Nolan Arenado of the Rockies and Matt Chapman of the A's have quickly developed reputations as the best defensive third basemen in the game, and on Friday, they were honored as Major League Baseball's premier defenders as the recipients of the 2018 Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards.Established in 2011, the Platinum
Nolan Arenado of the Rockies and Matt Chapman of the A's have quickly developed reputations as the best defensive third basemen in the game, and on Friday, they were honored as Major League Baseball's premier defenders as the recipients of the 2018 Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards.
Established in 2011, the Platinum Glove Awards are given to the best defender in each league, as selected via a fan vote from among the Gold Glove Award winners at each position. Arenado earned his second consecutive Platinum Glove Award, while Chapman is a first-time winner, joining Adrian Beltre ('11, '12) and Manny Machado ('13) as American League third basemen to receive the honor.
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The connection between Arenado and Chapman runs deeper than just the position they play. The two were high school teammates at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif., with Chapman the backup to Arenado, two years his elder. That makes them the first pair of former high school teammates to win Platinum Glove Awards in the same year. It's also the first time that two players at the same position have won in the same year.
Chapman's 29 defensive runs saved in 2018, according to FanGraphs, were the best among all defenders and led all third basemen by a wide margin, with the Braves' Johan Camargo and the Giants' Evan Longoria tying for a distant second with seven. Arenado clocked in at five defensive runs saved after leading all MLB third basemen in the stat for the past three years.
Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark.