Orioles win three Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, tied for most in MLB in 2013

Earlier tonight Rawlings announced that three Orioles - shortstop J.J. Hardy, center fielder Adam Jones and third baseman Manny Machado - have been named this year’s American League Gold Glove Award recipients for defensive excellence at their respective positions. The Orioles and Kansas City Royals led the American League with three award winners each in 2013. This marks the second straight year the Orioles have had three players receive Gold Glove awards. It is the first career Gold Glove Award for Machado, the second for Hardy (also 2012) and third for Jones (also 2009 and 2012). Jones and Hardy are the first set of AL teammates to win in back-to-back years since Adrian Beltre and Ichiro Suzuki for Seattle in 2007-08.

Machado won his first career Gold Glove after leading all AL third basemen in fielding percentage (.973), assists (355 - most among AL third baseman since Brandon Inge’s 398 in 2006), double plays turned (42) and range factor per game (3.02). He also finished 2nd in putouts (116). Machado’s 32 Total Zone Runs (the number of runs above or below average the player was worth based on the number of plays made) was the highest total for any defender in the majors in 2013 and tied for the 12th best season of all-time. It was also the best defensive season by an American League infielder since Mark Belanger’s 35 in 1975. Machado posted 4.4 Defensive Wins Above Replacement, pacing all American League defenders (third-highest total in the majors). His 4.4 DWAR is tied for the 8th-highest single-season total of all-time for any position (tied for 3rd in club history: Belanger 4.9 in 1975, Brooks Robinson 4.5 in 1968, and Belanger 4.4 in 1968). He is the first O’s third baseman to win the award since Robinson in 1975.

Hardy’s second career Gold Glove makes him the third shortstop in O’s history to win the award in consecutive years, joining Cal Ripken, Jr. (1991-92) and Belanger (six straight, 1973-78). In 2013, Hardy led all AL shortstops in games (159) and double players turned (108) and also ranked in the top 4 in assists (2nd - 403), putouts (3rd - 230), total zone runs (3rd - 4) and fielding percentage (4th - .981). Hardy joins Derek Jeter (5), Jimmy Rollins (4), Alex Rodriguez (2) and Troy Tulowitzki (2) as active players with multiple Glove Gloves as a shortstop.

Jones wins his third career Gold Glove Award after leading AL centerfielders in games (156), assists (11) and putouts (352) and ranking third in fielding percentage (.995). It is the third time in the last four seasons he has led AL centerfielders in putouts. He joins Paul Blair (seven straight, 1969-75) as the only O’s outfielder to receive a Gold Glove in consecutive seasons.

In total, six Orioles were finalists for the award at their respective positions (also catcher Matt Wieters, first baseman Chris Davis and right fielder Nick Markakis). The awards come on the heels of a season in which the Orioles set major league team defensive records with 54 errors, a .991 fielding percentage, and 119 errorless games.

The O’s are the first AL team since the 2002-03 Mariners to win at least three Gold Gloves in consecutive seasons (Hardy, Jones and Wieters won in 2012). 2013 marks the 19th time the Orioles have had multiple Gold Glove winners in the same season, and their second consecutive season with three recipients (Hardy, Jones and Wieters won in 2012). It is the 10th time in club history the Orioles have had at least three players win a Gold Glove in the same season (also 2012, 1998, ‘76, ‘75, ‘74, ‘73, ‘71, ‘70 and ‘69).

Seventeen different Orioles players have earned a total of 67 Gold Gloves since the award was created in 1957, the second-highest total for any team (St. Louis - 84) and the most in the American League. The New York Yankees have 64 Gold Gloves in franchise history and the next closest team, the Cincinnati Reds, have won 53 Gold Glove Awards.