Earlier tonight Rawlings announced that three Orioles - shortstop J.J. Hardy, center fielder Adam Jones and catcher Matt Wieters - have been named this year’s American League Gold Glove Award recipients for defensive excellence at their respective positions. The Orioles were the only team to have three players honored and one of only two MLB teams (also New York Yankees) with more than one selection for 2012. It is the first career Gold Glove Award for Hardy and the second for Jones (also 2009) and Wieters (2011).
Hardy’s first career Gold Glove comes after a season in which he led American League shortstops in games (158), fielding percentage (.992), putouts (244), assists (529), range factor per game (4.89), defensive wins above replacement (2.8) and total zone runs (21). He made just six errors in 779 chances at the position, and his .992 fielding percentage was the highest mark by an AL shortstop since Mike Bordick had a .998 fielding percentage for the Orioles in 2002. This season marks the second straight year Hardy has lead the league in fielding percentage and range factor per game at his position. His 529 assists were the most by an American League shortstop since Cal Ripken Jr. had 531 for the Orioles in 1989. He is the fourth Orioles shortstop to win a Gold Glove, joining Luis Aparicio (1964 and ‘66), Mark Belanger (1969, ‘71, ‘73-‘78) and Ripken (1991 and ‘92).
Jones wins his second career Gold Glove Award after leading American League center fielders in games (162) and putouts (439), ranking second in range factor per game (2.75) and third in assists (7). It is the second time in the last three seasons he has led the league in putouts at his position. He is one of three Orioles outfielders who have won Gold Glove Awards (also Paul Blair in 1967 and 1969-75 and Nick Markakis in 2011).
Wieters earns his second consecutive Gold Glove for American League catchers. He led the league in defensive games (134) and putouts (994), ranked second in runners caught stealing (32) and range factor per game (7.81) and was third in caught stealing percentage (38.6%). His 994 putouts were the third-most in AL history for a catcher and the most since Jorge Posada had 996 for the Yankees in 2001. Wieters is the only Orioles catcher to receive a Gold Glove Award.
2012 marks the 18th season the Orioles have had multiple Gold Glove winners in the same season, and their most since second baseman Roberto Alomar, pitcher Mike Mussina and first baseman Rafael Palmeiro each claimed a Gold Glove Award in 1998. It is the 9th time in club history the Orioles have had at least three players win a Gold Glove in the same season (also 1998, ‘76, ‘75, ‘74, ‘73, ‘71, ‘70 and ‘69).
Sixteen different Orioles players have earned a total of 64 Gold Gloves since the award was created in 1957, second-most in the American League, one fewer than the New York Yankees (65) and 22 more than the next-closest AL team, the Minnesota Twins (42).