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Four Royals named Gold Glove finalists, Nicky Lopez snubbed

Salvy, Whit, Benny, and Michael Taylor earn some plaudits.

Kansas City Royals v. Cleveland Indians Photo by Joe Sargent/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Salvador Pérez, Whit Merrifield, Andrew Benintendi, and Michael A. Taylor were the four Royals named Gold Glove finalists by the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company today. However, Nicky Lopez was not listed as a finalist despite ranking well in defensive metrics at shortstop.

Salvador Pérez is a finalist at catcher with Oakland’s Sean Murphy and Houston’s Martín Maldonado. Salvy led all American League catchers with at least 500 innings caught in caught stealing percentage, nailing 44 percent of all would-be basestealers. But he fares poorly among other metrics, such as Defensive Runs Above Average and Defensive Runs Saved and he was dead last among catchers in the league in Framing Runs.

If he wins, Salvy could take home his sixth Gold Glove, which would tie Alex Gordon for second-most in club history behind only Alex Gordon and Frank White (eight each). Only five catchers in MLB history have more Gold Gloves than Salvy - Ivan Rodriguez, Johnny Bench, Yadier Molina, Bob Boone, and Jim Sundberg.

Whit Merrifield has a chance to win his first Gold Glove, and would become the first Royals second baseman to win the award since Mark Grudzielanek in 2006. Marcus Semien of Toronto and David Fletcher of Los Angeles were also named finalists. Whit led all second basemen in Defensive Runs Saved, earning him the Fielding Bible Award. He was just behind Semien in Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Above Average.

Andrew Benintendi could also win his first Gold Glove after being named a finalist in left field. Benny tied for the lead among all American League left fielders in Defensive Runs Saved. He will be up against Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena and Toronto’s Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. The Royals have won four consecutive Gold Gloves in left field - all by Alex Gordon.

Michael Taylor could also win his first Gold Glove after finishing second among all players in Defensive Saved. He led all outfielders in Ultimate Zone Rating and led all centerfielders in Defensive Runs Above Average. He also won a Fielding Bible Award and could become the first Royals centerfielder to win a Gold Glove since Willie Wilson in 1980 (although Wilson spent more time in left field that year). His performance could also put him in the running for a Platinum Award for the top defender at any position, an award Alex Gordon brought home twice (2014 and 2020).

A notable omission was Nicky Lopez, who was not among the three finalists at shortstop, despite leading the position in Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Above Average. Carlos Correa of Houston, J.P. Crawford of Seattle, and Andrelton Simmons of Minnesota were the finalists. Lopez trailed each of them in Defensive Runs Saved.

Here is how the awards are determined:

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners are selected by the managers of the 30 MLB teams and up to six of each team’s respective coaches. Each manager and coach vote from a pool of qualified players in their League and cannot vote for players from their own team. In 2013, Rawlings added a sabermetric component to the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, as part of its collaboration with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). The SABR Defensive Index™ (SDI) comprises approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers and coaches’ vote continuing to carry the majority.

The winners will be announced on ESPN on November 7 at 7:30 CT.

American League

Pitcher: José Berríos (MIN/TOR), Zack Greinke (HOU), Dallas Keuchel (CHW)

Catcher - Martín Maldonado (HOU), Sean Murphy (OAK), Salvador Pérez (KCR)

First base - Yuli Gurriel (HOU), Matt Olson (OAK), Jared Walsh (LAA)

Second base - David Fletcher (LAA), Whit Merrifield (KCR), Marcus Semien (TOR)

Third base - Matt Chapman (OAK), José Ramírez (CLE), Joey Wendle (TBR)

Shortstop - Carlos Correa (HOU), J.P. Crawford (SEA), Andrelton Simmons (MIN)

Left field - Randy Arozarena (TBR), Andrew Benintendi (KCR), Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. (TOR)

Center field - Kevin Kiermaier (TBR), Myles Straw (CLE), Michael A. Taylor (KCR)

Right field - Joey Gallo (NYY), Hunter Renfroe (BOS), Kyle Tucker (HOU)

National League

Pitcher: Zach Davies (CHC), Max Fried (ATL), Zach Wheeler (PHI)

Catcher: Yadier Molina (STL), J.T. Realmuto (PHI), Jacob Stallings (PIT)

First base - Freddie Freeman (ATL), Max Muncy (LAD), Paul Goldschmidt (STL)

Second base - Ozzie Albies (ATL), Tommy Edman (STL), Kolten Wong (MIL)

Third base - Nolan Arenado (STL), Manny Machado (SDP), Ryan McMahon (COL)

Shortstop - Brandon Crawford (SFG), Francisco Lindor (NYM), Kevin Newman (PIT)

Left field - Tyler O’Neill (STL), David Peralta (ARI), A.J. Pollock (LAD)

Center field - Harrison Bader (STL), Bryan Reynolds (PIT), Jacke Bradley, Jr. (MIL)

Right field - Mookie Betts (LAD), Adam Duvall (MIA/ATL), Mike Yastrzemski (SFG)