Matt Chapman – the most valuable member of the Oakland A’s

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 5: Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics fields during the game against the San Diego Padres at RingCentral Coliseum on September 5, 2020 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Padres 8-4. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 5: Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics fields during the game against the San Diego Padres at RingCentral Coliseum on September 5, 2020 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Padres 8-4. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /
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There is no question as to what Matt Chapman means to the Oakland A’s. The A’s third baseman has been a star with the bat and the glove since his arrival in the majors, quickly establishing himself as one of the most valuable players on the team.

It is not a surprise that, since his arrival, Chapman has surpassed the other players on the A’s in terms of WAR. He had two MVP caliber seasons in 2018 and 2019, posting an 8.3 bWAR in both years. Even in a lost 2020, Chapman still posted a 1.2 bWAR.

Matt Chapman the most valuable member of the Oakland A’s

In his brief time in the majors, Chapman has certainly made a mark on A’s history. In fact, his 21.0 WAR ties him with former shortstop Marcus Semien for 47th in team history. It is easy to imagine that he will shoot up the list this season, provided that he is healthy.

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That is the biggest question with Chapman. According to the reports in spring training, he is ready to go, back at full health after surgery to repair a torn hip labrum. That injury was the likely culprit behind his disappointing .232/.276/.535 batting line in 152 plate appearances, as Chapman drew just eight walks while striking out 54 times.

Instead, the A’s will be hoping for the player who had appeared to be on the cusp of superstardom after his first three years in the majors. That Chapman had produced a combined .257/.341/.500 batting line with 74 homers and 101 doubles over his 1612 plate appearances. He had also saved 40 runs and won the Platinum Glove twice.

The A’s have a great deal riding on Chapman this season. While they were able to revamp their lineup this offseason, Chapman is still the biggest key. If he can get back to being the player he had been, the A’s should be in good shape.

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And along the way, Matt Chapman can keep rising up the Oakland A’s leaderboard. He is already the most valuable player on the roster.

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