Springdale, AR - A pair of former Naturals have won Gold Glove Awards for the first time. Major League Baseball announced last night that three Kansas City Royals won Gold Gloves Awards: First Baseman Eric Hosmer, Catcher Salvador, and Left Fielder Alex Gordon. All three players suited up for the Naturals, Hosmer in 2010, Perez in 2011, and Gordon on a Major League Rehab Assignment in 2009.
Hosmer also becomes the first First Basemen to win the award in Kansas City Royals history. The 23-year-old played 159 games for the Royals this season, and made 8 errors in 1,335 chances at first base while leading the American League with 122 fielding assists. The former first round draft choice committed just two errors in 43 games at first base with Northwest Arkansas as a 20-year-old in 2010.
Perez, 23, has long since been lauded in the Organization for his defensive prowess. The All Star played in a career high 138 games for Kansas City in 2013 and threw out 25 baserunners and recorded 71 assists leading the League in both categories. Royals pitchers maintained a 3.36 ERA with Perez behind the plate this season. In three months as a Natural in 2011, Perez threw out would-be base-stealers at a .479 clip, the rest of the League's catchers did so at a .266 average.
Gordon is the recipient of the award for the third-straight year. The former third baseman won made just one error in a League-leading 341 total chances. He led the American League with 17 Outfield assists, and has Major League leading 54 since 2011, according to MLB.com.
The occasion marks the first time in Naturals history that former players on the Naturals Roster have won a Gold Glove Award and first time in Kansas City history that three Royals have won a Gold Glove Award.
Since 1958, Baseball's American and National League Managers and Coaches have decided the awards by voting for the best defensive players at each position in their respective league without voting for a player from their own team. This season, according to Rawlings, the presenting sponsor of the Awards, a sabermetric statistical analysis accounted for 25 to 30% of the vote.
The Seventh Season of Naturals Baseball begins Thursday, April 3, 2014 in Frisco, TX. The team opens at Arvest Ballpark on Thursday April 10, 2014 against the same Frisco Rough Riders.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and proud host of the 77th Annual Texas League All Star Game. The Naturals play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, AR. For more information including statistics, ticket options, and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.