The Oakland Athletics’ Matts have won back-to-back Gold Gloves.
Matt Olson and Matt Chapman — the A’s pair of incandescent corner infielders — took home the honors on Sunday, with both American League and National League awards announced on ESPN2.
Before Chapman and Olson, the last A’s player to win consecutive Gold Glove awards was Eric Chavez (2001-06). Only two other field players in franchise history — outfielders Dwayne Murphy (1980-85) and Joe Rudi (1974-76) — have won consecutive Gold Gloves. Before Chapman and Olson, only Murphy and pitcher Mike Norris had won Gold Gloves in back-to-back seasons (1980-81) as teammates.
No other infield tandem in franchise history has won Gold Gloves.
Despite missing 34 games due to hamate bone excision surgery, Olson, 25, led Major League first basemen in defensive runs saved (13) and ultimate zone rating (6.6), while leading American League first basemen in total chances (1,121), putouts (1,023) and assists.
He had previously been awarded the Fielding Bible award for the second year in a row for his work at first, so the Gold Glove was largely a foregone conclusion.
Olson’s fielding runs above average (FRAA) was +11.7, with the next-closest American League first baseman at +8.0. His ultimate zone rating was 3.1 ahead of the next-best American League first baseman, and the next-best AL first baseman in terms of defensive runs saved was just a +3.
Chapman — last year’s AL third base Gold Glover and the Junior Circuit’s Platinum Glove winner — ranked fifth among all big leaguers in defensive runs saved (18, first among third basemen) this season, while leading American League fielders with a 13 on the SABR Defensive Index, which accounts for 25% of Gold Glove tabulations.
Chapman, 26, also led all big leaguers — regardless of position — in ultimate zone rating (14.8), and led all AL third basemen in total chances (466), putouts (146), fielding percentage (.981), and zone rating (.834), while ranking second in assists (311).
According to Inside Edge, Chapman made 33 non-routine plays out of 59 chances (55.9%) in the 2019 season, the best in Major League Baseball, where the average is 26.6%. He was tied with high school teammate Nolan Arenado for the strongest arm from third base in the big leagues, making 14 of 18 unlikely opportunities, where unlikely is a play made 10-40% of the time.
Shortstop Marcus Semien was a Gold Glove finalist, but lost out to Francisco Lindor. Outfielder Robbie Grossman was also a finalist, but did not win one of the three Gold Gloves awarded to outfielders.
Fans can now vote for their favorite defensive player in each League at www.rawlings.com to determine who will be named the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winners. A combination of the national fan vote and the SABR Defensive Index will determine winners. Fans have until Thursday, Nov. 7 at 11:59pm ET to cast their vote.