Perez, 22, led all qualifying shortstops amongst the 10 domestic-based, full season Minor Leagues with a .981 fielding percentage. While collecting 482 total chances at shortstop, the Maracay, Venezuela native committed just nine errors while helping the Travs reach the 2011 Texas League finals.
Navarro, 25, held the highest fielding percentage for all qualifying first basemen in Minor League Baseball at .998, committing three errors in 1357 total chances. The Las Vegas, Nevada native led all Minor League Baseball first basemen in putouts (1285), total chances and double plays (140).
The 2011 Minor League Baseball recipients of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award are as follows:
Position Name Club(s)/MLB organization
P Craig Wescott San Jose/San Francisco
C Tucker Barnhardt Dayton/Cincinnati
1B Efren Navarro Salt Lake/Los Angeles-AL
2B Steve Lombardozzi Harrisburg, Syracuse/Washington
SS Darwin Perez Arkansas/Los Angeles-AL
3B Brandon Laird Scranton-Wilkes Barre/New York-AL
LF Austin Krum Trenton, Scranton-Wilkes Barre/New York-AL
CF Jordan Danks Charlotte/Chicago-AL
RF Cole Gillespie Reno/Arizona
"Rawlings has celebrated defensive excellence at the professional level since the inaugural Rawlings Gold Glove Award team in 1957," said Mike Thompson, senior vice president of marketing for Rawlings. "Minor League Baseball is and will always continue to be a great partner of Rawlings, and we are thrilled to reward the hard work and dedication of these nine superior defensive players with the newly-designed Minor League Baseball Rawlings Gold Glove Award."
This season marks the return of Rawlings honoring Minor League Baseball players for their defensive prowess. The St. Louis-based company named a Minor League all-star fielding team on the bases of official fielding averages for several years in the 1960s. The accolade was known as the Rawlings Silver Glove Award during this time.