The magical Texas Rangers season continues, as three of the team's top defenders won Gold Gloves last night. Catcher Jonah Heim, first baseman Nathaniel Lowe, and right fielder Adolis Garcia each won the award for the first time in their careers. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager were finalist, but were beat out at second base and short stop respectively. The trio of Rangers winners will now take part in a special ceremony in New York on Friday, November 10th, with their fellow Gold Glovers.
It should come as no surprise that the Rangers had three Gold Glovers this year, as the team's defense was impeccable. As a team the Rangers only committed 57 errors all season. That effort was tops in the American League and trailed only the Arizona Diamondbacks (56) overall. Defense can sometimes get swept under the rug, but when the top two fielding teams in MLB make the World Series, front offices around the game should take notice.
Jonah Heim has come a long way since the Rangers acquired him from the Oakland Athletics. Heim was a piece in the trade that sent Elvis Andrus to Oakland prior to the 2021 season. He has improved his hitting substantially, but it is his defense that has allowed him to be in the Rangers lineup so often. Rangers coach Bobby Wilson deserves a ton of credit for Heim taking this honor. Wilson has been the driving force behind the last two American League Gold Glove catchers, as Jose Trevino won the award last year for the Yankees after being under his tutelage. Heim is one of the best framers in the game and has upped his ability to control the running game as well.
Nathaniel Lowe is one of those guys that you can't help but like as a fan. From his exuberant parade celebration last Friday, to that "awe shucks" kind of attitude and smile, Lowe is becoming a fan favorite in Arlington. But if you flash back to 2022, Lowe was one of the worst defensive first basemen in the game. It was so bad, that there were calls to move him to designated hitter by many that follow the team. So what did Lowe do? He went out and worked with the best in the game last offseason and went from one of the worst to the best. Kind of sounds like what this Texas Ranges team did.
Adolis Garcia can be a beast at the plate, and he showed that to the entire baseball world during the playoffs. What some might not have realized, is that he is such a good outfielder. His glove is good, but I would say that it is actually is arm that makes him elite. In Game 3 of the World Series, Garcia gunned down Christian Walker at the plate in the second inning of a scoreless game. The Rangers would go on to win the game by a score of 3 to 1 and the defensive play of Garcia was a key part of that victory.
If a team wants to make their pitching better, they should look at the Rangers and see how they play defense. With three Gold Glovers this year, and a few others that very well could have won the award, it was exciting to watch them flash the leather and hum the ball around this past summer.