Cleat Geeks

SABERmetrics Sunday: Matt Chapman An Early Stand-Out Player In 2018

There has only been two weeks of regular season action, but there are players putting up some notable performances. One of them is the Oakland A’s third baseman Matt Chapman. Chapman (24) has begun what will hopefully will be his first full big league season after playing 84 games in 2017. Being on a bad and frankly uninteresting Athletics team, he did not get much attention. While he only put up a .313 OBP, he hit 14 home runs with 19 defensive runs saved at third and was a 2.7 fWAR player in 2017. Chapman also had a .348 OBP and .937 OPS in 49 AAA games in 2017.

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Up until Saturday, he has been an every day player with the Athletics. Like mentioned earlier, it is a small sample size, but Chapman is showing a lot of promise early. Here are the FanGraph stats in his first 14 games this year.

.424 OBP / .698 Slugging / 1.122 OPS / 5 HR / 10.2% BB / 16.9% K / 217 wRC+ / -0.1 UBR / 3 DRS / 2.1 UZR /1.3 fWAR

The kid has been doing it all. Playing a good third base while slugging the ball all over the park and getting on base at a great rate. Oakland is looking at youth to rebuild their franchise into relevance and Chapman could be a key piece. Will he his some rough patches? Yeah, it is inevitable. However the promise looks good.

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It is hard to see his defense slowing down and he clearly has some pop in his bat. 19 home runs in 98 MLB games along with 80 home runs in the minors. His OBP may drop a bit when pitchers can figure out some weaknesses, he never was a huge OBP guy in the minors (career .327 OBP in minors). Overall the Athletics look like they’ll have a nice power third baseman for the future.

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