Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s glove is now golden.
The 23-year-old first baseman won his first career Gold Glove Award on Tuesday, Rawlings Baseball announced via social media. It is the first time any first baseman has accomplished that feat in franchise history. In doing so, the 6-foot-2 corner infielder beat out Minnesota’s Luis Arráez and New York’s Anthony Rizzo for the award.
— Rawlings Baseball (@RawlingsSports) November 1, 2022
Guerrero, who transitioned to first base in 2020, led all American League first basemen in DRS (+3) this past season. He also logged the fourth-most innings (1,119.0) at that position.
Toronto Blue Jays manager John Schneider was among the first to congratulate the right-hander, sending him a celebratory message via the club’s Twitter page.
From: Manager John Schneider
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) November 1, 2022
Despite being widely known for his offensive talents, Guerrero has worked tirelessly to improve his fielding since arriving to the majors in 2019. And though there have been some bumps along the way, including a positional change, his efforts have now been recognized across the majors with this prestigious award.
There is still room for improvement, of course, as he continues to develop on the left side of the diamond. He’ll certainly need to clean up a few mistakes after committing a career-worst 10 errors in 2022, but you can’t argue with his progression.
The award-winning first baseman has been worth 9.0 fWAR over four Major-League seasons.