While the Philadelphia Phillies play on through October, most teams in the MLB have already wound down their 2023 season. As a sure sign that the offseason is approaching, the 2023 Rawlings Baseball Gold Glove Award finalists were announced on Wednesday.
To the delight of fans, four Phillies are among the finalists, including second baseman Bryson Stott, catcher J.T. Realmuto and pitching tandem Taijuan Walker and Zack Wheeler.
The annual Gold Glove Awards are presented to one player at each position in both the American and National Leagues. Per the Rawlings website, the award "represents overall fielding excellence, and it is not an award based solely on fielding metrics and statistics, nor does it factor in offensive production."
The 2023 Gold Glove Award winners will be announced on Nov. 5.
Bryson Stott, 2B
Other finalists: Nico Hoerner (CHC), Ha-Seong Kim (SDP)
Bryson Stott solidified himself as the Phillies' second baseman of the future with a phenomenal second major league season, with his bat and his glove.
Playing in 151 games this season, the 26-year-old spent 1,294 1/3 innings patrolling the right side of the infield for the Fightins, the second-most innings played by a National League second baseman. He only committed five errors all year, making 235 putouts and assisting on 362 others.
Stott finished the year with the highest Defensive rating (11.3) among qualified NL second basemen, per FanGraphs. While his seven Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) was only the third highest among that group, his 17 Outs Above Average (OAA) was by far the best mark.
Stott will be looking to win his first Gold Glove. Even if he doesn't take home the hardware this year, there'll be plenty of opportunities in the future, and we'll be seeing many more plays like this:
J.T. Realmuto, C
Other finalists: Patrick Bailey (SFG), Gabriel Moreno (ARI)
This one comes as no surprise, as J.T. Realmuto continued his stellar play behind the plate for the Phillies. The 32-year-old is looking to win his second straight Gold Glove and his third overall. He previously took home the award in 2019 and again last year.
Realmuto had the most innings caught in the National League this season, with 1,142 and made the fewest errors among qualified catchers with two, for a .998 fielding percentage.
The three-time All-Star was also among NL leaders in Statcast's Blocks Above Average metric, finishing third with 12 BAA. And as we've seen in these playoffs, his elite pop time of 1.84 seconds and average arm strength of 83.1 mph has shut down the Diamondbacks' running game.
Here's a gem of a throw from earlier this season, connecting with his Gold Glove finalist teammate Stott:
Taijuan Walker, P
Other finalists: Jesús Luzardo (MIA), Zack Wheeler (PHI)
At 31, Taijuan Walker has never won a Gold Glove before, despite always fielding his position cleanly. He didn't commit a single error in a career-high 172 2/3 innings on the mound this year and has only ever committed 14 in his more than 1,000 innings in the majors.
In the first year of his four-year deal with the Phillies, Walker finished the season with an impressive five DRS, and while his competition for the award Jesús Luzardo had seven DRS, the Miami starter also committed three errors.
Zack Wheeler, P
Other finalists: Jesús Luzardo (MIA), Taijuan Walker (PHI)
Ace Zack Wheeler find himself a finalist for the second time in his career. The 33-year-old was a finalist in 2021, when he made only two errors in 213 1/3 innings.
This year, he threw 192 innings and committed only one error, making 16 putouts and 15 assists for a fielding percentage of .969. Despite having a lower DRS of four than both Luzardo and his teammate Walker, he still has a great shot at taking home the hardware.