The 22 year-old earns the honor in his first full MLB season after debuting with the Marlins in July of 2013. This year he led the National League with 13 defensive runs saved and contributed six assists in 1258.2 innings in left field. He made just two errors all season and finished with a sparkling .996 fielding percentage in 144 games. The league-average fielding mark was .985.
They say that offense helps Gold Glove cases as well, and Yelich was no slouch in that department, slashing .284/.362/.402 (112 OPS+) with 9 home runs and 54 RBI primarily out of the leadoff spot. His .764 OPS ranked sixth among NL left fielders.
Yelich becomes the first Marlins outfielder to ever win a Gold Glove and the first Marlin overall since Mark Buehrle netted one in 2012.
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Earlier today, Giancarlo Stanton was also named National League Most Outstanding Player while Casey McGehee was honored as Comeback Player of the Year. Stanton had been in the running for a Gold Glove as well, but the award for right fielders ultimately went to Atlanta’s Jason Heyward.
The Marlins had previously said they would consider moving Yelich to first base, but that would be a huge mistake. They fielded arguably the best outfield in baseball in 2014, and they need Yelich’s great range and smooth strides to make plays in the cavernous Marlins Park outfield.
Yelich is the youngest Marlins player to win a Gold Glove. Catcher Charles Johnson had previously held the mark since he won the award at age 24 in 1995.