Reds lack of Gold Glove Awards finalists proves that defense was lacking in 2023

The Reds didn't have a single player named as a finalist for a Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
A Rawlings baseball, the official ball of Major League Baseball.
A Rawlings baseball, the official ball of Major League Baseball. / Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

The Cincinanti Reds haven't had a Gold Glove Award-winner since Tucker Barnhart took home the hardware in 2020. That's a trend that will continue this year as well.

The Reds didn't have single player appear as a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award this year, and only outfielder TJ Friedl even had a legitimate shot at making the list.

Does this represent a deeper problem for the Reds' organization as a whole? How bad was Cincinnati's defense in 2023?

Reds lack of Gold Glove Awards finalists proves that defense was lacking in 2023

Let's look as some traditional stats to start. in terms of fielding percentage, the Cincinnati Reds ranked in the bottom third of the league. The Reds 91 errors was the 11th most in Major League Baseball according to FanGraphs.

When you dive a little deeper into the advanced metrics, it doesn't paint a good picture. In terms of defensive runs saved, the Reds rank 28th out of all 30 teams with -37. Only the Chicago White Sox and Oakland Athletics were worse in 2023.

Outs above average is another popular way to measure a player and team's defensive prowess nowadays. That stat is pretty ugly as well, with Cincinnati ranked 29th ahead of only the Boston Red Sox.

Looking at individuals, Matt McLain, Stuart Fairchild, and TJ Friedl put up solid numbers. On the flip side, Spencer Steer, Jonathan India, and Tyler Stephenson had some of the worst individual performances this past season.

It's definitely not surprising that no one from the Cincinnati Reds was named as a finalist for a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, but that's something that needs to change heading into next season.

With speed and a cannon for a right arm, Elly De La Cruz has the ability to play Gold Glove-caliber defense at shortstop. But the 21-year-old committed more errors than anyone on the Reds last season. That's an area that will need to be shored up heading into 2024.

Matt McLain is another Reds player who has Gold Glove potential, but it still remains to be seen how Cincinnati will align their infield next season. One thing is certain, however, the Cincinnati Reds need to improve defensively heading into 2024.

manual