Betts honored with first AL Gold Glove Award

Betts honored with first AL Gold Glove Award

BOSTON -- A shortstop in high school and a second baseman in his first couple of years in the Minor Leagues, Mookie Betts eventually found his true calling as an outfielder. The prowess of Betts in right field led to him winning his first career American League Rawlings Gold Glove Award on Tuesday.

Betts, who transitioned to the outfield for the Red Sox in 2014, beat out fellow AL right-field finalists George Springer of the Astros and Adam Eaton of the White Sox.

Making the honor more impressive is that Fenway Park is arguably the toughest right field to play in the Majors, with unique dimensions that stretch from 302 feet down the line to 380 in front of the bullpens.

Vote Betts for Best Defensive Player

Betts spent the majority of 2015 in center before taking up full-time residence in right for '16.

Major League managers and coaches, voting only within their league and unable to vote for players on their own teams, account for 75 percent of the selection process; the sabermetrics community accounts for the other 25 percent.

Betts' running grab

Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and second baseman Dustin Pedroia were also finalists at their positions, but lost to Kevin Kiermaier and Ian Kinsler, respectively.

The Gold Glove might not be the last major honor for Betts this month. He is one of three finalists for the AL's Most Valuable Player Award.

The defense of Betts measured up in both the traditional and non-traditional categories.

His .997 fielding percentage lead the AL, as Betts made one error in 361 total chances. Betts was part of four double plays, and finished second in the Majors with 14 assists.

According to FanGraphs, the 32 defensive runs saved by Betts were 10 more than any player at any other position.

Betts' Gold Glove Award is the 44th in Red Sox history by 21 players. The last Boston player to win a Gold Glove was Pedroia in 2014.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.