Urias reps the Orioles with a Gold Glove at third base.
Before Orioles fans tuned into Game 3 of the World Series, Birdland found out that Ramon Urias won a Gold Glove at third base. He is one of a whopping 14 players taking home the prestigious defensive award for the first time in their careers. Cedric Mullins was also nominated in centerfield, but Myles Straw of the Guardians beat him out.
Gold Gloves had become nonexistent in Baltimore during the tanking years, as the last Oriole to win won was Manny Machado back in 2015. Most years there is a team that racks up multiple awards (Cleveland won four this time around), so six years is quite the dry spell. Urias joins elite company, as the only other Orioles third basemen to win a Gold Glove are Machado and Brooks Robinson. Urias is a key part of a defensive unit that dramatically improved this season.
It is truly remarkably that a minor league journeyman now stands next to a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer and a perennial MVP candidate. Urias struggled to such an extent with the Rangers DSL team that they sold him to Mexico City of the Mexican League. He played parts of five seasons there before the Cardinals gave him a chance. The Orioles them claimed him off waivers in February 2020, making him among the first waiver wire success stories on the current roster.
The other remarkable aspect about Urias winning a Gold Glove is that he had only played ten games at third before this season. That is unheard of for an award winner. Quite literally, in fact:
Ramon Urias had played mostly second base and shortstop before 2022, and he might move back to second next season. Beyond his 98 games at third this year, he also played 21 at second, 8 at short, and 2 as the designated hitter. Urias spent only 769.1 innings at third this year, which is below the minimum to be a league qualifier, though the Rawlings has funky rules where players are eligible if they played 2/3 of their team’s first 138 games. The confusing criteria has led some people to view Gold Gloves (and, similarly Silver Sluggers) as meaningless. While there are always some egregious nominees and snubs, the winners are deserving of the title of best fielder at their position.
Urias can certainly make that claim at third base. He led all AL third basemen in total defensive value at 8.6, ultimate zone rating at 10.9, and defensive runs saved at 14. He also tied for first with the Yankees’ Josh Donaldson in outs above average with 7. Urias defeated Matt Chapman and Jose Ramirez to win the Gold Glove.
Regardless of what happens the rest of his career, Ramon Urias will always be able to say he won a Gold Glove. Congratulations to him, and hopefully he keeps up the surehandedness next season.