The Atlanta Braves had three players earn National League Rawlings Gold Glove awards, which were announced Sunday night.
First baseman Freddie Freeman, center fielder Ender Inciarte and right fielder Nick Markakis all won the award, marking the first time the franchise has had three Rawlings Gold Glove winners in a single season since the award’s inception in 1957.
Freeman, 29, collected his first career Rawlings Gold Glove award and became the only Braves first baseman to ever win the award. Freeman, who played all 162 games and made his third All-Star team this season, finished with 12 defensive runs saved and a 7.8 ultimate zone rating, both of which led all National League first basemen.
“This is an incredible honor to win a Gold Glove award,” Freeman said. “I take a lot of pride in my defense. It’s just as important to me as my offense. I want to thank everyone who voted for me. It means a lot to me to win a Gold Glove.”
Inciarte, 28, won the National League Gold Glove for center field for the third consecutive season, and according to MLB Statcast, tied for the major league lead among qualifying outfielders with 21 outs above average. Inciarte is the first Braves player to win three straight Gold Glove awards since center fielder Andruw Jones won 10 straight from 1998-2007.
“Winning the Gold Glove award means everything to me,” Inciarte said. “It is a good feeling knowing that all the work I put in every offseason has paid off. I want to keep getting better and receiving this award because the feeling never gets old.”
Markakis, 34, is a National League Gold Glove winner for the first time, and for the third time overall after winning twice with Baltimore in 2011 and 2014. Markakis, who went to his first career All-Star game and started all 162 games in 2018, is the third Braves right fielder to capture the award, joining Jason Heyward (2012, 2014) and Jeff Francoeur (2007).
“This is a great honor to be recognized with the Gold Glove award,” Markakis said. “We play a lot of games throughout the season and winning awards isn’t what you strive for. The most important part to me is working to help my team win. If you are rewarded at the end of the year with an award, then it’s a plus.”
Prior to Sunday, the last National League team with three Rawlings Gold Glove winners in a single season was the 2016 San Francisco Giants, who had catcher Buster Posey, second baseman Joe Panik and shortstop Brandon Crawford all earn the honor. The last major league team to have two Gold Glove outfielders in the same season was the 2014 Baltimore Orioles. Markakis and center fielder Adam Jones won that year.
This also marks just the second time in franchise history the Braves have had two outfielders win in the same season — Jones and Francoeur both collected the award in 2007.