Getting To Know: Matt Chapman: Freshly Recalled, Can He Make An Instant Impact For Oakland?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Trevor Plouffe continuing to flounder the A’s will dip into their farm system for an alternative, promoting Matt Chapman from Triple-A.  If you simply look at his 16 HR and 30 RBI over 174 AB at Triple-A you would get excited.  However what happens when you dig a little bit deeper into the numbers?  Do we still believe?  Is he a lock to produce upon arrival?  Let’s dive in and take a look:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – A’s #6 ranked prospect

Bats – Right-Handed

Age – 24

What We Said In The Preseason:
Power…  Power…  Power…  Chapman has more than enough, after slugging 36 HR over 514 AB between Double and Triple-A last season.  The question is going to be if he can make enough contact in the Majors to tap into it:

  • Double-A – 29.2%
  • Triple-A – 30.6%

That’s obviously something to watch, and could turn him more into a Chris Carter type player in the Majors.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does limit his overall upside

Thoughts:
Chapman has continued to hit for power, given his 16 HR.  However he hasn’t produced much in the way of additional extra base hits (6 doubles and 2 triples).  That’s a little bit of a red flag, especially when you tack on his extra base hits at Triple-A a year ago (a total of 250 AB):

  • Doubles – 7
  • Triples – 2
  • Home Runs – 23

Playing half his games in Oakland, there is going to be the fear that some of the balls that cleared the fences in the Pacific Coast League simply won’t.  That’ll obviously have a negative impact (he’s currently carrying a 50.0% fly ball rate) on his overall numbers.

Then you have the strikeouts, which have continued to be an issue (31.0% at Triple-A this season).  Considering his track record and 12.6% SwStr%, there’s little reason to think that it’s going to improve.

While he should add some HR, the inflated fly ball rate coupled with his strikeouts (and the potential for him not to quite match the power he’s shown) is going to bring significant concerns.  Would it be surprising to see him hit .220ish?  Unless he’s going to hit 40 HR, which we’d be skeptical about, it’s going to cripple his production.

There is some potential, but don’t be completely shocked if he struggles and ultimately ends up back at Triple-A.

Current Grade – B-
Upside Grade – B-

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs

Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings:

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One comment

  1. Next Level says:

    Prof – Would you consider dropping Broxton for Chapman in a points league? I have Brinson and Buxton at CF but need 3B help. I guess the real question is whether I should drop a CF for Chapman or exercise some patience and explore trades. Thanks once again for the timely article.

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