White Sox rookie Luis Robert won the American League Rawlings Gold Glove Award for center fielders Tuesday.
The 23-year-old Cuban, who edged out the Twins’ Byron Buxton and Athletics and Ramon Laureano, is the first rookie to win since Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado in 2013.
Robert displayed exceptional range and a strong arm, committed one error while leading all AL outfielders in total chances (154) and ranked sixth overall in defensive WAR (1.0). He ranked tied for second among MLB Statcast outfield leaders in runs prevented (five) and outs above average (seven) and posted a .994 fielding percentage.
“I have always dreamed of winning a Gold Glove, so this is a dream come true. I joked around this season with Yolmer Sánchez about the possibility of winning it one day and being a Gold Glover like him,” Robert said in a statement released by the Sox. “I felt happy with my defense, but I know I can do more and be better. I have to thank [coach] Daryl Boston because he helped me adjust to the big leagues and taught me to take better advantage of my defensive skills. This award is a motivation for me.”
Robert was named a finalist for the AL Rookie of the Year Award Monday. He was one of five Sox finalists for the Gold Glove, along with catchers Yasmani Grandal and James McCann, second baseman Danny Mendick and third baseman Yoán Moncada.
Robert joins Ken Berry (1970), Tommie Agee (1966), Jim Landis (1961-64) and Minnie Miñoso (1957, ’60) as Sox outfielders to win the award. Five rookies have won the award in the last 30 seasons: Robert, Arenado, Ichiro Suzuki in 2001, Charles Johnson in 1995 and Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1990.