Cubs trio make history in winning Gold Gloves
The Cubs were lauded and built on their defense in 2023.
They added some hardware — and some history — Sunday night to back up the praise.
Dansby Swanson (shortstop) Ian Happ (left field) and Nico Hoerner (second base) all won Gold Gloves at their respective positions Sunday night. It’s Hoerner’s first time winning the award and Swanson and Happ’s second consecutive year winning.
It’s the first time the Cubs have had 3 Gold Glove winners in one season and the first time they’ve had multiple winners since Anthony Rizzo and Javier Báez won in 2020.
Swanson, signed last offseason to a 7-year deal, joined the Cubs and was lauded for his defensive prowess — he certainly was that in his first season in Chicago. His 20 Outs Above Average (OAA) were the most in baseball. Swanson beat out the Mets’ Francisco Lindor and the Rockies’ Ezequiel Tovar for the award.
“He’s such a good defender — it’s sort of insulting to say — he’s so steady defensively because he made so many spectacular plays,” Jed Hoyer said at his end-of-season press conference. “But just knowing that the ball hit to shortstop is an out, always.”
Hoerner was one of the better defensive shortstops in 2022 and the Cubs figured his move to second would greatly improve their up-the-middle defense — it made it the jewel of the National League. Hoerner was 5th in baseball in OAA at second base and third in the NL. Hoerner won the award over the Padres’ Ha-Seong Kim and the Phillies’ Bryson Stott.
The 26-year-old is the first Cubs second baseman to win the award since Darwin Barney in 2012 and the 5th overall.
Happ led all left fielders in outfield assists with 12. It’s his second straight year winning the award. He’s the first Cub to win back-to-back Gold Gloves since Rizzo won three straight from 2018 to 2020. Happ is the first Cub outfielder to win consecutive Gold Gloves since Jason Heyward did so in 2016 and 2017.