The Boston Red Sox had a surprisingly strong defensive outfield this season.
But the unveiling of the 2021 Major League Baseball Gold Glove award finalists Thursday served as a reminder of the embarrassment of riches they had just two years ago.
First, the current Red Sox news: Hunter Renfroe joined Kyle Tucker and Joey Gallo among the three American League finalists in right field.
Renfroe finished tied for the MLB lead in outfield assists with 16, and while he may not win the award (he also committed a position-high 12 errors), he's certainly deserving of the second finalist nomination of his career.
Now, about those former Red Sox. Among the other outfield Gold Glove finalists were the Kansas City Royals' Andrew Benintendi, the Milwaukee Brewers' Jackie Bradley Jr. and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts.
In other words, Boston's starting outfield from 2017 to 2019. Here's their competition:
AL Left Field Finalists: Andrew Benintendi (Royals), Randy Arozarena (Rays), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Blue Jays)
NL Center Field Finalists: Jackie Bradley Jr. (Brewers), Harrison Bader (Cardinals), Bryan Reynolds (Pirates)
NL Right Field Finalists: Mookie Betts (Dodgers), Mike Yazstremski (Giants), Adam Duvall (Marlins/Braves)
Both Betts and Bradley won Gold Gloves with the Red Sox (four for Betts; one for Bradley), while Benintendi is seeking his first defensive award. Together in Boston, the "Killer Bs" formed one of the best defensive outfields in franchise history for three seasons, helping the Red Sox win the World Series in 2018.
Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom overhauled that outfield upon his arrival in 2020, trading Betts in February 2020, letting Bradley walk in 2020 free agency and dealing Benintendi in February 2021.
Bloom assembled a strong replacement cast, though: Renfroe, Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo combined to hit 64 home runs this season (compared to 46 combined from Betts, Bradley and Benintendi) while playing above-average defense.
This year's Gold Glove winners will be announced on Nov. 7, so we'll find out soon if any of the Killer Bs take home hardware.