Spokane, WASH. - A pair of former Spokane Indians players are the new gold standard at their positions in the American League. Joey Gallo (right field) and Isiah Kiner-Falefa (third base) each earned their first career Gold Glove Award after finishing second and third in MLB for defensive runs saved,
Spokane, WASH. - A pair of former Spokane Indians players are the new gold standard at their positions in the American League. Joey Gallo (right field) and Isiah Kiner-Falefa (third base) each earned their first career Gold Glove Award after finishing second and third in MLB for defensive runs saved, respectively.
Although more well known for his prodigious power, Gallo has turned into an elite defender in right field after converting from third base in the minors. The 26-year-old finished first in the AL in total runs saved (12), first in the AL in SABR Defensive Index (7.1), and fourth among AL right fielders with four outfield assists. Gallo, who is the first Rangers outfielder to win the award since fellow Indians alum Gary Pettis took home the hardware in 1990, appeared in 16 games for the Spokane Indians in 2012 after being selected 39th overall out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.
“It’s pretty special because I have been known as a home run hitter or a DH or somebody who either hits home runs or strikes out,” Gallo said. “But I take a lot of pride in playing defense. To be rewarded for that and pay off in winning a Gold Glove, I never thought I would be here but I’m pretty excited.
Kiner-Falefa played all over the diamond for the Rangers in 2018 and 2019. including extensive time at catcher, before settling in as the team's everyday third baseman in 2020. The native of Hawaii provided nightly highlight-reel plays at the hot corner while topping all AL defensive players in dWAR (1.3), leading AL third baseman in total runs saved (8), and finishing third among AL infielders in outs above average (4). He became the first Rangers third baseman to win the award since Adrian Beltre in 2016. Originally a fourth-round pick out of the Mid-Pacific Institute in 2013, Kiner-Falefa appeared in 58 games for the Spokane Indians in 2014, hitting .260 with 16 RBI in 223 at-bats.
“It means the world to me,” Kiner-Falefa said. “Especially with what I had to go through in the Minor Leagues. I felt I never got credit for how good I was in the field. The fact that I had to move to catcher just to try to help the team. To get back in the infield where I know I can be successful and win a Gold Glove, especially after being sent down as a catcher, to win a Gold Glove shows the organization I am a real player.”
Zack Greinke leads all Indians alums with six career Gold Gloves, with Gary Pettis (5), and Steve Garvey (4) rounding out the top three all time.
About the Spokane Indians - The Spokane Indians are the Short Season Class "A" affiliate of the Texas Rangers and play at Avista Stadium. The Spokane Indians Team Store is available for online orders and curbside pickup.