Whats Better Gold or Platinum Glove? -What You Should Know

Kevin Smith

Updated on:


In the realm of Major League Baseball, the Gold Glove and Platinum Glove awards represent the pinnacle of defensive excellence. 

While both honors are esteemed recognitions, a captivating debate surrounds which is the superior accolade. 

The Gold Glove, awarded to the best player at each of the nine positions in each league, has long been celebrated for honoring outstanding fielding abilities. 

On the other hand, the Platinum Glove, regarded as the more prestigious of the two, crowns a single player as the best defensive talent in the entire league, transcending positional boundaries. 

This comparison explores the reasons why, for many, the Platinum Glove is considered the ultimate defensive achievement.

What’s Better Gold or Platinum Glove?

The Rawlings Gold Glove and Platinum Glove awards are both prestigious honors in Major League Baseball, celebrating outstanding defensive performance. 

While the Gold Glove is certainly an esteemed recognition, there are several compelling reasons why the Platinum Glove can be considered even better.

Here are the reasons why the Platinum Glove Award is better than the Gold Glove Award:


The exclusivity of the Platinum Glove sets it apart. It is awarded to the single best defensive player in the entire league, meaning that out of all the exceptional defensive talent in both leagues, only one player emerges as the best. 

This makes the Platinum Glove a coveted symbol of excellence, as it acknowledges not only the individual’s defensive prowess but also their superiority over every other player in the league. 

In contrast, the Gold Glove is distributed across nine different positions, diluting the exclusivity factor.

Overall Excellence

Overall Excellence

The Platinum Glove serves as the ultimate testament to defensive excellence. It goes beyond position-specific skills and recognizes a player who has a profound impact on the game defensively.

The recipient must display exceptional abilities that go beyond fielding or throwing, making them the league’s defensive standout. 

While Gold Glove winners are undeniably exceptional at their respective positions, the Platinum Glove elevates the winner to the level of defensive mastery across the entire league.

Fan Involvement

The Platinum Glove’s determination process is more engaging for fans. It combines fan votes with the SABR Defensive Index (SDI), which factors in both subjective opinions and objective statistical metrics. 

This means fans play a more significant role in the selection, making the award not just about what the experts see, but also about what the broader baseball community believes. 

The Gold Glove, on the other hand, relies solely on votes from managers and coaches, making it a less democratic and engaging process.

Recognition of Versatility

The Platinum Glove uniquely honors versatility. To win this award, a player must excel defensively across all positions, showcasing their adaptability and skill in various roles. 

This demonstrates their ability to impact the game in multiple ways, an attribute that the Gold Glove, with its focus on specific positions, does not acknowledge. 

The Platinum Glove winner is not just a master of one position but a defensive virtuoso across the field.

Legacy and Prestige

Over time, the Platinum Glove has evolved into an emblem of the highest defensive accolade. 

Past winners are often players with established defensive legacies, and receiving this award adds an extra layer of prestige to their careers. 

It’s not just a recognition for a single season’s performance; it’s a testament to a player’s enduring excellence. 

This historical significance enhances the allure of the Platinum Glove, making it a more coveted achievement for players and more respected by fans.

Requirements for Winning A Gold Glove

Winning a Gold Glove in Major League Baseball is a prestigious achievement that reflects exceptional defensive prowess at a specific position. 

While the selection process primarily depends on votes from managers and coaches, there are certain requirements and attributes that typically contribute to a player’s success in securing this distinguished award.

Here are the requirements to win a gold glove in American baseball:

Fielding Excellence

The fundamental requirement for winning a Gold Glove is exceptional fielding skills. This includes the ability to make routine and challenging plays with precision, quick reflexes, and a high level of consistency throughout the season.


Gold Glove winners are not just occasional defensive standouts but are consistently outstanding over the entire season. 

Consistency in making plays, avoiding errors, and maintaining a high fielding percentage is crucial.

Range and Mobility

Players who can cover more ground within their defensive area, whether it’s the outfield, the infield, or behind the plate, are often favored.

Range and mobility are key factors that demonstrate a player’s ability to make plays on balls hit in different directions.

Arm Strength and Accuracy

For certain positions, like outfielders and catchers, possessing a strong and accurate throwing arm is essential. 

Outfielders need to make accurate throws to the bases, while catchers need to control the opponent’s running game and throw out base stealers.

Position-Specific Skills

Players need to excel at their specific positions. Infielders must have quick hands and make precise throws, while outfielders should track fly balls and make accurate throws to bases.

Baseball IQ

A deep understanding of the game’s nuances is vital. Gold Glove winners often display impeccable baseball instincts, which help them anticipate plays and make split-second decisions in the field.

Recognition by Peers

While the award is based on votes from managers and coaches, it can also be influenced by the respect and recognition a player receives from fellow players, demonstrating that their defensive contributions are widely acknowledged.


