Photo: DJ LeMahieu (Perfect Game)

PG grads fitted for Gold Gloves

Jeff Dahn

Published: Tuesday, November 06, 2018




CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., announced the winners of the 2018 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® on Monday night, and 12 current major-leaguers who participated in at least one Perfect Game event while in high school were among the recipients.

Heading the list of PG Gold-Glovers are National Showcase alumni Alex Gordon (2001 National) and Nolan Arenado (2008). Gordon, the Kansas City Royals’ All-Star left-fielder, was named to the American League squad for the sixth time – and the first time since 2014 – and Arenado, the Colorado Rockies’s All-Star third baseman, was named to the National League team for the sixth straight year.

“It’s an amazing thing,” Arenado told MLB.com Monday night. “I have worked really hard at my defense. This is something I take a lot of pride in. … I love playing defense. Hitting is just so hard sometimes, but I want to impact the game someway, somehow. So defense is something I take a lot of pride in.”

Atlanta Braves All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman, an alumnus of both the 2006 PG All-American Classic and the ’06 PG National Showcase, was awarded his first Rawlings Gold Glove. Colorado Rockies’ All-Star second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who also performed at both the PGAAC and PG National in 2006, won the award for the third time since 2014.

“This is an incredible honor to win a Gold Glove Award,” Freeman said in a statement. “I take a lot of pride in my defense; it’s just as important to me as my offense.”

Freeman shared the NL Gold Glove first baseman award with the Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo, a three-time NL All-Star who was cited for the second time in three years. Rizzo was also at that star-studded 2006 PG National Showcase, held that year in Fayetteville, Ark.

Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander and former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke, who was at the PG World Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla., in 2000-01 and at the PG WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla., in 2001-02, picked up his fifth Rawlings Gold Glove.

Oakland Athletics’ first baseman Matt Olson, who was at the 2011 PG National Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla., before being a first-round compensation pick by the A’s in the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft, was awarded his first Rawlings Gold Glove.

What follows is a quick look at the 12 2018 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® winners who competed at PG events as teenagers while climbing the ladder to the major leagues:


AMERICAN LEAGUE

First Base:

Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics (1st GG) –
2011 National Showcase; 2009-11 WWBA tournaments

Third Base:

Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics (1st) –
2007 BCS SoCal Regional

Left Field:

Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals (6th) –
2001 PG National Showcase

Center Field:

Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston Red Sox (1st) –
2009 National Pre-Draft Showcase; 2006-07 WWBA World Championship; 2006-08 WWBA tournaments

Right Field:

Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox (3rd) –
2011 WWBA/BCS tournaments


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pitcher:

Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks (5th GG) –
2000-01 World Showcase; 2001-02 WWBA World Championship

First Base (tie):

Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves (1st) –
2006 All-American Classic; 2006 National Showcase; 2004-06 PG showcases; 2006 WWBA World Championship

Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (2nd) –
2006 National Showcase; 2005-06 PG showcases; 2005-06 WWBA World Championship; 2005-06 WWBA tournaments

Second Base:

DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies (3rd) –
2006 All-American Classic; 2006 National Showcase; 2005 PG showcases; 2005-06 WWBA World Championship; 2005-06 WWBA/BCS

Third Base:

Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies (6th) –
2008 National Showcase; 2007-08 PG showcases; 2007-08 WWBA World Championship

Shortstop:

Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks (1st) –
2007 Northeast Top Prospect Showcase; 2007 WWBA World Championship

Left Field:

Corey Dickerson, Pittsburgh Pirates (1st) –
2008 WWBA tournaments



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