Reds news: Tucker Barnhart wins his second Gold Glove

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 30: Tucker Barnhart #42 of the Cincinnati Reds walks back to the dugout. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 30: Tucker Barnhart #42 of the Cincinnati Reds walks back to the dugout. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart won his second Gold Glove.

Tucker Barnhart is golden, again. The Cincinnati Reds catcher took home the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for the second time in his career. Barnhart’s stalwart defensive performance this season earned him some well-deserved respect. While Barnhart’s bat may never be elite, no one can question his skills behind the plate.

Barnhart earned his first Gold Glove during the 2017 season. That year, according to FanGraphs, Barnhart racked up 14 defensive runs saved (DRS) and. committed just one error. This season, Barnhart led the National League with nine DRS and did not commit a single error.

Tucker Barnhart beat out fellow National League backstops Willson Contreras (Chicago Cubs) and Jacob Stallings (Pittsburgh Pirates). Contreras recorded just one DRS and Stallings was second in the NL with seven.

Barnhart’s second Gold Glove puts him in some elite company. Fellow catchers Johnny Bench (10) and Johnny Edwards (2) are the only backstops in Cincinnati Reds history to have also won multiple Gold Glove Awards.

Tucker Barnhart split time with fellow catcher Curt Casali, but was still behind the plate for 272.2 innings over 36 games and allowed just two passed balls. Runners also learned not to run on Tucker as Barnhart threw out 36.4% of would-be base stealers.

The pandemic-shortened 2020 season changed the way finalists were named this season. Sabermetrics entered the equation this season, something that nine-time Gold Glove winner Yadier Molina took exception to. You’ll forgive Reds Country if no one sheds a tear.

Tucker Barnhart’s future with the Cincinnati Reds is a bit foggy. While he’s under contract through at least next season, young catching prospect Tyler Stephenson is sure to take away some playing time from both Barnhart and Casali.

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There exists the possibility that Barnhart or Casali may be traded this offseason, but I tend to think that both will return and Stephenson will join them. While Stephenson gives the Reds a better bat, after this season, there’s no player on Cincinnati’s roster who offers better defense than the two-time Gold Glove Award winner, Tucker Barnhart.