The awards keep rolling in for Oakland A’s third baseman Matt Chapman. On Wednesday he was named the 2018 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year, overall among all MLB players.
Glove manufacturer Wilson began their defensive awards in 2012, but they took their current form in 2014. They recognize the top fielder in the majors at each position, plus the single best overall. The thing that sets them apart from other awards is that they are based entirely on statistics rather than a vote by humans, with a combination of traditional and advanced metrics going into account.
This is the first time that an A’s player has won a Wilson award in the current format. Chapman was the pick at third base, and also overall regardless of position. Previous overall winners include Jason Heyward (‘14), Andrelton Simmons (‘15), Mookie Betts (‘16), and Byron Buxton (‘17). Here’s the full 2018 lineup, or you can click here to see the full history of the award:
P: Zack Greinke
C: Mike Zunino
1B: Freddie Freeman
2B: D.J. LeMahieu
SS: Andrelton Simmons
3B: Matt Chapman (overall winner)
LF: Alex Gordon
CF: Kevin Kiermaier
RF: Mookie Betts
The awards season has already been productive for Chapman. The defensive dynamo won a Gold Glove, and he also got the nod from the Fielding Bible at third base. The only thing left would be the Platinum Glove, for the top Gold Glover in each league, which was voted on by fans this week but hasn’t yet been announced.
A’s fans already knew that Chapman was from another planet when it comes to defense, but now the rest of the nation is getting the message too. His various honors include one bestowed by managers and coaches, one by new-school experts, and one by pure statistics, so if he wins the Platinum fan vote then it will be pretty well unanimous that he’s the best fielder in baseball.
Congrats to Chapman on his latest distinction!