When Billy Eppler became the LA Angels general manager his first major move was to acquire Andrelton Simmons to bolster the Angels infield defense up the middle. Trading for Martin Maldonado the next offeseason continued this trend.
This season one of the things the LA Angels did well was playing defense. This was due to Simmons and Maldonado as well as having Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun in the outfield. Ian Kinsler was also a former Gold Glove winner who the Angels acquired last winter. Although Maldonado and Kinsler were traded in late July and August the Angels still had some Gold Glove caliber defensive players in the line-up almost every day.
Andrelton Simmons -Shortstop
Simmons had another superb season defensively in 2018 and has been named a finalist once again along with the A’s Marcus Semien and the Indians Francisco Lindor. Simmons won the Gold Glove Award in 2017. Simmons had a fielding percentage of .984 with 10 errors in 610 total chances. He continued to make eye-popping plays and made the difficult plays look routine.
Hopefully Simmons will collect his second straight Gold Glove Award when they are announce in the next couple of weeks.
Kole Calhoun– Right Field
Kole Calhoun has been outstanding defensively since coming into the league 2013. In 2015 Calhoun won the Gold Glove for right field and has been a finalist twice since then including here in 2018. Calhoun has some stiff competition for the Gold Glove this season with the Yankees Aaron Judge and the Red Sox Mookie Betts.
Calhoun had a .984 fielding percentage making four errors in 242 total chances with eight outfield assists. Calhoun made numerous game-saving plays this season in 2018 including throwing out the potential tying run at the plate to the end a early season game in Toronto.
Mike Trout – Center Field
Mike Trout has long been known for his bat, but he has also made many outstanding highlight reel plays in centerfield throughout his career. Trout’s speciality has been home run robbery which he did more than a few times this season. Trout for all of his great plays in the outfield has never won a Gold Glove and only been a finalist twice including this season.
However, Trout is considered to be the front runner this season for the Gold Glove with the White Sox Adam Engel and Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr. This Trout made no errors in 271 total chances which equated to a 1.000 fielding percentage. In addition Trout ended up with seven outfield assists as well. Hopefully Trout will finally get the recognition he deserves for his stellar defense.
Former Angel Martin Maldonado is also again a finalist for the Gold Glove Award for catchers. Even though he would officially be recognized as winning the award with the Houston Astros who Maldonado was traded to in late July, most of his glovework was done with the Angels.
All in all the Angels defense was one of the bright spots in the 2018 season. Hopefully some the players who performed well will get recognized with Gold Gloves.