Eight former prospects that together attended dozens of Perfect Game events when they were in high school, including five Perfect Game National Showcase alumni and one Perfect Game All-American Classic alumnus, were named Rawlings Gold Glove Award recipients during a special televised awards ceremony aired earlier this week.
Four of the Perfect Game graduates were among the eight elite defensive players that won their first Rawlings Gold Glove Award, including Eric Hosmer, the Kansas City Royals standout first baseman. Hosmer attended 15 Perfect Game events between 2005 and 2007, including the 2006 Perfect Game National Underclass Showcase, the 2007 Perfect Game National Showcase and the 2007 Perfect Game All-American Classic.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be in such an elite league with the best competitors all over the planet,” Hosmer told A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com. “Really, to win any type of award, especially the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, is a tremendous honor. I’m very excited about the award, and I couldn’t thank all my teammates enough and the infield around for me – everyone – for doing their part and me being able to get this award.”
Other first-time winners with PG backgrounds are Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt; and Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Machado participated in six PG events in 2008 and 2009, including the 2009 PG National Showcase. Goldschmidt was at the 2004 PG WWBA 17u National Championship and Arenado was at nine events, including the 2008 PG National Showcase.
“It’s awesome, man,” Arenado told MLB. com. “I can’t believe it. It’s pretty crazy thinking about it, and it’s such an honor. My teammates, coaches – they have all helped me get this and I can’t them enough for it, and most of all, God for blessing me and putting me in this position.”
Kansas City Royals left fielder and 2001 PG National Showcase alumnus Alex Gordon collected his third Rawlings Gold Glove Award, as did Orioles’ center fielder and 2003 PG World Showcase alumnus Adam Jones. Orioles’ shortstop J.J. Hardy, a participant at the 2000 PG WWBA World Championship, and Diamondbacks’ right fielder Gerardo Parra are second-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners.
Parra traveled from his home in Venezuela to attend both the 2004 PG World Showcase and the 2004 PG National Showcase. The Diamondbacks signed him as a 17-year-old amateur free agent not long after he attended the PG National.
“That was a good situation, because for us (international free agents) it was a lot of scouts and you get to see a lot of other guys with talent,” Parra told PG during spring training in 2012. “You get to see everybody else that is good and the scouts are writing their reports. I think that’s good for (young) baseball players.”