Lourdes Gurriel Jr

Blue Jays: Why Lourdes Gurriel Jr. deserves the Gold Glove Nomination

TORONTO, ON - JUNE 09: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the first inning during MLB game action against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Rogers Centre on June 9, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 09: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the first inning during MLB game action against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Rogers Centre on June 9, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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On October 22, it was announced that Toronto Blue Jays player Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is a Gold Glove finalist for left field in the American League.

The only Blue Jays player nominated this year, the news seemed to meet with mixed reviews, but many, including myself, were happily surprised. While he may not be the most obvious choice, I believe Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is deserving of this nomination.

Coming from a baseball family with his father and brother Yuli (also a finalist this year), Gurriel Jr. used to be a shortstop and second baseman. Then in 2019 he was moved to the outfield and has pretty much been the Jays everyday left fielder since then.

While last season didn’t see much excitement for Gurriel defensively, this shortened and odd season seemed to prove why he is one of the key outfielders for this team.

More from Lourdes Gurriel Jr

The 2020 season featured Lourdes Gurriel Jr. making some seriously great diving catches, saving runs, or at least extra bases. Some of these catches surprised me, as I didn’t know his full capabilities at this position until 2020. What also really stands out for me about Lourdes being a success in this position is his arm strength.

This season showed him in a few situations where he made some great outfield assists. Take the game against Tampa Bay on August 21, when Yandy Diaz was making his way home and Gurriel threw a bullet to get the out at home plate, getting his first assist of the season, and it was a big one.

His fielding percentage may surprise some too, recording a .990 FCPT% this season. Compare that to the league average, which is .985 FCPT% or the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier‘s 1.000 FCPT%. Only one error was committed this season by Gurriel Jr, and 100 putouts recorded.

Although not the most obvious choice for a Gold Glove nomination, I believe Gurriel Jr. has become a solid addition to the Blue Jays outfield. After reviewing some of the plays shown above, it’s not hard to see the appeal of this nomination.

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Being an all-around solid player defensively and offensively, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. will continue to be an important player for this rebuilding team and will be an interesting one to watch for many years.

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