PENSACOLA, Fla. – Minor League Baseball and the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. announced Monday that Blue Wahoos outfielder Mark Contreras is one of nine recipients of the 2019 Rawlings Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence. Players from all 10 domestic-based full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to be selected for the game’s highest defensive honor.
“These nine men were the gold standard for defensive excellence in Minor League Baseball in 2019, and I am pleased to honor them with a Rawlings Gold Glove Award,” said Minor League Baseball President and CEO Pat O’Conner in a press release. “On behalf of Minor League Baseball and our tremendous partners at Rawlings, I congratulate each of them on their outstanding seasons.”
Contreras appeared in the outfield in 94 games in 2019, including 69 with Pensacola and 25 with the High-A Fort Myers Miracle. In 182 total chances, he made no errors and recorded 13 outfield assists. For the Blue Wahoos, Contreras played 46 games in left field, 16 in center field, and seven in right field, totaling 576.1 innings in the Pensacola outfield while maintaining a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
“It’s crazy to think that I just won the Gold Glove for all the Minor Leagues in left field,” Contreras said. “It’s such an honor to be recognized for defense. My pop has always told me that if it’s not working with the bat today, then you can go out and make a play in the field and change the momentum of a game.”
“This shows you that hard work matters,” Minnesota Twins outfield coordinator Mike Quade said. “Mark is an excellent athlete who worked hard to clean up a few things technically in the outfield the last two years and conquered them with flying colors. Congratulations to Mark on a well-deserved award.”
All three of the outfielders who received Gold Gloves appeared in the Southern League in 2019. Victor Victor Mesa, who finished the season with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, and Jesus Sanchez, who played 78 games for Montgomery before being promoted to Triple-A, join Contreras as the outfield award winners.
Contreras is the second Pensacola player to win a Minor League Gold Glove, joining shortstop Zach Vincej, a 2016 recipient.
***This report was provided by Daniel Venn, Public Relations Manager of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos