One current Nationals outfielder and one former Nationals outfielder were named Gold Glove Award finalists this afternoon, with Victor Robles and Juan Soto sharing that distinction despite no longer being teammates.
Robles is a finalist among National League center fielders, joining the Padres’ Trent Grisham and Diamondbacks’ Alek Thomas. Soto is a finalist among NL right fielders, joining the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts and the Diamondbacks’ Daulton Varsho.
Gold Glove Awards are selected via a combination of analytics and a vote among managers and coaches, all of which are submitted prior to the end of the regular season. The top three finishers at each position in each league are considered finalists, with the winners set to be announced Nov. 1, prior to Game 4 of the World Series.
This is the second time Robles has been named a finalist, coming three years after his breakthrough rookie season in 2019. He stands a good chance of winning this time, given the fact his 12 Defensive Runs Saved led all NL center fielders and ranked behind only the Royals’ Michael A. Taylor (another former teammate) and the Guardians’ Myles Straw among all major leaguers at his position.
Robles also recorded an NL-high seven outfield assists, though he was charged with six errors (also an NL-high).
Grisham, whose profile has been raised recently by his performance in the playoffs, finished with 8 Defensive Runs Saved and three outfield assists for San Diego. Thomas had 6 Defensive Runs Saved and four outfield assists in his rookie season for Arizona.
Soto was notably traded to the Padres on Aug. 2, but his selection as a Gold Glove finalist is based on his performance over the entire season, the first two-thirds of which came with the Nationals.
The metrics weren’t kind to Soto, who had minus-4 Defensive Runs Saved in right field as a member of the Nats but improved to 2 Defensive Runs Saved once he joined the Padres. He had three total assists, two of them prior to the trade. He and Varsho probably will lose out to Betts, a five-time Gold Glove Award winner who had 15 Defensive Runs Saved and two assists this season for the Dodgers.
Only two Nationals have won a Gold Glove Award in the 18 seasons since baseball returned to the District: third baseman Ryan Zimmerman in 2009 and first baseman Adam LaRoche in 2012.