Matt Chapman 2020 FANTASY BASEBALL OUTLOOK
Summary: Power bat with good counting stats and low average, but could improve in the 2020 season.
How Chapman helps you: You can look no further than his 36 homers to see what he brings to the table. I would like to mention he’s a stellar defender, if nothing else than to not disrespect where his true baseball prowess lies. However, in fantasy, we don’t really look at the glove work.
He scores runs (102), knocks in runs (91), draws walks (73, .342 OBP), and hits in a good lineup. He also played in a healthy 156 games last year, amassing 670 plate appearances.
There’s reason to believe the power can continue to develop, as his metrics are trending in the right direction and he won’t turn 27 until midseason. So there’s a lot of reasons to believe that Chapman hasn’t shown us his best yet.
How Chapman Hurts You: Well, he’s stolen 2 bases in the last three seasons, so you can pretty much punt that category from your third baseman if you select Matt Chapman.
But what really remains a question mark is his consistency. While he homered 6 or 7 times in 5 of the 6 months, his OPS jumped around a bit, especially in the back half of the season (.920-.865-.919-.687-.907-.704). The first half is actually relatively solid, but when you’re fighting for a fantasy championship (and we all are!), are you getting .919 OPS Chapman or .687 OPS Chapman? Personally, I prefer dips and peaks to be more stable like his first half. That second half scares me.
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The easy culprit here is Chapman’s batting average, which was a paltry .222 after the All-Star break. There’s some good news to come, however, so don’t let his .249 season average convince you that he’s a power sellout.
Intangibles / Analytics: Here’s the good news. Chapman’s BABIP in 2019 (.270) was the lowest of his career since 2015 in Advanced A. While he ran a bit hot against his normalized level in 2018 (.338), there’s no reason to believe that Chapman’s BABIP shouldn’t regress to his mean at about .290 – .300. We could be primed to see a spike in his average in 2020.
I believe he will find more singles and doubles this year as he made hard contact 45.3% of the time, good for 26th in baseball. His soft contact is a tad high at 16%, but nothing to scare me off, in a vacuum.
Chapman will bat 2nd or 3rd in a very good lineup that put up the 8th highest run total in 2019. The Oakland Coliseum had the fourth worst park factor last season.
Put it all together, and I see a fairly good chance at a .260 / 38 HR / 200 RBI + Runs campaign for the gold glover.
Where to Draft Him: Chapman is going around the mid-80s. In an OPS league, I’m buying that. In leagues that don’t factor in on-base, I think I’m passing until the 90 range. I love that he takes walks and that creates a floor that I’m comfortable with as long as it shows up on the stat sheet.
Dynasty and Redraft Comparison: I don’t feel that there’s much of a difference here. Sure, he’s young, but there’s not much to make us think that Chapman could burst out with a 45+ homer season. I think we’ve still yet to see his best, but for me that doesn’t move him up more than 5 to 7 spots for his dynasty value.
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