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Defensive Transitions from the Minors

July 25, 2017

Matt Chapman of the Oakland Athletics has played only 21 games in the majors and has already made a splash defensively, saving eight runs at third base. He is tied for third in Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) out of all third basemen this season despite only playing 186 innings.

Third Basemen DRS Leaders 2017
Player Innings DRS
Nolan Arenado 851 17
Jedd Gyorko 661 14
Matt Chapman 186 8
Evan Longoria 780 8
Manny Machado 830 7
Anthony Rendon 785 7
Eugenio Suarez 811 7
Deven Marrero 349 5
Justin Turner 560 5


This comes as no surprise to us at Baseball Info Solutions. Since 2016, Chapman has saved more runs at his primary position in Double-A and Triple-A than any other player. At third base, Chapman saved 24 runs in 2016 for the Midland RockHounds and Nashville Sounds and saved another 10 this season for the Sounds.

Minor League DRS Leaders Since 2016
Player Organization Position DRS
Matt Chapman Athletics 3B 34
Braxton Lee Marlins CF 29
Isiah Kiner-Falefa Rangers 3B 28
Brian Anderson Marlins 3B 26
Joey Wendle Athletics 2B 25
Eric Stamets Indians SS 25


Chapman is the only Minor League DRS leader who is on Baseball America’s Midseason Top 100 Prospects list (No. 94). The next prospect to look out for defensively might be the number four prospect on the Marlins (according to Baseball America), Brian Anderson, who we could see late in 2018. He has saved the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, formerly the Jacksonville Suns, and the New Orleans Baby Cakes a combined 26 runs at third base since 2016.

On the other end of the spectrum is Jaycob Brugman, who was called up by the Athletics at the beginning of June and has already cost his team five runs in center field. This also comes as no surprise as he was one of the worst minor league defensive players at his primary position. Since 2016, he cost the RockHounds and Sounds 26 runs in center field.


COMMENTS (1 Comment)

Pretty stunning stats so far, but Chapman really is terrific out there. I've only seen him in a few games, but he's so good that his defensive skill just jumps out at you (also perhaps because the rest of the team is pretty bad in the field). He makes hard plays look easy and gas all the ingredients of a great third baseman -- strong, accurate arm with a quick release, great hands, quick rflexes and incredibly smooth coordination.

I sure hope he can OPS .800. Heck, .750 would be fine.​
3:38 PM Jul 28th
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