Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner snubbed as a Gold Glove finalist
By Jake Misener
Despite silencing critics and emerging as one of the elite defenders at his position this year, Chicago Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner was not among this year’s Rawling Gold Glove finalists – prompting outrage from fans and his teammates alike.
Hoerner ranked second among National League shortstops in Outs Above Average (OAA) and Defensive Runs Saved, yet was nowhere to be found when the finalists were announced this week. Instead, the Padres’ Ha-Seong Kim, Braves’ Dansby Swanson and Marlins’ Miguel Rojas are all up for the honors, which will be announced on 11/1 on ESPN.
Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman took to Twitter to voice his displeasure, showing his full support of Hoerner.
I think it’s important to take note of how finalists are selected, just for full transparency. Here’s what Rawlings’ website has to say about the process:
"To determine the winners of the 18 defensive position Awards, each team’s manager and up to six coaches on his staff vote from a pool of qualified players in their League and cannot vote for players from their own team. In 2013, Rawlings added the SABR Defensive Index™ (SDI) to the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, which comprises approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers’ and coaches’ votes continuing to carry the majority."
If you’ll recall, there were a ton of questions about Hoerner being the team’s full-time shortstop last spring. So much so, the Cubs went out and added Andrelton Simmons and Jonathan Villar to shore up their depth up the middle. Neither of those moves wound up panning out, so thankfully, Hoerner took the opportunity and ran with it, while also putting up some very solid offensive numbers, as well.
Regardless of position, Nico Hoerner will be key piece for the Cubs
Of course, Hoerner’s future at the position is very much up in the air given the Cubs’ likely pursuit of a top-shelf shortstop in free agency this winter. Carlos Correa, Trea Turner and Swanson are all available – and Red Sox standout Xander Bogaerts is likely to join them via an opt-out in his current deal.
Regardless of how that pans out, given what he did defensively this year – and back in 2020 when he was a Gold Glove finalist, but at second base, it’s clear Hoerner has a big role to play for the Cubs moving forward.