

Stallings was one of three Pirates to be Gold Glove finalists, but neither shortstop Kevin Newman nor midfielder Bryan Reynolds took home the award. The San Francisco Giants’ shortstop Brandon Crawford won his fourth Gold Glove, surpassing Newman and Francisco Lindor of the New York Mets. St. Louis Cardinals midfielder Harrison Bader beat Reynolds and Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, considered the Pirates’ best defender, missed the innings minimum after playing the first two Missed months with a left hand injury and failed to qualify.

It was a long road for the 31-year-old Stallings, who joined in July 2016 and only made 125 career starts in the 2021 season. Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington credits Stallings for constantly working on his craft to become a great defensive catcher.

« So much of improving your defensive and being a great defender is simply being willing to work on it and not just working on it in the time spent, but a willingness to be open-minded about how to work on it, how to exercise, what information to use and what not to try new things, ”Cherington said in October. “’Stalls’ does it consistently. Not only is he proud of it, but he’s ready to challenge himself to get better, invest the time, and when you do that as a player with that specific skill, the defensive skill, we see that pretty consistently Improvements occur. ”

Kevin Gorman is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or on Twitter.

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