We will take a look at each player on the Oakland Athletics’ roster and how they fared in the 2019 season. Matt Chapman starts our coverage as he looks to add more defensive hardware to his name.
Matt Chapman has become one of the best third basemen in baseball both on offense and defense through two-and-a-half seasons with the Oakland Athletics. He is regarded as one of the best defensive players in baseball and makes plays nightly that make your jaw drop.
Looking at his season in review, you will see some highs and you will see some lows. But for the most part, what he does on the field and at the plate is positive and has helped turned the Oakland Athletics’ from the bottom of the AL to two straight Wild Card games.
Offensively Chapman can spray the ball to all directions of the field and he has power that a lot of players don’t have. His ability to continue getting better with plate discipline will pay off as he enters his prime years, his walk total has increased each year from 32 in 2017, to 58 in 2018 and in 2019 raising it to 73.
Power has also continued to develop for Chapman as his home run totals have gone from 14 to 24 and then getting up to 36 last year to pair with 91 RBI’s. His batting average took a huge dip this year from .278 in 2018 to .249 in 2019, but that was largely due to an abysmal second half that many questioned if he was fully healthy?
One thing that isn’t in any question was the elite defense Chapman once again provided, in 2018 he won a gold glove and a platinum glove for best defensive player in the AL. In 2019 he looks destined to repeat in both categories.
Chapman is reaching heights on defense the A’s have not seen since Eric Chavez when he won six straight gold gloves from 2001-2006 before injuries hit him. What’s crazy is Chapman has a better arm, more speed, larger radius coverage and has softer hands then Chavez.
Looking at this season I would have to say Chapman exceeded standards on defense which is off the top to even think about, considering how good he is already. Offensively he was below average in terms of batting average but his power and RBI totals were good.
Looking forward I can see him hitting 40 home runs and knocking in 100 RBI’s while hitting around .280 and upping his walk total to around 85. That would put him into MVP talk and with the likes of Nolan Arenado as best all-around third basemen in baseball.
His WAR (wins above replacement) dipped from 8.2 to 6.7 from 2018 to 2019, highly due to his poor second half, but still ranked 13th in MLB. With all that said, his stats besides a poor batting average graded out really well and was a large part in Oakland winning 97 games last year.
Chapman has so much potential still to grow and he will continue doing that in 2020. With a better bat at the plate, the possibilities are endless what type of player he can become.