SAN DIEGO — Two Padres players brought home their first-ever Gold Glove awards on Sunday for outstanding defensive work this season.
Fernando Tatis Jr. won the National League award in the right field, while Ha-Seong Kim earned the Padres their first utility Gold Glove. The accolades — a first for both — come after their first year in new positions, a switch brought on by shortstop Xander Boegarts’ arrival.
Despite missing the first 20 games of the season due to his PEDs suspension, Tatis led the Majors with 29 runs saved in 2023 after making the transition to the outfield spot. His elite arm also helped to nab 12 outfield assists, and a record of 11 outs above average.
“El Niño” bested Mookie Betts of the Dodgers and Lane Thomas of the Nationals, who were also finalists for the right fielder award. Betts and the Cardinals’ Tommy Edman were also finalists in the utility catergory won by Kim.
Meanwhile, Kim, who was a finalist at shortstop in 2022 and at second base this year, won for best utilityman, having made incredible plays in every position he spent time in throughout the season. He is the first Asian-born infielder to win a Gold Glove in the Majors.
He combined for 16 defensive runs saved — 10 at second, and three each at third and short. According to MLB, his record at second based ranked behind only the co-leaders in the NL at the position, Nico Hoerner from the Cubs and the Brewers’ Brice Turang.
Earning Gold Gloves in their first season after a position switch puts both Tatis and Kim in exclusive company — only four veteran players in MLB history have earned the award in their first season at a new spot.
Tatis’ right field award also makes clubhouse history as the first since Padres’ legend Tony Gwynn’s took home his fifth Gold Glove in 1991.
A full list of each league’s winner at each position can be found on the MLB website.
Gold Glove winners are decided by combining a vote of coaches and managers with metrics developed by the Society for American Baseball Research, according to MLB.