Simon: A’s Chapman ‘a bit of a perfectionist,’ always seems to be in right position

From SABR member Mark Simon at The Athletic on August 16, 2018:

Oakland Athletics third baseman​ Matt​ Chapman has always​ had a knack​ for catching the​ ball.

“I​ always​​ wanted the ball and played aggressive on defense,” he said in a phone conversation on Tuesday, recounting his appearance as an 8-year-old pitcher for the AAA Marlins in the TOC Championship Game in suburban Los Angeles.

In the final inning, Chapman protected the lead with both arm and glove. He sprinted into foul territory to snag a popup while running into his catcher. And he made a pair of diving plays to field groundballs.

Defensive skills came early to Chapman, the leader in Sports Info Solutions’ metric Defensive Runs Saved. He not only leads all players with 25 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), he’s more than tripled the total of the next-closest third basemen. Basically, they’re all playing defense, while Chapman is playing defense.

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Originally published: August 17, 2018. Last Updated: August 17, 2018.