Two former Altoona Curve infielders, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Will Craig, were chosen as 2019 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® winners on Monday by Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc.
Hayes (32nd overall in 2015) and Craig (22nd overall in 2016), both former first-round draft selections by the Pirates, spent the entire 2019 season with Triple-A Indianapolis after anchoring the corner infield spots for the Curve in 2018.
The honor for Hayes was his third in a row, making him just the second player in the history of the Rawlings Minor League Baseball Gold Glove Award to win three straight Gold Gloves. The 22-year-old led third basemen in the Minors in fielding percentage for the third straight season, this time with a .989 mark at the hot corner for Indianapolis.
Craig wins his first Gold Glove at first base and had just one error in 886 total chances. That equated to a .999 fielding percentage, the best in the Minors at first base, one year after he had a .993 in Altoona to lead the Eastern League.
The Pirates and Miami Marlins were the only two developmental systems with multiple recipients of Rawlings Minor League Gold Gloves this year.
Two members of the 2019 Curve had tremendous defensive seasons but were not selected.
Jared Oliva had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 114 games in the outfield, including 113 contests in center. Oliva’s 291 total chances, 288 putouts and 114 games played were all the most by any outfielder in the Minors that did not commit an error. The center field recipient, Miami’s Victor Victor Mesa, was also perfect in center field over 102 games but had 11 outfield assists compared to Oliva’s three.
Catcher Arden Pabst had a .998 fielding percentage (one error in 604 total chances) in 73 games and caught 633.1 innings behind the plate for the Curve in 2019. However, Cubs Double-A backstop Jhonny Pereda played in 85 games with a .996 fielding percentage (three errors in 833 total chances) to win the 2019 award.
2019 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® Winners
C – Jhonny Pereda, Tennessee (Cubs AA)
1B – Will Craig, Indianapolis (Pirates AAA)
2B – Nick Madrigal, Winston-Salem (White Sox A+), Birmingham (AA), Charlotte (AAA)
3B – Ke’Bryan Hayes, Indianapolis (Pirates AAA)
SS – Donnie Walton, Arkansas (Mariners AA)
LF – Mark Contreras, Fort Myers (Twins A+), Pensacola (AA)
CF – Victor Victor Mesa, Jupiter (Marlins A+), Jacksonville (AA)
RF – Jesus Sanchez, Montgomery (Rays AA), Durham (AAA), New Orleans (Marlins AAA)
P – Matthew Kent, Portland (Red Sox AA), Pawtucket (AAA)