Mailbag: Olson, Chapman, Chavez and Football

We love answering the questions we receive from you, our loyal readers, and this week we have some good ones.

Who is better: Chapman or Olson?

That’s a tough one. Chapman is older, even though he was drafted this past June. The majority of his time last season was spent in Beloit (A-Ball) where he played in 50 games, hit .237 with an on-base percentage of .282, while smashing five homers and driving in twenty. Chapman was called up to Double-A Midland for a game, and went 0-for-3. He’ll likely start the season in Stockton, where the ball tends to fly. We’ll get a good idea of the comparison between him and Olson by the end of next season.

Matt Olson is just 20-years old, but put up the best offensive season seen in Stockton since Chris Carter in 2008. With the Ports, Olson hit .262 with an OBP of .404 (!), while hitting 37 out of Banner Island and driving in 97. Last season’s Ports were an offensive juggernaut, led by Olson, Renato Nunez and recently traded Daniel Robertson as key cogs.

Obviously, Olson has the better offensive numbers, but Chapman is supposed to be a good defender. The problem for each of these players is that there is someone now blocking their path to the majors. For Chapman, it’s Olson’s teammate Nunez. For Olson, Rangel Ravelo, acquired in the Jeff Samardzija deal, could become a nuisance. If I had to pick, right now I’d say Olson is the better player, with more minor league time under his belt, but I think Chapman could be the better all-around player in a year or two.

I can make a strong argument for Chavez to be the 7th pitcher in the bullpen. Do you think he will be in the the rotation or ‘pen and why?

I think that a lot could depend on how well the other pitchers do in Spring Training. Jesse Chavez likely has a step on the competition because he’s been in the majors, and now has experience in the rotation. Regardless of where he starts the season, I’m figuring Chavez ends the season in the bullpen in his familiar long relief role.

Without even taking into account A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker‘s returns, the options of Drew Pomeranz, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin and Chris Bassitt figure to get better as the season goes on, which is something Billy Beane was aiming for when making all of these offseason trades. To start the season, my guess is a rotation of Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Hahn, Pomeranz and Chavez.

Put these guys in football positions: Lawrie, Butler, Crisp, Reddick, Doolittle

I love this question! Brett Lawrie is the tight end on my football team. He obviously has good hands, since he’s a great defensive third baseman and doesn’t seem to mind pushing people around.

Sean Doolittle is the quarterback, because he’s a pitcher. Enough said. I could see Coco Crisp as a cornerback, while Josh Reddick is a wide receiver. That’s actually a matchup I’d like to watch, with Doo throwing lasers downfield.

Billy Butler is the coach. Think Andy Reid. I’m pretty sure that all of these guys would be starters on the Oakland Raiders, too.

If you have a question you’d like answered, go to and give us a shout! It’s the offseason, so let’s have some fun!