St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina earned his eighth consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Award and the world champion Kansas City Royals won three trophies when Major League Baseball's annual defensive honors were announced Tuesday.
Molina, 33, now has an opportunity to win his fourth Rawlings Platinum Glove Award, given to the top overall defensive player in the National League and American League.
All 18 Gold Glove winners, nine in each league, automatically qualify for the Platinum Glove awards, which are determined by fan voting on Rawlings.com.
The NL and AL winners will be announced Friday night during a ceremony in New York.
Molina's eighth Gold Glove moved him ahead of Bob Boone and into third place behind Ivan Rodriguez (13) and Johnny Bench (10) for the most Gold Gloves by a catcher.
The Royals, whose defensive prowess helped them win their first World Series in 30 years, led all teams with three awards as catcher Salvador Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer each won Gold Gloves for the third straight year and Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar garnered his first award.
Yoenis Cespedes, who was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the New York Mets on July 31, played long enough to not only qualify for the AL Gold Glove in left field, but also win it over the Royals' Alex Gordon, who was last year's AL Platinum Glove winner and was seeking his fifth consecutive Gold Glove award.
The Gold Glove Award winners were announced on a special edition of Baseball Tonight on ESPN2 on Tuesday, with the active participation of some of the winners. The broadcast also featured performance analysis by Baseball Info Solutions, whose metrics help determine the awards under the Gold Gloves' new voting procedures.
Including Escobar and Cespedes, there were nine first-time winners overall. Among them was San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, who got the award over two-time Gold Glove winner Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves.
Other multiyear winners included Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, who earned his third straight award, and Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward, Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, who each won their second.
Other winners were Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and Los Angeles Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun in the AL, and Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte and Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock in the NL.
Since 2013, the Gold Glove awards have been calculated based on a combination of two variables -- voting by managers and coaches, and the SABR Defensive Index, which measures runs saved at a player's defensive position.