The Gold Glove nominees were announced on Thursday, with the Oakland A’s having a pair of players to get the nod.
The Oakland A’s have been known for their defense during this most recent run of success. Both Matt Chapman and Matt Olson have been perennial Gold Glove candidates on the corners of the infield. Ramon Laureano has dazzled baseball fans with his impressive glove and incredible arm in center. Sean Murphy has displayed an impressive arm as well, while showing the defensive acumen to make himself a Gold Glove candidate.
On Thursday, those candidates were announced. The A’s had two finalists, with Laureano and Olson having a chance to take home the hardware.
It is notable that Chapman did not get one of the finalist spots at third base. The two time defending Platinum Glove winner had an off year in virtually every aspect. After leading AL third basemen in runs saved over the past two years, he actually cost the A’s a run in his 36 games at the hot corner. His hip issues, which required surgery, may be the explanation as to why his defense suddenly fell off.
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Olson, meanwhile, is getting a chance at his third consecutive Gold Glove award. He made just one error all season, with his .9977 fielding percentage the second best in A’s history. Olson saved five runs at first this year, ranked second amongst AL first basemen with 48 assists, and was fourth in putouts.
Laureano, for all of his defensive exploits, has yet to win a Gold Glove award. This may well be the year, as he shined defensively in center. He led all AL center fielders with nine runs saved, as well as leading the league in range factor and fielding percentage. Laureano also ranked second in putouts, as he was seemingly everywhere.
The A’s defense has been a key part of the past few seasons. With playmakers such as Laureano and Chapman in the field, the A’s pitching staff has an easier task than some of their brethren. Balls that would be base hits, or doubles in the gap or down the lines, become outs.
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On Thursday, Ramon Laureano and Matt Olson were recognized for their defensive excellence with the Oakland A’s, as they were named finalists for the AL Gold Glove awards.