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Cardinals' Wong, O'Neill win Fielding Bible awards

Cardinals' Wong, O'Neill win Fielding Bible awards

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Cardinals 5, Brewers 2

Cardinal infielder Kolten Wong and Tyler O'Neill celebrate a 5-2 victory on Friday August 17, 2018, in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Often the Fielding Bible awards of Baseball Info Solutions, which were announced on Thursday, are precursors of the Rawlings Gold Glove winners, who will be announced next Tuesday. If so, second baseman Kolten Wong and left fielder Tyler O’Neill, two of the defensive stalwarts of the 2020 Cardinals, could be golden.

The Fielding Bible honors differ from the Gold Gloves in that the two leagues’ defenders are lumped together at every position. Wong, made a free agent by the Cardinals on Wednesday when they didn’t pick up his $12.5 million option for next year, won the major league Fielding Bible award by one point over the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez and O’Neill was an easier winner in left field over Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds. Both Wong and O’Neill, along with Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, were named as three finalists for Gold Gloves earlier this week.

According to BIS statistics, Wong, who won the Fielding Bible award for a record third consecutive year at second base, accounted for 40 runs saved at this position, easily the most for any second baseman the past three years. O’Neill tracked down 46 of 54 balls hit to the deepest part of the ball park, eight more than the average left fielder, according to the BIS statistics.

Other winners were pitcher Max Fried, Atlanta; catcher Roberto Perez, Cleveland; first baseman Matt Olson, Oakland; shortstop Javy Baez, Chicago Cubs; third baseman Nolan Arenado, Colorado; center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay; right fielder Mookie Betts, Los Angeles, and multi-position player Hernandez of the Dodgers.

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