Two of the cornerstones of the Oakland Athletics’ success in 2018 received their first national accolades Sunday as first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Matt Chapman were presented with Gold Glove Awards for their defensive prowess this season.
The honors mark the first time the A’s have had a Gold Glove winner since 2012, when outfielder Josh Reddick won. Olson and Chapman are the first infielders to win for the A’s since Eric Chavez in 2006.
The World Series champion Boston Red Sox featured three American League winners, with Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ian Kinsler recognized for their fielding excellence this season. The Giants’ Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford were finalists in the National League but did not earn awards.
In his first full major league season, Chapman established himself among the elite defensive players in the game. The 25-year-old led all major leaguers in defensive runs saved (29) and led all third basemen in ultimate zone rating (10.9), total chances (484) and assists (331) to win his first AL Gold Glove.
“It’s an honor to win this prestigious award,” Chapman said. “We all work to be the best at what we do and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to combine my ability with hard work. I want to thank Bob Melvin and all of the coaches who have helped me get to where I am today, especially Matt Williams who has helped me reach the next level.”
Also in his first full major league season, Olson, 24, led major league first basemen in defensive runs saved (14), total chances (1,494) and putouts (1,403) while playing in all 162 games.
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Betts, a top contender for the AL MVP award, won for the third straight year. Kinsler got his second Gold Glove at second base, and Bradley won for the first time in center. While Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon took home his sixth Gold Glove, teammate Salvador Perez won his fifth at catcher. Houston pitcher Dallas Keuchel and Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons also won in the AL.
In the National League, Atlanta added three Gold Gloves to its surprise NL East title this season. Freddie Freeman and Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo tied for the award at first base, and center fielder Ender Inciarte and right fielder Nick Markakis also were honored for the Braves. Second baseman D.J. LeMahieu and third baseman Nolan Arenado won for the Rockies, and Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke got his fifth consecutive Gold Glove with teammate Nick Ahmed winning for the first time at shortstop.
St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina took home his ninth Gold Glove and Pittsburgh left fielder Corey Dickerson rounded out the NL winners.