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Astros' Jeremy Peña Becomes First Rookie Shortstop To Win Gold Glove Award



PHILADELPHIAJeremy Peña has been lauded for his shortstop defense since his college days at Maine. When the Astros drafted him in the third round in 2018, it became quickly apparent as a prospect that Peña was a potentially special defender.

As it turns out, Peña was more than just a special defender. He was a historic one.

Peña became the first rookie shortstop to win a Gold Glove award when Rawlings announced the 2022 winners on Tuesday evening. The 25-year-old beat out reigning Gold Glove winner Carlos Correa, the man he replaced as the Astros shortstop, and Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts to take home the honor.

Since Rawlings first began awarding Gold Gloves in 1957, no rookie shortstop had ever won one until Peña.

“I heard that today and I was in shock,” Peña said prior to Game 3 of the World Series. “I didn't know that was a thing. But it's pretty cool.”

Peña led all American League shortstops with 15 defensive runs saved and 2.4 defensive wins above replacement, as measured by Baseball-Reference. His ability to cover wide swaths of ground and make plays few others could helped stabilize the Astros infield after Correa’s departure and played a direct role in helping the Astros pitching staff post the lowest ERA in the American League.

The numbers weren’t what impressed Astros manager Dusty Baker most, however. Peña also made 19 errors, third-most among AL shortstops. His ability to bounce back from those mistakes and not let them linger made the biggest impression on Baker, who won a Gold Glove as a Dodgers outfielder in 1981.

“(It’s) his ability not to dwell on mistakes,” Baker said. “Because a lot of young players, they will make a mistake and then dwell on it, and then they will dwell on it so much that they end up making another mistake or two.

“I was told by José Alguacil, who had him in the Dominican and who was with me at the Giants … that he was going to be a heck of a player. He helped him improve. I think (Astros bench coach) Joe Espada took it to another level because he works with Joe and (first base coach) Omar López every day on his defense.”

It’s the continuation of a long track record of defensive excellence for Peña. His draft scouting report in 2018 cited his “fantastic defensive actions, loose athleticism and above-average arm” and highlighted his above-average range in the infield. Opposing evaluators cited him as one of the best defensive shortstop prospects in the game two years in a row, a major reason why he ranked as the No. 71 prospect on the BA Top 100 entering the season.

Now, Peña has done something no one else has done before, and exceeded even the loftiest expectations held for him as a defender.

“I felt like this year we got a lot of good work done,” Peña said. “Joe Espada, Omar López, they knew exactly what I had to work on to become a better defender. And, yeah, we stuck with it all year.”

The complete list of Gold Glove Award winners can be found below.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Position

Player

Team

Awards Won

P

Shane Bieber

Cleveland Guardians

1 ('22)

C

Jose Trevino

New York Yankees

1 ('22)

1B

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Toronto Blue Jays

1 ('22)

2B

Andrés Giménez

Cleveland Guardians

1 ('22)

3B

Ramón Urías

Baltimore Orioles

1 ('22)

SS

Jeremy Peña

Houston Astros

1 ('22)

LF

Steven Kwan

Cleveland Guardians

1 ('22)

CF

Myles Straw

Cleveland Guardians

1 ('22)

RF

Kyle Tucker

Houston Astros

1 ('22)

Utility

DJ LeMahieu

New York Yankees

4 ('14, '17, '18, '22)

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Position

Player

Team

Awards Won

P

Max Fried

Atlanta Braves

3 ('20-'22)

C

J.T. Realmuto

Philadelphia Phillies

2 ('19, '22)

1B

Christian Walker

Arizona Diamondbacks

1 ('22)

2B

Brendan Rodgers

Colorado Rockies

1 ('22)

3B

Nolan Arenado

St. Louis Cardinals

10 ('13-'22)

SS

Dansby Swanson

Atlanta Braves

1 ('22)

LF

Ian Happ

Chicago Cubs

1 ('22)

CF

Trent Grisham

San Diego Padres

2 ('20, '22)

RF

Mookie Betts

Los Angeles Dodgers

6 ('16-'20, '22)

Utility

Brendan Donovan

St. Louis Cardinals

1 ('22)

Astroscelebration

Mission Accomplished: Astros Complete Historic Run With 2022 World Series Title

The Astros beat the Phillies, 4-1, in Game 6 of the World Series to win the second championship in franchise history.

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