Nolan Arenado Wins Seventh Straight Golden Glove Award

The golden streak continues for Nolan Arenado

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American Major League Baseball player has extended his streak of winning a Gold Glove Award in every season of his career on Sunday, when the Colorado Rockies star earned the award for National Leaguet hird basemen for the seventh consecutive year.

Nolan Arenado

Arenado has won the award each year since he debuted in 2013. With this year’s win, he moved into sole possession of fourth place for the most Gold Glovesamong third basemen and just one behind Scott Rolenfor third place all time.

Only Baltimore Orioles legend Brooks Robinson, who won 16 Gold Gloves in a row from 1960 to ’75, and Mike Schmidt, who won 10, have more than Arenado. Robinson has the most Gold Gloves among all position players, but at just 28 years old, Arenado has a chance to catch him.

Kansas City Royals veteran Alex Gordon also won his seventh career Gold Glove, claiming the ALleft fielder award for the third straight year to move into a tie for 14th-most among outfielders.

2019 Gold Glove Winners

POS.ALNL
CRoberto Perez, IndiansJ.T. Realmuto, Phillies
1BMatt Olson, AthleticsAnthony Rizzo, Cubs
2BYolmer Sanchez, White SoxKolten Wong, Cardinals
SSFrancisco Lindor, IndiansNick Ahmed, Diamondbacks
3BMatt Chapman, AthleticsNolan Arenado, Rockies
LFAlex Gordon, RoyalsDavid Peralta, Diamondbacks
CFKevin Kiermaier, RaysLorenzo Cain, Brewers
RFMookie Betts, Red SoxCody Bellinger, Dodgers
PMike Leake, MarinersZack Greinke, Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks had four Gold Glove winners on their team this season, including both pitchers, Mike Leake and Zack Greinke, though the two never played with each other. Leake won the American League pitcher’s award for his time with the Seattle Mariners before Arizona acquired him at the trade deadline on July 31, the day the Diamondbacks dealt Greinke to the Houston Astros.

Shortstop Nick Ahmed, who won his second straight Gold Glove, and left fielder David Peralta were the other Diamondbacks honored Sunday. Peralta was one of three National League outfielders who won their first Gold Gloves, joining the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Lorenzo Cain and the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ Cody Bellinger.

The Oakland Athletics had a pair of winners, as first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Matt Chapman both won for the second straight season. The Cleveland Indians had two Gold Glovers in shortstop Francisco Lindor, who won the second of his career, and catcher Roberto Perez, a first-time winner.

The second baseman awards went to the Chicago White Sox‘s Yolmer Sanchez and the St. Louis Cardinals‘ Kolten Wong, who both won for the first time.

Also in the American League, Boston Red Soxright fielder Mookie Betts won for the fourth straight season, and Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier won his third career Gold Glove after a two-year absence.

In the National League, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo won his third career Gold Glove and second in a row, while catcher J.T. Realmuto earned his first award in his first season with the Philadelphia Philliesafter a preseason trade from the Marlins.

Managers and up to six coaches per team vote for the awards in their league and cannot choose their own players. For the first time, the defensive index from the Society for American Baseball Research was used, and it comprised about 25% of the vote, with the managers and coaches ballots the rest.

Pete Alonso Sets New York Mets Single-Season Home Run Record

Pete Alonso has reached anothermilestone in his young Major League Baseball career…

The 24-year-old part-Spanish American New York Mets first baseman, the odds-on favorite to win National League Rookie of the Year, set the single-season franchise record by hitting his 42nd home run on Tuesday.

Alonso took an outside fastball from Chicago Cubs starter Yu Darvish deep to right field to lead off the fourth inning. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Alonso is the first rookie to set the franchise mark for his team since Johnny Rizzo did it for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1938.

“As soon as that ball came off my bat, I knew right away,” Alonso said after the game. “I mean it’s become a dream come true so far this year and I just feel really blessed.”

Alonso received a curtain call for his record-setting blast, which gave the Mets a 1-0 lead.

The previous franchise mark of 41 home runs was set by Todd Hundleyin 1996 and matched by Carlos Beltranin 2006.

“It’s a pleasure to have a fine young player like Pete Alonso break my record,” Beltran said in a statement. “I have not met Pete personally, but people have told me he plays the game with passion and doesn’t give up on any at-bat. He has had great success in his first year. Again, my congrats, Pete.”

