June 15, 2017
The Situation: The Super-Two window has all but closed, and as they sit 17 games out of first the A’s have entered period of roster transition that has already seen youngsters Chad Pinder and Jaycob Brugman wrestle playing time away from veterans. With Trevor Plouffe scuffling on both sides of the ball and Ryon Healy really better served not subtracting value by trying to fake it at third, the timing is just right for Oakland to call up one of their top position prospects for a look at the hot corner.
The Background: A former 25th-overall pick out of College World Series-bound Cal State Fullerton, Chapman has progressed steadily through the minor leagues with consistent production at east step along the way over the past three seasons. The 24-year-old has averaged a homer every 15 at-bats in his professional career, pacing the Texas League last year and mashing 16 long balls to date in a truncated season in the Pacific Coast League. He appeared to dodge a bullet earlier this spring, when on a check swing he suffered what initially looked like a hamate fracture, but turned out to be a mere strain.
Scouting Report: Chapman’s profile has remained relatively stable over the past couple seasons, highlighted by his glove and batted-ball distances. He’s one of the best defensive third base prospects in the minor leagues, and his is a case where the defensive metrics back up the eye test. He’s aggressive both in how he sets up and gets after balls hit his way, with lateral quickness that belies his heavy-legged, churning running motion. He’s an efficient fielder with grace and body control making plays on the run, and his arm is a 70-grade weapon that’ll flirt wi>