Sarris: Matt Chapman’s rise to stardom has been built on a two-step plan

From SABR member Eno Sarris at The Athletic on June 11, 2019:

Matt Chapman wasn’t supposed to be this good. He was supposed to be a great glove with a good enough bat. Even after he started turning raw power into game power in the minor leagues with a new swing he’d developed, there was always the question about his ability to make contact. He made the big leagues and showed that power and defense, and struck out nearly 30 percent of the time.

That was fine, and it was good, but it took two additional tweaks to push him from flawed but useful into perennial All-Star status. Both steps were designed to help him make powerful contact more frequently.

“Plus arm, plus power, plus makeup, plus defense — you knew you were getting a solid player,” Kansas City Royals scouting director Lonnie Goldberg told Ken Rosenthal last year about Chapman. “The only negative we had was the swing-and-miss. That was the knock, the hickey he had.”

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Originally published: June 11, 2019. Last Updated: June 11, 2019.