KANSAS CITY, MO (Press Release) – Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. announced tonight that Royals left fielder Alex Gordon has been named the American League Rawlings Platinum Glove winner for 2020. This is the second time he’s been named the league’s top defender, also earning the honor in 2014.
The Rawlings Platinum Glove Award was established in 2011 to provide fans to opportunity to vote for the best defensive player at any position in each league. In 2013, a new sabermetric component from the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award’s new presenting sponsor, the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and its new SABR Defensive Index™ (SDI™) joined the international fan vote to determine the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winners from each league. The SDI’s ability to accurately compare players from different positions helped establish the “science” behind the evolving Award platform.
In the 10 years that a Rawlings Platinum Glove had been awarded, Gordon is the only outfielder to earn the honor twice. Infielders Nolan Arenado (2017-19), Matt Chapman (2018-19), Adrian Beltre (2011-12) and catcher Yadier Molina (2011-12, 2014-15) have also earned multiple Rawlings Platinum Gloves.
Gordon, who announced his retirement in September following a 14-year Major League career—all with Kansas City—was named a Rawlings Gold Glove winner earlier this week for the eighth time, matching Frank White (1977-82, 1986-87) for the most in Royals history.
Gordon had four outfield assists in 2020, tied for sixth most in the American League. He made just one error in 500 chances over his last 273 games in the outfield from June 25, 2018 through his final game on Sept. 27, 2020, the only miscue coming on May 18, 2019 at the Angels, when his errant throw allowed a base runner to advance. He was perfect in his final 152 games in the field (299 total chances).
After making his Major League debut as a third baseman in 2007, Gordon transitioned to the outfield in 2010. His 102 outfield assists in the 11 seasons since (2010-20) were the most in the Majors and rank second in Royals history, trailing only Amos Otis. He led the Majors with a career-high 20 outfield assists in 2011—his first full season as a outfielder—a mark that has not been topped by any player in nine seasons since, and were the most in the Majors since Alfonso Soriano had 22 for the Washington Nationals in 2006.
Gordon was charged with only 15 outfield errors in 2,731 total chances from 2011-20, and his .995 fielding percentage during that time ranked second in the Majors (min. 2,000 chances), trailing only Nick Markakis (.996).