No. 2 reason Jared Walsh undoubtedly deserves the Gold Glove: His range
Jared Walsh has the most range out of any first basemen in baseball. Fangraphs did a study on this and found out.
He’s so quick that he plays off of the bag more than anybody in baseball. He really put that second-best 40 ft split time among first basemen to use.
Fangraphs found that Walsh positioned himself 42.9 feet off of the base, which was much more than Gurriel’s 39.3 feet and Olson’s 37.7 feet. His 40 ft split time (2.18 seconds) was so much faster than Gurriel’s 2.26 and Olson’s 2.30.
Walsh covers that 3-4 gap, and can get down to the foul line so much faster than these other two candidates. Having more range to make more difficult plays while also not making as many errors on the routine plays really tells a lot about Walsh’s defense.
Many look at Walsh and wonder why he’s also such a good defensive player in the outfield. Well, I’d say it’s even the other way around. The fact that he has enough speed to play the outfield goes to show the athleticism he has, and it’s clearly helped out in his play at first base.