What I'm about to say has absolutely no bearing on Evan Longoria's accomplishment. He is one of the few winners of the mark of "defensive excellence" that actually deserves to be crowned. Here's what the Rays presser had on Longo:
"It's the one award that I've wanted to win since I started pro ball," Longoria said. "I take a lot of pride in my defense, so this award is very special to me. It's humbling to have your name associated with some of the great players who have won a Gold Glove, especially the third basemen. I would like to thank the managers and coaches who voted for me and I'd also like to thank Carlos Peña. We all know how good he is. He probably saved me at least five errors this year so without him the award might not have been possible."
Since 1990, only seven players have won a Gold Glove at a younger age than Longoria:
Player, Team Year(s) Age(s)
Ken Griffey, Jr., SEA 1990-91-92-93 20-21-22-23
Ivan Rodriguez, TEX 1992-93-94-95 20-21-22-23
Andruw Jones, ATL 1998-99-2000 21-22-23
Roberto Alomar, TOR 1991 23
Scott Rolen, PHI 1998 23
Eric Chavez, OAK 2001 23
Jeff Francoeur, ATL 2007 23
Evan Longoria, TB 2009 23
That being said, Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton deserved it nearly as much and neither wins one yet again. The managers and coaches vote on these things and it's just insane to think they have a good grasp on who is and who is not a good defender based on - at most - seeing 18 games against these players. It's purely reputation based and even then they get it wrong.
Instead of Crawford and Upton, Adam Jones and Torii Hunter win the two non-Ichiro awards. I won't fake disgust because these, like the other awards, are absolutely meaningless when it comes to honest player valuation, but someone please make sense of this:
Less flawed and esoteric:
Fans Scouting Report positional ranks
Hooray for the human element.