CLEVELAND — It was no secret that Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and catcher Roberto Perez had standout defensive seasons in 2019, and the baseball world took notice.
On Thursday, the Indians announced that Lindor and Perez have been named finalists for Rawlings American League Gold Glove awards. Perez is a first-time nominee, while Lindor has been a finalist in each of the last four years, including a win and Platinum Glove honor after the 2016 season.
Perez and Lindor will find out if they brought home the league’s most prestigious defensive honor when the 2019 Rawlings American and National League Gold Glove Award winners are announced on Sunday, November 3.
Here is a look at how Perez and Lindor earned their respective nominations.
Over 118 games, including 114 starts behind the plate, Perez logged 993.2 innings of work, nearly double his previous career high. In 1,137 chances, Perez registered 1,082 putouts, 52 assists, helped turn 12 double plays and committed only three errors.
In his first full year as an every-day catcher, Perez committed two less errors in 2019 than he did in 58 games played during the 2018 season (five).
Perez’s .997 fielding percentage was tied for the highest single-season showing of his career, and the previous one came in 2017, when he backstopped the Indians for only 71 games, including 66 starts.
Perez had zero passed balls in his 118 games, and that was with a makeshift starting rotation for much of the year because of injuries, a life-altering illness and midseason trade.
Only Bill Dicky (1931), Al Todd (1937) and Johnny Bench (1975) caught more games in a single season than Perez without committing a passed ball. Also, Perez caught 40.8 percent of the would-be base stealers, which was tops in the American League.
Because of his defensive prowess, Perez collected 29 defensive runs saved this season, and not only did he have 17 more than any other catcher, he led the American League in DRS, regardless of position. Perez had the most defensive runs saved by a catcher since St. Louis Cardinals great Yadier Molina in 2013.
Despite a late start to the 2019 season because of calf and ankle injuries, Lindor appeared in 137 games, all starts, at shortstop.
Over 1,196.1 innings of work, Lindor registered 159 put-outs and 312 assists against 10 errors in 481 total chances. In addition to the .979 fielding percentage, Lindor combined to turn 68 double plays, both of which helped him earn American League All-Star status for the fourth consecutive season.