St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Harrison Bader won his first career Gold Glove Award Sunday. Bader played at UF from 2013 to 2015 before the Cardinals drafted him in the third round of the 2015 MLB Draft. He led the Gators to the 2015 College World Series semifinal en route to earning all-tournament team honors. In his final college season, Bader committed zero errors across 134 defensive chances for a perfect fielding percentage.
Bader edged Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds and Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. in the voting. The Gator alum joins four other Cardinals — the most in history — in winning the award for their respective positions. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt, second baseman Tommy Edman, third baseman Nolan Arenado and left fielder Tyler O’Neill all took home a gold glove.
Number Don’t Lie
In 2021, Bader led the all National League center fielders in outs above average (14) and defensive runs saved (15). He recorded a .990 fielding clip across nearly 900 innings. In 296 defensive opportunities, Bader made only three errors. He tallied four assists including this laser to home plate against the Pirates.
Harrison Bader fired this ball home 91.2 mph to keep this Cardinals lead at 1. That's his third-fastest tracked throw of the season. After the overturned replay, this one just seemed destined to falter. And then it didn't.
Hooooooo boy. pic.twitter.com/SuuJTnnGoE
— Zachary Silver (@zachsilver) August 28, 2021
Of his 289 put outs in 2021, Bader’s most impressive is arguably this diving catch against against the Chicago Cubs.
Harrison Bader, how?! pic.twitter.com/8X9gwNT6yG
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 23, 2021
Career Year At the Plate
The outfield wasn’t the only place Bader succeeded in the 2021 season. The Bronxville, N.Y., native produced a career year at the plate. Bader slashed .267/.324/.460 — career-bests in batting average and slugging percentage. He hit a career-high 16 home runs, 21 doubles and drove in 50 runs. After striking out 242 times combined between 2018 and 2019, Bader struck out just 85 times across 401 plate appearances for a career-low 21.2% strikeout rate.