As a rookie in 2017, Matt Chapman appeared in 84 games for the Oakland Athletics. In those games, Chapman slashed .234/.313/.472 with a 112 OPS+. In 2018, those numbers have leaped considerably.

This season, Chapman is slashing .276/.363/.506. His OPS+ is up to 141—top 20 among all Major Leaguers. Chapman is fifth among all players in total bWAR, with a significant portion of his rating coming from his performance in the field. His strikeout percentage is a tad high at 22.6%, but he is still walking greater than 10% of the time. On top of the solid OPS+, Chapman has also put up 139 wRC+ and a .372 wOBA.

A’s continue to benefit

The Oakland Athletics have been on an absolute tear this season. Pre-season predictions all across the board had the A’s as a bottom ten team in baseball. Instead, Oakland sits just one game back from the reigning world champion Houston Astros. Matt Chapman has been one of the most important pieces of this puzzle, and the A’s show no signs of slowing down soon.

The New York Yankees have all but locked up the top Wild Card spot for the Postseason. But, the American League race is not nearly as open as over in the NL. The only legitimate competition for Oakland in the Wild Card is division rival Seattle. That being said, the Athletics may just have it in them to steal the division away and forget about the Wild Card. Fangraphs currently gives the A’s a 78.6% chance of making the MLB Postseason.

There are very few (if any) names on the offense that the casual baseball fan would know but that hasn’t stopped Oakland from having a dominant season. This lineup features zero big holes and with one of the deepest bullpens in the game, the A’s are able to shorten a ballgame like no other team in MLB can. Stay tuned to find out if Matt Chapman and the rest of the A’s can pull off something no MLB talking head predicted before the 2018 season began.

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Author Details
My name is Collin Ginnan and I am majoring in Journalism and Spanish at The Ohio State University. I grew up playing baseball year-round from t-ball through high school and am a diehard Cincinnati Reds fan. Coming from a family of Buckeyes, I was raised living and breathing Ohio State football. To the best of my memory, I have not missed a single game to date. Ohio State vs. Penn State during Homecoming? That’s what the Watch ESPN app is for. Besides the Buckeyes and Reds, I follow the Blue Jackets, Browns, Cavaliers, FC Cincinnati, and Liverpool FC.
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My name is Collin Ginnan and I am majoring in Journalism and Spanish at The Ohio State University. I grew up playing baseball year-round from t-ball through high school and am a diehard Cincinnati Reds fan. Coming from a family of Buckeyes, I was raised living and breathing Ohio State football. To the best of my memory, I have not missed a single game to date. Ohio State vs. Penn State during Homecoming? That’s what the Watch ESPN app is for. Besides the Buckeyes and Reds, I follow the Blue Jackets, Browns, Cavaliers, FC Cincinnati, and Liverpool FC.

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