Major League Baseball awards, like the gold glove, are often determined by the player's familiarity with the voters. A name-brand player might make several spectacular plays in the field and accumulate some awards. For example, San Diego Padres' superstar Juan Soto was a gold glove finalist in a season where he had -2 defensive runs saved and was -13 outs above average. Last season, Ke'Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh's young third baseman, had a solid case to unseat prerenal Gold Glover Nolan Arenado. Did he? Nope. Despite racking up 21 DRS and 14 OAA to Arenado's 19 DRS and 14 OAA.
This season, we could see that situation for the American League third base gold glove. All the voters know is Matt Chapman, the three-time gold glover toiled in Oakland and now Toronto. Chapman has a 4.4 ultimate zone rating of three outs above average. Those numbers pale compared to his 2018 and 2019 seasons, where he combined to save an astounding 51 runs.
Enter this season's "Ke'Bryan Hayes" 32-year-old Eugenio Suarez. The Mariners' third baseman doesn't have the reputation Chapman has for his defensive magic. Still, he's made huge strides thanks to fielding coordinator Perry Hill—especially this season, where he leads all AL third sackers in OAA with seven. Suarez also leads the junior circuit in games, games started, innings, putouts, assists, and defensive WAR. The DRS (-6) and UZR (-2.2) aren't anything to write home about.
However, with the Mariners firmly in the playoff race and Toronto amid a four-game slide, Suarez might start to gain steam for some post-season hardware. There is a small section of the media (fans) who believe Suarez has earned the award. A few more timely web gems in a hotly-contested playoff race should do the trick.