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Shogo, Barnhart Gold Glove finalists; Bauer named Outstanding Pitcher

It’s officially almost nearly Awards Season.

Cincinnati Reds v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

It’s probably just me, an idiot, who has a weird reaction when discussing annual Gold Glove Awards. Every time I think about it, I picture a talented baseball defender flying across the diamond in an attempt to snag a wayward pop-fly, only to extend his glove and have the ball bang off his metal mitt like a mallet banging a gong.

Perhaps a Feather Glove Award is more appropriate. A Tempur-Pedic Memoryfoam Award?

I digress.

The Gold Glove Award, which is called such because of the trophy (obviously), is a celebration of great defense that’s doled out to every position in every league upon the completion of each regular season, and despite the nebulous methods behind how winners are chosen, it’s a pretty damn respectable thing to win. This year, a pair of Cincinnati Reds glovesmen have been named finalists - Shogo Akiyama in LF, and Tucker Barnhart behind the plate.

The Reds took to Twitter to announce the news.

Tucker, you’ll recall, took home the NL’s award back in 2017 following an excellent season at catcher, and his defense this year certainly appeared worthy of consideration once again. Shogo, on the other hand, was in his initial MLB campaign this year, and while it took a bit for his bat to round into form, his defense across the outfield was routinely outstanding from the get-go.

Congrats to both on being named finalists, and here’s to both taking home the awards. For Shogo, that would even mean a $100,000 bonus per the details of his contract, though it’s unclear given the info I have at hand whether that, too, would be prorated due to the curtailed 2020 regular season.

The winners will be announced on November 3rd.

In other awards news, Trevor Bauer’s excellent 2020 regular season saw him named the NL’s Outstanding Pitcher in the Players Choice Awards, something the ace himself took very much to heart.

While the defensive measurements behind Gold Gloves remain nebulous, what Bauer produced on the mound for the Reds this year was much more measurable, and it measured up incredibly well. He led the NL with an absurd 276 ERA+ and 0.795 WHIP, while leading all MLB with a minuscule 5.1 H/9. His pair of complete game shutouts also was the best in baseball, and he is firmly in the mix - if not the frontrunner - for the NL’s Cy Young Award, a trophy that would make him the first such winner in the long history of the Cincinnati Reds.

Congrats to all parties involved on their on-field exploits this season.