MLB Defensive Player of the Year 2018 Awards: AL and NL Winners and Reaction

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 9, 2018

Oakland Athletics' Matt Chapman plays third base against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Major League Baseball continues to put a bow on the 2018 season with the announcement of the Defensive Player of the Year awards. 

Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman was the big winner, taking home the overall Defensive Player of the Year honors:

Oakland Athletics 🌳🐘⚾️ @Athletics

Ladies and gentlemen, your Wilson Defensive Player of the Year @mattchap6. #RootedInOakland https://t.co/PJ9u6LyvV0

Chapman continues to cash in on his breakout season. The 25-year-old led MLB with 29 defensive runs saved and ranked sixth with a 13.1 defensive value.

Oakland Athletics 🌳🐘⚾️ @Athletics

He led all Major Leaguers regardless of position in defensive runs saved (29), and led American League third basemen in total chances (484), assists (331), and zone rating (.853). Matt Chapman wins Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in Hero-Town. #RootedInOakland https://t.co/5i6ri8qVR4

While Chapman was being honored for his individual accomplishment, the Arizona Diamondbacks were named the Defensive Team of the Year:

Arizona Diamondbacks @Dbacks

Web gems on top of web gems from the 2018 Defensive Team of the Year. https://t.co/qZ2qGXUlB3

The rest of the individual winners included Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu, Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts.

Arizona celebrated Zack Greinke's naming as the best defensive pitcher in MLB, with MLB.com's Chad Thornburg outlining the reasons behind the 35-year-old's recognition:

"Greinke has been among the game's most reliable pitchers for more than a decade, and he's consistently one of the best at fielding his position, with five consecutive Gold Glove Awards and two Defensive Player of the Year honors. Greinke leads all pitchers in Defensive Runs Saved since 2014, per Fangraphs, with 32, 10 more than second-place Julio Teheran."

The 2009 AL Cy Young winner also won the Gold Glove award, along with Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed. 

The Diamondbacks dwarfed the rest of MLB in defensive runs saved (157), 41 more than any other team. They had 19 players with at least 200 innings played, and only Daniel Descalso was below-average in defensive runs saved.

Betts has the chance to be the biggest winner coming out of this award season. The Red Sox star is basking in the glow of his first World Series title and is a finalist for AL MVP, which will be announced Thursday.


Stats via FanGraphs.