St. Louis Cardinals second baseman and former University of Hawaii star Kolten Wong won his first Gold Glove on Sunday, as voted on by MLB coaches and managers.
Wong beat out finalists Ozzie Albies of the Atlanta Braves and Adam Frazier of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Many believed Wong would win his first Gold Glove at second base last year, but that award went to DJ LeMahieu, who was with the Colorado Rockies at the time. Wong was a finalist at the position along with Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs.
Wong had 14 Defensive Runs Saved during the 2019 season, the most among second baseman in the majors. He committed just nine errors in 147 games played, good for a .987 fielding percentage. He also led all National League second baseman in assists (412), Ultimate Zone Rating (5.2) and total chances (671).
#Hilo’s @KoltenWong shows ‘Kids in #Hawaii that anything is possible’, wins first career #GoldGloveAward https://t.co/cE3TGqvY0m @HawaiiBaseball #BowsInThePros @KSHAthletics @KSNews #MLBHawaii #808Represent // https://t.co/SOdY37JnAf 🤙🏽 pic.twitter.com/xWRMrEumM4
— Rob DeMello (@RobDeMelloKHON) November 4, 2019
Although offensive numbers have no bearing on the award, Wong enjoyed perhaps his best collective season at the plate, hitting a career-high .285 with 11 home runs and 59 RBIs. The Cardinals were swept in the NLCS by the eventual World Series champion Washington Nationals.
Wong started all 58 games of his freshman season at center field for UH in 2009 before making the transition to second base. He was picked by the Cardinals as the 22nd overall selection in the 2011 MLB Draft and debuted for the Cardinals in 2013.
Wong is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $25.5 million extension he signed with the Cardinals prior to the 2016 season. He is due $10,250,000 in 2020 and $12,500,000 in 2021 before entering unrestricted free agency before the 2022 season.
2019 Rawlings Gold Glove Winners
P: Zack Greinke, Arizona/Houston
C: J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Chicago
2B: Kolten Wong, St. Louis
3B: Nolan Arenado, Colorado
SS: Nick Ahmed, Arizona
LF: David Peralta, Arizona
CF: Lorenzo Cain, Milwaukee
RF: Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles
P: Mike Leake, Seattle/Arizona
C: Roberto Perez, Cleveland
1B: Matt Olson, Oakland
2B: Yolmer Sanchez, Chicago
3B: Matt Chapman, Oakland
SS: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland
LF: Alex Gordon, Kansas City
CF: Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay
RF: Mookie Betts, Boston