Rockies’ Nolan Arenado wins 7th consecutive Gold Glove

Shortstop Trevor Story, a first-time finalist, loses out to D-Backs' Nick Ahmed

Nolan Arenado (28) of the Colorado Rockies comes off the field during the middle of the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on Monday, July 29, 2018.

Watching Nolan Arenado’s barehanded snatches-and-throws, over-the-shoulder basket catches, pirouettes in the dirt and diving stops down the line have become routine for Rockies fans.

And Colorado’s third baseman remains the gold standard.

Sunday, Arenado, 28, won his seventh consecutive National League Gold Glove. Rockies’ all-star shortstop Trevor Story, a finalist for the first-time, did not win. Arizona’s Nick Ahmed garnered the award for the second year in a row.

Arenado said he was a better fielder this season than last, stressing that his trainers — Scott Fricke, Mike Jasperson and Gabe Bauer — got him in better shape.

“I was in much better shape and felt like I had better range,” Arenado said Sunday. “I have to thank my trainers for helping me, on and off the field.  They deserve the credit. I can’t thank them enough.

Arenado joined Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Brooks Robinson as the only third basemen in big-league history to win at least seven consecutive Gold Gloves. Robinson won 16 straight from 1960-1975 with Baltimore and Schmidt won nine in a row from 1976-1984 with Philadelphia. Arenado’s seven Gold Gloves are the fourth-most by a third baseman in big-league history, trailing only Robinson (16), Schmidt (10) and Scott Rolen (eight).

Arenado’s owns the most Gold Gloves in franchise history; outfielder Larry Walker held the previous record with five. Game after game, Arenado’s fielding passes the eye test, but his statistics back up his Gold Glove. He led NL third basemen in fielding percentage (.980), total chances (457), putouts (111), assists (337), double plays (43), zone rating (.827), ultimate zone rating (10.3), and defensive runs above average (12.5).

The last infielder to win seven consecutive was Omar Vizquel, who won nine consecutive awards at shortstop from 1993-2001 with Seattle and Cleveland. The last NL player to snare seven consecutive Gold Gloves was Chicago Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, who won nine straight from 1983-1991.

Arenado’s streak of seven consecutive Gold Gloves to begin his career is the second-longest streak in major league history, trailing Ichiro Suzuki’s streak of 10 in a row. The Gold Glove is determined by a combination of votes submitted by major-league managers and coaches, as well as a sabermetric index provided by Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). The SABR vote counts for 25 percent of the vote.

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