Rookie Nolan Arenado wowed Rockies fans with his range, sleight of hand and laser throws across the diamond.
Tuesday night, the 22-year-old was rewarded with a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, tagging him as the premier fielding third baseman in the National League. Arenado became the first NL rookie third baseman to ever win a gold glove. Boston Red Sox third baseman Frank Malzone won the award as an American League rookie in 1957.
"Wow, when you think about it terms like that, it's kind of surreal," Arenado said from his home in Orange County, Calif. "Really, I didn't think it was possible. I didn't think they would give it to a rookie. So when they called me, I was kind of in shock. I was blown away. This is pretty cool, something you dream about."
The Rockies went 2-for-3 on the night. All-star left fielder Carlos Gonzalez won his third gold glove in the last four years, but all-star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was denied. Rookie Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves beat out Tulo at shortstop.
Gonzalez, who previously won in 2010 and 2012, matched recently retired Todd Helton (2001-02, 2004) for the second-most gold gloves in Rockies history. Outfielder Larry Walker won five (1997-99, 2001-02) of his seven gold gloves while playing for the Rockies.
Arenado beat out two established veterans, the Dodgers' Juan Uribe and the Mets' David Wright, to become the first Rockies third baseman to win the award.
Arenado was a confident young man when he was called up to the majors April 28, but said he got better as the season went on.
"I got a lot of help from everybody, but especially from Tulo and Todd," Arenado said. "Those guys really made me a better player."
Arenado posted a .973 fielding percentage, committing 11 errors in 411 total chances. However, that's just part of the story. His 3.6 defensive WAR (Wins Above Replacement) ranked fourth in the National League overall and was easily the best among third basemen. He finished seven runs above average in Baseball-Reference's defensive metric, Total Zone Runs Saved.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss repeatedly endorsed Arenado for the award.
"You hate to overstate things, but it's hard for me to remember a third baseman having a better year than Arenado has had defensively," Weiss said as the Rockies' season neared its end. "I don't think you can play any better than he has defensively. He's been stellar. He plays with no fear at a very difficult position."
Read more: Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez, rookie Nolan Arenado win NL Gold Gloves - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_24414010/rockies-left-fielder-carlos-gonzalez-wins-third-gold#ixzz2jAPIEu22
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