Defensive metrics and statistics, such as fielding percentage, defensive runs saved (DRS), and ultimate zone rating (UZR), play a role in the evaluation process and can bolster a player’s case for a Gold Glove.

Impact on Team Success

Often, Gold Glove winners are players who not only make individual contributions but also significantly impact their team’s defensive performance and, in turn, their overall success.


Previous Gold Glove winners, players with a history of excellence in the field, or those known for their defensive prowess may have an advantage due to their established reputations.

Requirements for Winning A Platinum Glove

Winning A Platinum Glove

Winning a Platinum Glove is a prestigious achievement that acknowledges a player as the absolute best defensive talent in Major League Baseball.

To be considered for this coveted award, players must meet several key requirements:


Consistency in defensive performance is paramount. Players in the running for a Platinum Glove should exhibit their exceptional fielding skills throughout the entire season, minimizing errors and making high-impact plays consistently.


Versatility is highly valued. While a player’s primary position may be a significant factor, their ability to excel in multiple positions can set them apart. 

The Platinum Glove is awarded to the best overall defensive player, so the capacity to impact games from different fielding spots is crucial.

Statistical Excellence

Advanced defensive statistics play a vital role. Players are evaluated using metrics such as the SABR Defensive Index (SDI), defensive runs saved (DRS), and ultimate zone rating (UZR). 

High rankings in these statistics can significantly boost a player’s chances of winning the Platinum Glove.

Fan Engagement

Fan engagement through voting is another factor. While not the sole determinant, fan votes contribute to the Platinum Glove selection process. Engaging with fans and building a strong fan base can make a difference.

Impact on Team Performance

The impact on a team’s defensive performance matters. Players who make game-changing plays, save runs, and contribute to their team’s success through their defensive prowess are more likely to be considered.

Reputation and Legacy

Players with established reputations for defensive excellence or those who have consistently won Gold Gloves or Platinum Gloves in the past tend to have an advantage. A strong defensive legacy can influence voters’ decisions.

Positional Dominance

While versatility is appreciated, excelling at one’s primary position is essential. Players must stand out as the best defensive player at their position in their league to be in the running for the Platinum Glove.

Team Success

Team success, particularly in the postseason, can bolster a player’s chances. Exceptional defensive performances in key playoff games can leave a lasting impression on voters.

Platinum Glove Winners by Year

The Rawlings Platinum Glove Award has been presented annually in Major League Baseball to honor the absolute best defensive player in the league.

Here’s a glimpse of some notable Platinum Glove winners by year up until that point:

2011 – Evan Longoria

2011 - Evan Longoria

Evan Longoria, the third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays, received the inaugural Platinum Glove. 

Longoria’s exceptional fielding abilities, range, and consistency at the hot corner set the standard for the award’s future recipients. 

His overall impact on the Rays’ defense was undeniable, making him a deserving choice for the first-ever Platinum Glove.

2012 – Nolan Arenado

The Colorado Rockies’ third baseman, Nolan Arenado, emerged as the Platinum Glove winner. 

Arenado’s remarkable defensive skills, including his quick reflexes, powerful arm, and acrobatic plays, earned him this prestigious honor. This marked the beginning of an impressive streak of Platinum Glove awards for him.

2013 – Nolan Arenado

For the second consecutive year, Arenado showcased his defensive brilliance and claimed his second Platinum Glove. 

His consistency and ability to make the extraordinary look routine in the field made him one of the league’s most exciting players to watch.

2014 – Salvador Perez

Salvador Perez, the Kansas City Royals’ catcher, was recognized as the Platinum Glove recipient. 

Catchers often don’t receive as much attention for their defense, but Perez’s skill in blocking pitches, throwing out runners, and calling games was instrumental in the Royals’ successful season and postseason run.

2015 – Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado continued to impress, earning his third consecutive Platinum Glove. His remarkable defensive statistics and jaw-dropping plays became a staple of Rockies’ games, solidifying his reputation as one of the league’s most outstanding defensive players.

2016 – Brandon Crawford

San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford secured the Platinum Glove, highlighting his impeccable fielding at a key defensive position. 

Crawford was known for his exceptional range, soft hands, and strong arm that could make plays from deep in the hole.

2017 – Nolan Arenado

In 2017, Nolan Arenado received his second Platinum Glove, further establishing himself as the premier defensive player in the league. 

His consistency and highlight-reel plays were a joy for fans and a testament to his unparalleled defensive skills.

2018 – Matt Chapman

Matt Chapman, the Oakland Athletics’ third baseman, took home the Platinum Glove. Chapman’s ability to cover ground, make diving stops, and unleash laser-precise throws to first made him a standout performer in the field.

