Ex-Phillies Cesar Hernandez, J.P. Crawford win their first Gold Glove awards

Corey Seidman
·2 min read

2 ex-Phillies win their first Gold Glove awards originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Why MLB couldn't have chosen literally any night of the offseason other than election night to announce its Gold Glove winners is a mystery, but two former Phillies won the award Tuesday night.

Indians second baseman Cesar Hernandez and Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford won at their respective positions in the American League. It was the first Gold Glove for either player.

Hernandez, who had more than 3,000 plate appearances over seven seasons with the Phillies, was non-tendered by the team last December and signed a one-year, $6.25 million contract with Cleveland. (Maikel Franco was also non-tendered and signed a one-year deal with Kansas City.)

Aside from winning the Gold Glove, Hernandez hit .283 with a .355 on-base percentage and led the American League with 20 doubles. 

Hernandez led AL second basemen in innings and finished second among all MLB second basemen with +6 Defensive Runs Saved, behind Kansas City's Nicky Lopez with +8.

Crawford also finished second at his position in the AL with +6 DRS, to Carlos Correa with +8.

For perspective, Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius was worth -2 DRS this season. Jean Segura was +3 at second base and Scott Kingery was -5. These defensive metrics are not the be-all, end-all and they're far from perfect but they are used more now than ever when awarding Gold Gloves.

The Phillies were unable for years to draw meaningful trade interest in Hernandez. They could have dealt him, just not for a return that matched up. They eventually had to let him walk for nothing last offseason. There would not have been room in the infield for him here anyway this summer with Segura, Gregorius, Kingery and Alec Bohm.

Crawford's glovework has progressed in Seattle. He had flashes of defensive brilliance here and in the minors but was also inconsistent. He has not made much progress offensively. He's a .231 career hitter with an OPS 13% below the league average, and his on-base percentage as a Mariner is actually 11 points lower than it was as a Phillie.

The 2020 Phillies had no Gold Glove finalists, not even catcher J.T. Realmuto, who has the reputation as the best catcher in baseball. The three NL nominees behind the plate were the Cubs' Willson Contreras, Cincinnati's Tucker Barnhart and Pittsburgh's Jacob Stallings. Barnhart won the award.

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