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Could Red Sox outfielders make history by winning all 3 Gold Gloves?

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Adam Hunger / USA TODAY Sports

The Killer B’s have been an absolute pleasure to watch defensively this season.

For all the love Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts garner at the plate, it’s their collective work with the glove this season that’s been especially jaw-dropping.

The latest example of the trios’ extraordinary defensive skills came Sunday night against the Houston Astros when Benintendi threw out the potential game-tying run at the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning.

It was the fifth outfield assist for Benintendi this season and the second runner he’s thrown out at the plate over the last week.

While there’s still more than half the season to play, the Killer B’s have positioned themselves to make history with the leather.

Since Major League Baseball began handing out the Gold Glove, no team in history has ever swept the award in the outfield, though nine different franchises have had two outfielders claim the award during the same season. The Red Sox have a chance to change that this year.

YEAR TEAM PLAYERS
1959 Giants Jackie Brandt/Willie Mays
1968 Red Sox Reggie Smith/Carl Yastrzemski
1978 Red Sox Dwight Evans/Fred Lynn
1979 Red Sox Dwight Evans/Fred Lynn
1981 Athletics Rickey Henderson/Dwayne Murphy
1990 Pirates Barry Bonds/Andy Van Slyke
1991 Pirates Barry Bonds/Andy Van Slyke
1992 Pirates Barry Bonds/Andy Van Slyke
1993 Expos Marquis Grissom/Larry Walker
1994 Giants Barry Bonds/Darren Lewis
1996 Mariners Jay Buhner/Ken Griffey Jr.
2001 Mariners Mike Cameron/Ichiro Suzuki
2003 Mariners Mike Cameron/Ichiro Suzuki
2007 Braves Jeff Francoeur/Andruw Jones
2010 Mariners Franklin Gutierrez/Ichiro Suzuki
2011 Dodgers Matt Kemp/Andre Ethier
2014 Orioles Adam Jones/Nick Markakis

The league used to hand out the Gold Glove to the three best defensive players regardless of outfield position, but changed the criteria in 2011, and now one Gold Glove goes to a right fielder, left fielder, and center fielder. That change further helps the Red Sox chances of making history.

Mookie Betts

GP DRS UZR A E FLD PCT.
66 15 9.3 3 4 .976

Betts leads the majors with 15 defensive runs saved among outfielders and shouldn’t have much competition repeating as the Gold Glove winner. Max Kepler, Aaron Judge, and Kole Calhoun are Betts’ main adversaries, though the Red Sox outfielder also leads all three in UZR, while having the same amount of assists.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

GP DRS UZR A E FLD PCT.
52 7 2.2 3 1 .992

Equipped with a cannon for an arm and an ability to handle Fenway Park’s challenging dimensions with extreme ease, Bradley Jr. is making a strong case for his first Gold Glove. The competition is steep, but a long-term injury to two-time winner Kevin Kiermaier opens the door for the field. Byron Buxton and Kevin Pillar are likely Bradley Jr.’s biggest competition.

Andrew Benintendi

GP DRS UZR A E FLD PCT.
65 7 -5.1 5 2 .983

In just his first full season in the majors, Benintendi has had few growing pains playing in front of the Green Monster. A natural center fielder, the 22-year-old possesses a strong arm and plenty of range. He ranks second among AL right fielders in DRS and assists, though his UZR sees him in fourth. Reigning Gold Glove winner Brett Gardner and Alex Gordon should be considered Benintendi’s main challengers.

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