2019 – Lorenzo Cain

Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain was the Platinum Glove recipient in 2019. Cain’s exceptional speed, ability to track down fly balls, and accurate throws from the outfield were integral to the Brewers’ success.

2020 – Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado clinched his third Platinum Glove, reaffirming his status as one of the most dominant defensive players in the game. His consistency and excellence in the field made him a deserving recipient once again.

2021 – Carlos Correa and Nolan Arenado

Carlos Correa

In 2021, the Platinum Glove winners exemplified the pinnacle of defensive excellence in Major League Baseball. 

Correa, a talented shortstop, secured his first Platinum Glove after previously winning his second Gold Glove. 

He led all AL shortstops with a remarkable .991 fielding percentage, committing only six errors in a staggering 669 chances. 

Beyond his error-free play, Correa’s defensive prowess was further emphasized by his ranking second in defensive runs saved (DRS) with 21 and third in ultimate zone rating (UZR) with 7.4.

Arenado, an exceptional third baseman, clinched his fifth consecutive Platinum Glove after previously securing his ninth straight Gold Glove. 

In 2021, he led all NL third basemen with a remarkable .978 fielding percentage, committing merely seven errors in 317 chances.

2022 – Jose Trevino and Nolan Arenado

In 2022, the Platinum Glove winners continued to shine brightly in the realm of defensive excellence. Jose Trevino, a catcher for the New York Yankees, claimed his first Platinum Glove after securing his first Gold Glove.

He led all AL catchers with an exceptional .998 fielding percentage, committing just one error in 607 chances.

Nolan Arenado’s extraordinary defensive skills once again earned him the Platinum Glove in 2022. 

His exceptional performance continued to set the standard for excellence at the third base position, showcasing his remarkable fielding abilities and baseball IQ.

Platinum Glove vs. Gold Glove: Recognizing Defensive Excellence in MLB

When it comes to honoring defensive excellence in Major League Baseball, the Platinum Glove and Gold Glove awards stand as prestigious acknowledgments. 

These awards recognize the finest defensive players in the league, but they differ in their scope and significance. 

Here, we provide an overview of the distinctions between the two awards and their unique features:

AspectPlatinum GloveGold Glove
ScopeThe best overall defensive player in the league.Best player at each position in each league.
SelectivityExclusive – awarded to one player in the MLB.Multiple awards, one at each of the nine positions.
Determination ProcessCombines fan votes and the SABR Defensive Index.Solely based on votes from managers and coaches.
VersatilityRecognizes the player’s defensive prowess across various positions.Focuses on specific positions.
Fan EngagementEngages fans with a role in the selection process.Limited fan involvement.
Historical SignificanceGains prestige with each year and bolsters a player’s legacy.Recognizes outstanding defensive performance during a particular season.
Previous WinnersNotable winners include Nolan Arenado, Carlos Correa, and Jose Trevino.Winners vary each year and cover all positions across the MLB.


What is a Gold Glove?

A Gold Glove is an award presented annually in Major League Baseball (MLB) to honor outstanding defensive performance. 

It recognizes the best defensive player at each of the nine positions in both the American League and National League.

What is a Platinum Glove?

A Platinum Glove is a prestigious award in Major League Baseball (MLB) given to the single best defensive player in the entire league, regardless of their position.

What is the Platinum Glove Award?

The Platinum Glove Award is an annual accolade presented to the best defensive player in MLB. 

It is awarded to the player who demonstrates the highest level of defensive excellence, regardless of the position they play.

What is a Platinum Glove in baseball?

In baseball, a Platinum Glove is a player who has been recognized as the absolute best defensive talent in the league.

Can a player win both the Gold and Platinum Glove in the same season?

Yes, a player can win both awards in the same season.

The Platinum Glove is presented to the best defensive player in the league, while the Gold Glove recognizes the best at each position.

To Recap

In the debate of Gold vs. Platinum Glove, it’s clear that both awards hold a distinct place in celebrating defensive excellence in Major League Baseball. 

The Gold Glove recognizes superb fielding at specific positions and remains a prestigious honor. 

On the other hand, the Platinum Glove represents the pinnacle of defensive mastery, acknowledging the single best defensive player in the entire league, transcending positional boundaries.

 It’s the exclusivity, fan engagement, and historical significance that set the Platinum Glove apart. 

Both awards play a vital role in honoring defensive greatness, and while the Gold Glove is exceptional, the Platinum Glove shines as the ultimate testament to overall defensive excellence.

Photo of author

Kevin Smith

I am a dedicated learner who is constantly pursuing my dreams in many areas of life. I am a Finance major at the University of Maryland, a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and the owner of my personal brand, Elevate Baseball. I hope to inspire younger learners of all sports and interests to tirelessly pursue their dreams, whatever that may be. LinkedIn

Leave a Comment