The Yankees‘ season may not have ended the way they wanted to, but that doesn’t mean every member of the team will be going home sans hardware this winter. Rawlings announced on Tuesday afternoon that a pair of Yankees earned Gold Gloves in 2022, with catcher Jose Trevino receiving the award for his prowess behind the plate and utilityman DJ LeMahieu for his elite performance at multiple positions.
It was a well-deserved honor for Trevino, who edged out Seattle’s Cal Raleigh and Oakland’s Sean Murphy. While all three catchers put on defensive clinics this year, the Yankees backstop was truly in a league of his own. His 21 Defensive Runs Saved and 17 Statcast Framing Runs led the league by a considerable margin, coming in 3 DRS and 5 Framing Runs ahead of the second-place Adley Rutschman and Jonah Heim, respectively.
The Gold Glove is not Trevino’s first defensive award this year, either, as he also received his first career Fielding Bible late last week — even more impressive since only one catcher in all of baseball is chosen for that annual award.
Congratulations to @Yankees catcher Jose Trevino on winning his 1st Fielding Bible Award.— SIS_Baseball (@sis_baseball) October 27, 2022
Trevino was a pitch framer and excelled at other aspects of the position as well.
Here are a few of his highlights:@HipHipJose5 #RepBX #LosDelBronx pic.twitter.com/ZRRe2aBiWw
This pair of defensive awards caps off what can only be described as an unlikely, magical season for Trevino. Acquired from the Texas Rangers for Albert Abreu and Robby Ahlstrom mere days before Opening Day because that offseason’s catching acquisition, Ben Rortvedt, could not get healthy, Trevino wasn’t even on anybody’s radar at the time. In fact, when he originally heard the news, Yankees starter Luis Severino initially thought the team had traded for pitcher Lou Trivino from Oakland!
Trevino’s defense and late-game heroics quickly made him a fan favorite, however, underlined by his first career All-Star selection in July. With his first career Gold Glove, Trevino is the first Yankee catcher to take home the award in more than 45 years and just the third overall; he joins Elston Howard (1963-64) and Thurman Munson (1973-75) in one of the most select groups in Yankees history.
Although LeMahieu already has three Gold Gloves to his name (2014, 2017, 2018), this particular honor may be the one he is most remembered for by future generations. The Yankees infielder etched his name in history as the first ever American League recipient of the Utility Gold Glove. Introduced just this year, the Utility category was created in response to the growing number of multi-position players who were considered members of the starting lineup but who rotated positions on a regular basis.
In many ways, it is fitting that LeMahieu has received this honor, edging out Whit Merrifield and Luis Rengifo, as he is the epitome of the type of player that the category is for. Penciled into the lineup 116 times this season, LeMahieu made 31 starts at first base, 35 at second base, and 43 at third base; additionally, he swapped positions mid-game 10 times over the course of the year. He provided elite defense at the hot corner (his 8 DRS and 4 OAA were each in the top ten despite playing only 385 innings at the position, while his 11.9 UZR/150 led the league), provided plus defense at first base (2 DRS, 2 OAA, 3.3 UZR/150), and was more than serviceable at the keystone (-1 DRS, 2 OAA, 1.1 UZR/150).
Trevino and LeMahieu were not the only members of the Bronx Bombers to become Gold Glove finalists. Unfortunately, their teammates ultimately fell short. Jameson Taillon (P), Anthony Rizzo (1B), and Andrew Benintendi (LF), lost out to Shane Bieber, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Steven Kwan. Even so, five nominations and a pair of winners is nothing to shake your head at, and a sign of just how much the Yankees defense improved from 2021 to 2022.
In case you’re curious, below are the winners at all AL positions. Our congratulations go out to Trevino and LeMahieu.
The best of the best!— MLB (@MLB) November 1, 2022
Your 2022 American League @RawlingsSports Gold Glove winners. pic.twitter.com/7GwQlsYLOe