Oakland Athletics: All-Decade Team for the 2010s

Oakland Athletics (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Oakland Athletics (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Corner Infield

First Baseman: Matt Olson

The first of two cornerstone Matts on the team, Matt Olson has revolutionized the infield’s defense while quietly transforming into one of the top two-way first basemen in the league.

Making his first splash in the big leagues back in 2017, Olson quickly rose to prominence by hitting 24 home runs in just 59 games.

Even more impressively, more than half of his hits that season were extra-base hits. He finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting that season

Olson has slowly progressed as a hitter, seeing his best season yet last year when he hit 36 home runs, batted .267, and had 91 RBI in just 127 games. All the while, he’s brought exceptional defense each and every year.

Already a two-time Gold Glove winner, Olson is likely going to be in the conversation for best defensive players in baseball for years to come.

His large frame and ability to scoop a variety of poor throws out of the dirt have given much-needed confidence to several players in the infield.

Olson is far and away the best first baseman that the A’s fielded in the 2010s, but he’ll be looking to gain even more traction as he enters the new decade.

Honorable Mention: Brandon Moss

Third Baseman: Matt Chapman

There have been two third baseman that the A’s have had this decade that deserved serious consideration, but statistically speaking, Matt Chapman has already taken the throne.

Josh Donaldson was arguably the heart and soul of the A’s teams of the early-to-mid 2010s. He posted a 16.4 WAR across four seasons with the A’s, finished in the top eight of MVP voting in two separate years, and was selected to the All-Star Game.

But in just three seasons, Matt Chapman has surpassed that.

Chapman has accumulated an 18.5 WAR, finishing top seven in MVP voting in two different years, and was selected to the All-Star Game. He also managed to win two Gold Gloves along with two Platinum Glove.

Chapman is immediately recognized for his defense, which is elite even by elite’s standards. The Platinum Glove is only given out to the very best defenders in the game, and Chapman has secured the honor in back to back seasons.

It seems that every single game there was a spectacular Matt Chapman play.

Whether teams foolishly tried to sneak a bunt down the third base line, slow rollers tried to eke out infield singles, or batters prayed as their batted balls floated toward the seats down the third-base side, Chapman made his presence felt.

Along with this defense, however, Chapman has proven himself to be a very capable top-to-middle of the order bat. Last season, he belted a career-best 36 home runs while keeping his OBP right around .350 still.

Chapman is now entering his prime years as the 2020’s approach us. And there’s no telling just how many Gold and Platinum Gloves he’ll secure.

Honorable Mention: Josh Donaldson