Great defense manifests in many different ways: Robbing a home run, making a diving play in the infield, scooping a ball in the dirt at first and catching a runner stealing second base all rightly populate defensive highlight reels. The Gold Glove Awards exist to honor all varieties of great defense.
Tuesday night, the 2017 Gold Glove Award winners were announced, so we have nine GIFs of the American League winners below.
P: Marcus Stroman
"1-U" doesn't often show up in the official scorebook, so it's clear from this play that Stroman's defense on the mound is uniquely excellent.
C: Martin Maldonado
Runners have to worry about Maldonado's arm wherever they are on the basepaths. It doesn't matter if they're stealing second or just hanging out at first, this Gold Glover throws them out.
1B: Eric Hosmer
Even though third base is technically the hot corner, first base can get plenty warm. Hosmer knows how to deal with the heat:
2B: Brian Dozier
Dozier's defensive work at the keystone is so good that he turns plays that shouldn't produce any outs into two outs:
3B: Evan Longoria
Making a running throw is hard enough, but it's even harder when you have to bend over to pick up the ball and throw it at full speed. Longoria made it look easy.
SS: Andrelton Simmons
We all know about Simmons' range and his arm. What we learned this year is that he can also make leaping tags behind his back at third base.
LF: Alex Gordon
Most outfielders don't make home-run-robbing catches, Alex Gordon makes them to end games:
CF: Byron Buxton
Buxton's speed allows him to cover a lot of ground in center field. That alone probably made him a Gold Glove finalist, but it's his timing on leaps and dives that made him a Gold Glove winner.
RF: Mookie Betts
By the time the postseason rolled around, it was generally accepted that Betts was the best right fielder in the American League, if not Major League Baseball. He's now won two Gold Gloves in a row in right field, so that consensus is certainly building.