Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart wins gold glove

Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart tags out San Diego Padres’ Erick Aybar, left, with home plate umpire Ted Barrett, right, watching, on a double to center by Luis Torrens during the second inning of a baseball game in San Diego, Wednesday, June 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

CINCINNATI (WDTN) – Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart has been named winner of the National League Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his position.

Barnhart, 26, became only the third catcher in Reds history to win Major League Baseball’s top award for defensive excellence, joining Johnny Edwards (1963, 1964) and 10-time winner Johnny Bench (1968-1977).

“I am a fan of dedication to catching, and it is a joy to watcher Tucker,” Bench said. “He has excelled at every level. He was given an opportunity and has proven he ranks among the best.”

In 2017, Barnhart led Major League catchers in fielding percentage (.999, 1e, 953tc), caught stealings and assists. His 2.8 Defensive WAR as calculated by Baseball Reference led all National League players and ranked second among all Major League players (SS Andrelton Simmons, 4.2). As calculated by Fangraphs, Barnhart led all Major League catchers in defensive value and in defensive runs saved.

Barnhart committed his only error of the season in his 53rd appearance behind the plate (7/7 at Ari, SB/E2). That 52-game errorless streak was the longest of his career, but then after that miscue finished the season with another 57 consecutive scoreless defensive apps to establish another career best. He caught 7 of the pitching staff’s 8 shutouts and Scott Feldman’s 4-0 complete game win on 5/7 vs SF.

The graduate of Brownsburg (IN) High School led Reds catchers in starts for the second consecutive season (105). He established new career highs in games (121), hits (100), doubles (24), triples (2), walks (42), total bases (149), batting average (.270), on-base percentage (.347), slugging percentage (.403) and OPS (.750) while tying his career high in HR (7).

For 4 straight seasons from 2011-2014, Barnhart was rated by Baseball America the best defensive catcher in the organization and following the 2011 season received Minor League Baseball’s prestigious Rawlings Gold Glove Award for catchers.

Other members of the 2017 National League Rawlings Gold Glove Award team are P Zack Greinke1B Paul Goldschmidt2B DJ LeMahieu3B Nolan ArenadoSS Brandon CrawfordLF Marcell OzunaCF Ender Inciarte and RF Jason Heyward.

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