In what is to me a shocking upset, Orioles third baseman Ramón Urías was awarded the Gold Glove for his position in the American League in the 2022 season, beating out fellow finalists Matt Chapman of the Blue Jays and José Ramirez of the Guardians. Urías becomes the first Oriole to win a Gold Glove since Manny Machado won one for his play at third in the 2015 season. Machado and Brooks Robinson are the only other Orioles third basemen to ever win.
As a three-time past winner, Chapman seemed like the favorite to keep on winning Gold Gloves. When all was said and done among the managers and coaches whose votes made up 75% of the results and the metrics-based 25% of the results, though, Urías was the winner, even with his only having played about 750 innings at third base. The previously announced “finalists” are really just the top three vote-getters, with the winners not being named until Tuesday night.
Looking strictly at some of those publicly-available metrics, it’s less surprising to see the win for Urías. He led all AL third basemen in both the Defensive Runs Saved and Statcast Outs Above Average categories. It wasn’t terribly close between Urías and Chapman - Urias had a +14 DRS to Chapman’s +2, and a +7 OAA to Chapman’s +1. Ramirez also had a +2 DRS and +1 OAA.
It’s cool that Urías won one. He clearly was deserving, and the voters agreed even with the Gold Glove often being weighted towards players with existing star reputations or players who were on good teams. It’s all the more impressive given that Urías had played 10 MLB games at the position before this year. Even in Birdland, I think his play was underrated, as evidenced by how many fans seem to be willing to trade him away immediately to help resolve the Orioles infield prospect logjam. Having Gunnar Henderson waiting in the wings certainly helps to fuel that feeling.
For Orioles fans, this win helps take the sting off Jorge Mateo being snubbed at shortstop. It’s fun that our favorite team had a winner, even if the deserving Mateo didn’t even manage to finish in the top three. Mateo was victimized by the phenomenon from the last paragraph, where Minnesota’s Carlos Correa and Boston’s Xander Bogaerts had the prior reputation and Jeremy Peña got the “good player on a good team” recognition. Peña ended up becoming the first AL rookie shortstop to win a Gold Glove.
Cedric Mullins was also named as a finalist for center field. He lost out to Cleveland’s Myles Straw. Based on the publicly available stuff, that seems like the right outcome. Straw is a first-time winner in his second full MLB season.