The Tampa Bay Rays postseason accolades continued Thursday, as three players were named as finalists at their positions for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Two Rays outfielders are finalists, as Randy Arozarena is part of the final three in left field and Kevin Kiermaier is a finalist in center, while Joey Wendle continues his strong 2021 by being named a finalist at third base.
This year’s Gold Glove nomination is Kiermaier’s fourth, and he has won the award each of the three previous times he has been nominated (2015, 2016, 2019). According to Fangraphs, the 31-year-old finished third in defensive runs saved among all American League center fielders with at least 500 innings played at the position with 13 (behind Kansas City’s Michael A. Taylor with 19 and Boston’s Enrique Hernandez‘s 14), and second in UZR/150 with 12.1 (behind Taylor’s 13.9). He is joined by Taylor and Myles Straw of the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians as a finalist in center field.
Arozarena gets the nod for the first time in his career, having played left field in 81 of his 141 games. Despite having just 612 innings at the position, no one had more defensive runs saved in left than the 26-year-old, with 7. He was also second in UZR/150 with 4.4 (trailing only Kansas City’s Andrew Benintendi, with a 5.5 UZR/150 in 500 more innings played). Benintendi and Toronto’s Lourdes Gurriel Jr. are the other two finalists in left field.
Like Arozarena, Wendle is also a first-time finalist for the award. He finished tied for seventh in defensive runs saved with just 2 (Oakland’s Matt Chapman and Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez led the league with 10, and only one other third baseman with at least 500 innings had more than 4) and was not in the top 10 in the league in UZR/150, but he did lead the American League third basemen in Fangraphs’ Revised Zone Rating, or RZR, which measures “the proportion of balls hit in a fielder’s zone that are successfully converted into an out.” Chapman and Ramirez are the other two finalists in the category.
The winners will be revealed November 7 on ESPN.