Trevino Captures Yankees' First Platinum Glove
by Tamar Chalker
November 15, 2022
I'll admit I don't always pay attention to the MLB award season, so while I was obviously aware of Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers, I hadn't really registered the Platinum Glove as a thing to look for. Created in 2011, all Gold Glovers are up for the Platinum Glove - the best defensive player in the AL or NL. Which brings me to my main question - was there really no overall Defensive Player award until 2011?
Realistically, no Yankee has ever won the Platinum Glove award, which isn't particularly surprising for them since it debuted a little over a decade ago. Plenty of teams haven't had a Platinum Glove winner given its short existence. The fact that the Yankees have not been known for their defensive prowess in a while also explains their lack of this hardware. Yet, that streak ended this year with an unexpected member of 2022 Bronx Bombers.
I think Brian Cashman has made a lot of missteps in the past year, especially in regards to a certain slugging outfielder, but he made a couple moves that paid off in spades. Perhaps the biggest surprise came with Jose Trevino. A strong defensive catcher the Yankees got in a trade from the Rangers, I had no idea what Cashman was thinking when this trade happened. Having followed the Yankees' farm system closely for the last 15 years, I got used them having a surplus of "catching" prospects, although they all seemed to come with the caveat of being questionable at best behind the dish at the Major League level.
The main reasons I was resistant to this trade had absolutely nothing to do with Trevino. I was partial to Albert Abreu, a pitching prospect who went to Texas in the trade. I'd enjoyed watching him move through the Yankees' system and was sad to see him leave. The fact that he was back with the Yankees by June I suppose only makes this trade better for the Cashman.
While the Yankees have had a lot of catching prospects that were simultaneously players to watch offensively and faced a lot of defensive criticism, Kyle Higashioka was a mainstay for the Yankees' farm system. While everyone obsessed over Jesus Montero, Gary Sanchez, JR Murphy, and Austin Romine, Higgy quietly worked his way through the ranks. Dude spent a decade in the minors, really wasn't expected to ever don the pinstripes, and was never expected to hit.
Currently, Higgy's 1.1 career WAR dwarfs Montero's -0.3 career WAR - and the latter was supposed to have a can't miss HOF worthy bat according to scouts. This says a lot about how you can't predict how prospects will turn out, but also says a lot about Higgy's perseverance. He was never in the conversation. If you didn't follow Minor League Baseball, you would have absolutely no reason to know who he was. Yet, he was entering the 2022 season as the starting catcher for a team expected to be in contention for the World Series. Not only that, but his Spring Training had shown off his bat, making it seem like it was his moment to shine.
The signing of Trevino kind of felt like a slap in the face for Higgy, but they both dealt with it gracefully all season and I truly think the combination was one of the Yankees great benefits. Of course, Trevino quickly and rightly found his way into Yankee fan hearts. Not only was he a great defensive player, but he found his bat. Some great players come to the Bronx and suddenly find themselves flailing, others step foot in Yankee Stadium and are home. Trevino definitely was the latter this season and proved time and again that he was a special player.
Trevino was known to be a strong defensive player, but he brought so much more. While his bat wasn't consistent over the season, he had some big, key hits early in some major moments. He also wasn't slow on the bases, which is always a plus when it comes to catchers. After years of expecting the Yankees to have a decent bat at the backstop, if not solid defense, they found some of the best defense in the league. The bat was a plus.
Hitting .243/.283/.388 and with 21 defensive runs saved, Trevino picked up All-Star honors, a Gold Glove, and now, the Yankees' first Platinum Glove. They are all well-deserved honors and in a year where there was a lot to enjoy on this team, Jose Trevino may have been my favorite surprise and a player I'll watch and cheer through the rest of his career.