Fried, Swanson, Acuna Gold Glove finalists for Braves

Braves lefty Max Fried, shortstop Dansby Swanson and outfielder Ronald Acuna were named National League Gold Glove finalists Thursday afternoon. Each player would be a first-time winner.

Fried, who has one of baseball’s best pick-off moves, would be the Braves' first Gold Glove-winning pitcher since Mike Hampton in 2003. The 26-year-old is vying to become the fourth Gold Glove pitcher in franchise history, joining Phil Niekro (five times), Greg Maddux (10 times) and Hampton. Fried is competing against Cubs starters Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills for the honor.

Swanson joins Chicago’s Javier Baez and Miami’s Miguel Rojas as finalists. Swanson led major-league shortstops with 10 defensive runs saved, two more than second-place Carlos Correa, according to FanGraphs. His 2.8 defensive fWAR ranked 11th best among shortstops, equaling Baez but trailing Rojas, who was third in the majors at 5.6.

Swanson would be the Braves' first Gold Glove shortstop since Andrelton Simmons in 2013 and 2014. He would be the second Gold Glove shortstop in Braves history.

Acuna joins the Dodgers' Cody Bellinger and Padres' Trent Grisham as center-field finalists. Acuna’s defensive fWAR in center (1.4) was higher than Bellinger’s (0.8), though both players comfortably trailed Grisham in fWAR and runs saved. Acuna made 30 of his 46 starts in center field.

Acuna would become the sixth Braves outfielder to win a Gold Glove in the past 22 years, joining Andruw Jones (1998-2007), Jeff Francoeur (2007), Jason Heyward (2012, 2014), Ender Inciarte (2016-18) and Nick Markakis (2018).

The Braves didn’t have a Gold Glove winner last season after having a franchise-record three in 2018 (Freddie Freeman, Markakis, Inciarte). Freeman, who surprisingly was not among the three 2020 Gold Glove finalists at first base, won Wilson Defensive Player of The Year for the position last season.

Rawlings released the three finalists at each position in each league Thursday afternoon. The Gold Glove winners will be announced Nov. 3.

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