Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart has won his second Gold Glove Award. In 2020, Barnhart got the final nod over finalists Willson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs and Jacob Stallings of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Tucker Barnhart won his first Gold Glove back in 2017. After missing out on it the last two seasons, Barnhart is back on top. This year the Gold Glove Awards were awarded to players based on their SDI (SABR Defensive Index) alone. In past years SDI was a part of, but not the only part of the award criteria. In a shortened season, it was decided that it alone would determine the winner. SDI, however, isn’t explained in full detail. We do know that it includes Defensive Runs Saved, though. Barnhart led all catchers with nine defensive runs saved this past season. He also rated out as an above-average pitch framer – something he has improved upon throughout his career.
Tucker Barnhart didn’t commit a single error during the season in his 272.1 innings caught in 2020. He also threw out 36% of attempted base stealers during the season, which was 50% higher than the league average of 24%. That rate was up significantly over the previous two seasons where he threw out 24% (he threw out 44% during the 2017 season).
For the Cincinnati Reds, Tucker Barnhart joins Johnny Edwards (1963 and 1964) and Johnny Bench (1968-1977) as multiple Gold Glove winners at catcher. Barnhart is the first two not win them back-to-back.
Shogo Akiyama doesn’t win his 1st Gold Glove
Tucker Barnhart wasn’t the only Cincinnati Reds player who was a Gold Glove finalist in 2020. Outfielder Shogo Akiyama was also named as a finalist for the left field version of the award (despite playing in less than HALF of the innings the Reds had for left fielders). The award would ultimately go to St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Tyler O’Neill.