Hundley also praised Alonso.

“To me, he’s more than a power hitter, he’s a pure hitter,” Hundley said in a statement. “I have seen five or six of his games and he keeps getting better and better. He has just had a tremendous year. Congrats, Pete, you deserve all the records you have broken.”

Alonso’s homer was his lone hit in four at-bats, and the Cubs rallied to win 5-2.

Earlier this month, Alonso set the National League rookie record for homers in a season, previously set by Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgersin 2017. Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees holds the major league record for home runs in a season by a rookie with 52 in 2017.

“It’s crazy to think the small selection of people that get to actually play in the big leagues and the even smaller selection of people that get to those milestones and it’s mind-boggling,” Alonso said. “I just wanna keep being Pete Alonso and just stay true to who I am and stay true to who I am not just as a person but as a player.”

Ronald Acuna Jr. Named MLB’s National League Rookie of the Year

Ronald Acuna Jr. has kicked off his Major League Baseball with a bang, and now he’s got the title to prove it.

The 27-year-old Venezuelan Atlanta Braves outfielder has been named the named National League Rookie of the Year.

Ronald Acuna Jr. 

Acuna received 27 first-place votes and three seconds for a total of 144 points. Fellow international phenom Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals got two firsts and 89 points, and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler was next with one first and 28 points.

“First of all, I would like to give thanks to God, my family, my parents and to all my teammates who’ve always supported me from the first day that I got the call to the big leagues,” Acuna said in a statement. “This award represents all our hard work as a team this season.”

A Venezuela native, Acuna signed with the Braves as an international free agent in 2014. After hitting .325 with 21 home runs across three different minor league levels in 2017, he entered the 2018 season ranked as the top prospect in baseball by ESPN‘s Keith Law.

Acuna is the eighth Braves player to win Rookie of the Year and first since Craig Kimbrel in 2011. He’s the first Braves position player to win the award since Rafael Furcal in 2000.

Despite hitting .432 with four home runs in 16 spring training games, Acuna was optioned to Triple-A to start the season, a move that was criticized by those who believed the Braves demoted the young star for contractual reasons. Acuna was called up April 25 and made his big league debut against the Cincinnati Reds later that day, going 1-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts. At the time of his promotion, Acuna became the youngest player in the majors, a title he would soon cede to Soto.

After the All-Star break, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker moved Acuna into the leadoff spot, where the rookie outfielder was a catalyst for a surprising Braves team that won the National League East. Batting exclusively at the top of the order, Acuna thrived, hitting .322 with 19 home runs in 68 games during the second half of the season; his eight leadoff home runs were the second-most by a rookie in a season in MLB history.

Acuna’s 1.028 OPS after the All-Star break ranked third in the National League behind the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Christian Yelich and Los Angeles’ Justin Turner.

In August, Acuna became the youngest player ever to homer in five consecutive games, and was named NL Rookie of the Month. Soto, his main competition for Rookie of the Year, won the monthly award in June, July and September.

Although the speedy Acuna is widely considered a better defender than Soto and a more complete player, the two international phenoms put up nearly identical offensive numbers in their debut seasons, creating one of the tightest Rookie of the Year races in recent memory.

In 111 games, Acuna hit .293 with 26 home runs and 64 RBIs, while posting a .917 OPS. In 116 games, Soto batted .292 with 22 homers and 70 RBIs, with a .923 OPS. According to FanGraphs, both players had an identical 3.7 wins above replacement.

Buehler, a 23-year-old right-hander, was 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA in 23 starts and one relief appearance.

Eugenio Suarez Agrees to a 7-Year, $66 Million Deal with the Cincinnati Reds

Eugenio Suarez is seeing Reds in his future…

The 26-year-old Venezuelan baseball player has agreed to a seven-year, $66 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds that makes him part of the foundation for team’s long-term rebuilding.

Eugenio Suarez

The deal supersedes the $3.75 million, one-year contract Suarez was awarded when he lost his salary arbitration case last month.

There’s a team option for 2025 at $15 million — with a $2 million buyout — that would make the deal worth $79 million over eight years.

The Reds started an overhaul in 2015, trading most of their top players for prospects. They have lost more than 90 games and finished last in the National League Central each of the past three seasons.

