General : : Professional
Wednesday, November 08, 2017

12 PG alums wear Gold Gloves

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: Colorado Rockies


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Colorado Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado first began showing the national scouting fraternity his impressive defensive acumen at Perfect Game WWBA tournaments and showcases in 2007, finally showing off his skills at the 2008 PG National Showcase in Minneapolis.

A native of Newport Beach, Calif., Arenado arrived at the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis eager to fill up the notebooks of hundreds of scouts with detailed accounts of both his defensive and offensive skills. Looking back on the experience about eight years later, he expressed some self-doubt.

“I didn’t feel like I performed really well there, but I was really nervous,” Arenado told PG during an interview at the Rockies’ spring training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March of 2016. “I didn’t have a lot of confidence that I could compete with those guys who were the top prospects. I should have had a different mindset about things, and looking back on it I know that I could have.”

Today, Arenado is brimming with confidence as he’s established himself as Major League Baseball’s preeminent, slick-fielding, power-hitting third baseman. And on Tuesday night, he claimed his fifth straight Rawlings Gold Glove Award, one for each year he has been on the Rockies’ big-league roster.

“Obviously, five is a pretty special number,” Arenado told MLB.com. “Thank God I’ve been able to stay healthy and compete out there and do my job to help my team win. … I want to try to win as many as I can and stay healthy.”

Arenado is one of 12 former Perfect Game prospects, and one of seven alumni the PG National Showcase, to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2017. It’s a list that includes Chicago Cubs right-fielder and 2006 PG All-American Classic/PG National alumnus Jason Heyward and Kansas City Royals left-fielder and 2001 PG National alumnus Alex Gordon.

Both picked up their fifth Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. It was the fourth straight for Heyward; Gordon had previously been awarded a Rawlings Gold Glove four straight seasons from 2011-14.

Royals first baseman and 2007 PGACC/PG National alumnus Eric Hosmer was awarded for the fourth time in five years; Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander and 2000-01 PG World Showcase alumnus Zack Greinke was recognized for the fourth straight year and Rockies’ second baseman and 2006 PGAAC/PG National alumnus DJ LeMahieu was awarded for the second time in three years.

Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman and Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart – both alumni of the 2008 PG National – were among six first-time recipients of a Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

The Rockies’ Arenado also enjoyed an MVP-caliber season at the plate in 2017, hitting .309 with a league-high 43 doubles to with 37 home runs and 130 RBI. He has come a long way since helping the ABD Bulldogs win the championship at the 2008 PG WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla., and since overcoming his case of the jitters at the PG National.

“You live and you learn, and that was just a learning experience for me,” he said. “I had never had to travel and go and showcase my talents to a bunch of people and it was a little nerve-racking. But I learned from it, I grew from it and it definitely helped me out.”

Twenty-nine former PG prospects were among the 54 Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalists this year. What follows is a brief rundown of the winners who had experiences with Perfect Game during their high school playing careers:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Pitcher:

Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays – 2008 PG National Showcase; 2007-08 PG WWBA; 2007-08 PG showcases

First Base:

Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals – 2007 PG All-American Classic; 2007 PG National Showcase; 2005-07 PG WWBA; 2005-07 PG showcases

Left Field:

Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals – 2001 PG National Showcase

Center Field:

Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins – 2010-11 PG WWBA

Right Field:

Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox – 2011 PG WWBA/PG BCS


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pitcher:

Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks – 2000-01 PG World Showcase; 2001-02 PG WWBA

Catcher:

Tucker Barnhart, Cincinnati Reds – 2008 PG National Showcase; 2006-08 PG WWBA

First Base:

Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks – 2004 PG WWBA

Second Base:

DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies – 2006 PG All-American Classic; 2006 PG National Showcase; 2005-06 PG WWBA; 2005 PG showcases

Third Base:

Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies – 2008 PG National Showcase; 2007-08 PG WWBA; 2007-08 PG showcases

Shortstop:

Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants – 2004 PG WWBA

Right Field:

Jason Heyward – 2006 PG All-American Classic; 2006 PG National Showcase; 2004-06 PG WWBA; 2004-06 PG showcases

 


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