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Good as gold. The Marlins’ Marcell Ozuna honored for his glove

Joe Maddon praises Ozuna's batting ability

Chicago Cubs and National League manager Joe Maddon calls Miami Marlins' Marcell Ozuna one of the most technically sound hitters in baseball.
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Chicago Cubs and National League manager Joe Maddon calls Miami Marlins' Marcell Ozuna one of the most technically sound hitters in baseball.

He was a beast with the bat.

But when it came to his glove, Marcell Ozuna was as good as gold.

Ozuna won the Gold Glove Award as the National League’s top left fielder while two other Marlins, second baseman Dee Gordon and right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, fell short of receiving the same honor.

“It means a lot to me because it is one more achievement in my career – something that every player would like to win,” Ozuna said. “And thank God I was able to achieve it.”

The recognition for outstanding defensive play served to underscore what was Ozuna’s best all-around season in the Majors. While he turned in his best year at the plate, he was no less successful in the outfield.

Ozuna made just five errors and was credited with 10 assists, the second-highest total in the N.L.

He became the eighth different Marlin to win a Gold Glove, and the first since Gordon in 2015. Ozuna also became the second Marlins outfielder to win the award, joining Christian Yelich.

It was Ozuna’s first full season in left for the Marlins after switching positions with Yelich, who took over in center.

“In 2014 I thought I had the numbers to earn it and did not get it,” Ozuna said. “I had that in the back of my mind this year, decided to make the effort and thank God we got it this time.”

Ozuna beat out the other two finalists as the league’s top defensive left fielder, Cincinnati’s Adam Duvall and Colorado’s Gerardo Parra.

Gordon was one of three finalists for the top defensive second baseman while Stanton was a finalist to win the award as the top defensive right fielder. Those awards went to Rockies second baseman D.J. LeMahieu and Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward.

The awards, presented by Rawlings, are voted on by managers and coaches in each league. Managers can’t vote for their own players. In addition, a sabermetric component accounts for about 25 percent of the vote.

The Marlins were the top defensive team in the Majors last season with a fielding percentage of .988.

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