“We are sending a signal to the fans that the work that we’ve put in the last couple years is starting to come together,” general manager Dick Williams said. “We’re starting to identify the building blocks that we want to build this team around. Geno is one of them. We’re ready to start winning again and we want Geno to be a part of it.”

Suarez gets a $2 million signing bonus payable within 30 days of the deal’s approval by the commissioner’s office and salaries of $2.25 million this year, $7 million in 2019, $9.25 million in 2020, $10.5 million in 2021 and $11 million each of the next three years.

It’s the largest contract the Reds have agreed to during the rebuilding process.

Cincinnati obtained Suarez from the Detroit Tigers in December 2014 as part of the trade that sent right-hander Alfredo Simon to the Tigers. Suarez was a shortstop earlier in his career, but the Reds moved him to third base after Todd Frazier was traded.

He has developed into a top third baseman, leading the NL in fielding percentage last season. He also batted .260 and had career highs with 26 homers and 82 RBIs. Suarez and the Reds began talking about a long-term deal before arbitration.

“It’s an honor for me to be part of this wonderful team,” Suarez said.

Carlos Gonzalez Agrees to One-Year Deal with Colorado Rockies

Carlos Gonzalez is staying in Colorado…

The 32-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball right fielder, a longtime outfielder with the Colorado Rockies, has reportedly agreed to sign a one-year deal with the team, according to FanRag Sports.

Carlos Gonzalez

The Rockies’ emotional leader and only holdover player from their 2009 postseason squad had his worst year statistically last season but closed strong, finishing with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs after struggling at the plate early.

Nicknamed CarGo, Gonzalez was hitting .214 in mid-July as he tinkered with his swing before he adjusted his grip on the bat. That, combined with visiting a sleep specialist to seek solutions to cure a bout of insomnia, paid quick dividends, with Gonzalez hitting .325 over August and September with eight of his 14 homers to help lead the Rockies to the postseason for the first time since 2009.

The Rockies had offered Gonzalez a lucrative four-year deal that was rejected last spring, USA Today reported. Gonzalez was in the final season of a seven-year, $80 million contract and gambled that he’d be able to get a better deal in free agency.

Gonzalez might have to split time with Gerardo Parra in right field. Charlie Blackmon is set in center field and Ian Desmond in left, but CarGo’s presence in the locker room has always been one of his biggest draws.

On Monday, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado told the Denver Post, “I think it would be safe to say that everyone here misses him, really badly. Don’t get me wrong, I think we have strong group of guys, but we miss CarGo’s energy and laughter. I know a lot of guys miss him — even if they won’t voice it — because we have talked about it since we all got here.

“CarGo kept things light. He was a good balance for guys like me; guys who are kind of serious. I mean, CarGo could be serious, but at the same time, he kept everyone loose.”

Talking about the possibility of bringing Gonzalez back, Arenado said, “It would be the greatest thing ever. That would be huge for us. Like I said, I think he’s a great player and I still think he can do some damage.”

Gonzalez was won three Gold Gloves, was the NL batting champ in 2010, made three All-Star squads and hit a career-high 40 homers in 2015. His numbers for the Rockies, where he has played for nine of his 10 seasons, include a .292 average with 211 homers and 685 RBIs.

Baez Named National League Championship Series Co-MVP

Javier Baez has etched his name in the MLB history books…

The 23-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball infielder for the Chicago Cubs has been selected as a National League Championship Series co-MVP alongside starter Jon Lester on Saturday night, after leading the Cubs to their first NL pennant since 1945.

Javier Baez

Baez hit .318 (7-for-22) with five RBIs against the Los Angeles Dodgers, picking up right where he left off in the division series.

The versatile Baez also made a couple of the most exciting plays in the NLCS, stealing home during Chicago’s victory in the opener and robbing Adrian Gonzalez of a hit with a terrific, bare-handed scoop in Game 5 on Thursday night.

“Just having fun,” Baez said. “Living my dream, playing like a little kid, moving everywhere, catching the ball and making plays.”

Next up for Baez and the Cubs: the World Series against Francisco Lindor and the Cleveland Indians, beginning Tuesday night in Cleveland.

Baez and Lindor are part of a dynamic group of young players from Puerto Rico that also includes Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.

Baez “grew up in Puerto Rico, played a lot of baseball as a youth, played a lot of winter ball,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s been taught properly and well. And when he goes out there, man, you saw him before the game sitting on the bench, saw him waving into the camera. He’s just being himself. I love that.”

Lester and Baez became the first NLCS co-MVPs since Cincinnati Reds relievers Rob Dibble and Randy Myers in 1990.

The Cubs grabbed Baez with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He made his major league debut in 2014 but really turned into a consistent force this year, batting .273 with 14 homers and 59 RBIs while playing several different positions.

Bautista to Captain the American League’s Home Run Derby Team

It’s batter up for José Bautista

The 33-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a right fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, will serve as the American League’s captain for the Home Run Derby.

José Bautista

Bautista, the 2010 and 2011 MLB home run champion and a five-time Major League Baseball All-Star, will have some star power on his team. He’s selected reigning derby champ and Oakland Athletics’ star Yoenis Cespedes, the Minnesota TwinsBrian Dozierand the Baltimore OriolesAdam Jones as the top three picks for his team.

They’ll face off a Nation League team that includes captain and Colorado Rockies star Troy Tulowitzki, and his top three picks: the Cincinnati RedsTodd Frazier, the Los Angeles DodgersYasiel Puig and the Miami MarlinsGiancarlo Stanton.

An additional fifth member will be named to each team on Thursday.

“Bunch of guys with a lot of power,” Tulowitzki said of his team. “More than that, I think they’re good guys, got to know them throughout the years.”

Stanton is the only player in the National League group that ranks in the top five in the majors in home runs with 21 entering play Tuesday night, but he is the NL-leader in the category.

That means that only one member of the remaining top five home run hitters in the league will be added to Bautista’s side. He has a choice of Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz (28), the Chicago White Sox‘s Jose Abreu (27) and Detroit TigersVictor Martinez (21).

Bautista’s Toronto teammate Edwin Encarnacion is third in the league with 26 home runs, but is currently on the disabled list. Martinez might also bow out of the running as he’s been held out of recent games due to injury.

Fellow Tiger Miguel Cabrera (14) and Los Angeles Angels phenom Mike Trout (20) have already said they will not participate in the contest, which will be held Monday night on ESPN from Minnesota’s Target Field.

Stanton, Tulowitzki (18) and Frazier (17) are all in the top five in homers in the National League along with the Chicago CubsAnthony Rizzo (18) and Philadelphia PhilliesMarlon Byrd (18).

Also a possibility for the final NL spot is Tulowitzki’s teammate and former Minnesota Twinsplayer Justin Morneau. Morneau is a candidate in the Final Vote to make the All-Star team.

“If he wins that final vote, there’s possibly a chance,” Tulowitzki said. “I think it would make a storyline. Played with the Twins all those years. He’s definitely on the list if he makes the team. There are some other guys as well that have lobbied and would be good choices.”

Rivera Named All-Star Game MVP

He’s considered the greatest closer of all time in Major League Baseball… And, now Mariano Rivera is also an All-Star MVP.

The 43-year-old Panamanian baseball star, who has played 19 seasons for the New York Yankees, was named the Most Valuable Player at the 84th All-Star Game on Tuesday night, as the American League blanked the National League 3-0.

Mariano Rivera

When Rivera came out of the bullpen to pitch the eighth inning of the game, his AL teammates stayed next to the dugout, leaving Rivera – who will be retiring after this season – on the field alone to soak up the applause from the crowd.

“I was standing right there watching,” said Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. “It was pretty cool. I had goosebumps the whole time. I’m sure a lot of people did.”

Rivera tipped his cap to all sides of Citi Field, then started his warmup throws.

He went on to pitch a perfect inning, throwing 16 cutters. Catcher Salvador Perez threw an arm across Rivera’s shoulders as they walked off the field.

The historic moment was part of a nearly flawless performance by 10 American League pitchers in their victory over the National League, which was was held to three hits and a walk.

Rivera won the Ted Williams Award as the game’s most valuable player, the first pitcher to be so honored since Pedro Martinez in 1999. He’s also is the oldest player to win.

“I wanted to come to the game and since this will be my last one, I wanted to enjoy and be able to pitch for the last time in the All-Star Game,” Rivera said. “The rest was indescribable.”

The AL snapped a three-game losing streak in the game. The NL leads the series, 43-39-2.