The legend of Matt Chapman continues to grow. The Double-A Midland RockHounds played 14 innings against the Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros) on Monday, and Chapman's home run finally broke the tie in the 14th to lead the Hounds to victory. It was the third baseman's fifth homer in 17 games this season. He also added a single and a walk in seven plate appearances.
What else is left to say about Chapman at this point? A brief rundown of his pro career so far:
- Drafted in the first round in 2014 (25th overall).
- In Sept. 2014, just three months after being drafted, he makes a cameo in the Double-A Texas League playoffs, going 9-for-29 with two homers in eight postseason games to help the Hounds to a championship.
- In 2015, he hits 23 homers in 80 games for High-A Stockton, in between a couple injuries.
- In spring of 2016, he leads the A's with six homers in the Cactus League.
- In 2016, he hits five homers in his first 17 games at Double-A.
The dude has not stopped raking since he became a pro, and he's done it on every stage against whatever level of competition he's been thrown into. This guy is going to be something special, and the only question is how long we'll have to wait to see him in Oakland. Again, I don't think that will happen before 2017 since he's still gaining experience and the depth chart is packed above him, but hopefully Chapman can become that fully homegrown slugger the A's so rarely seem to develop successfully.
Here's the homer from Monday. The broadcasters are soooo over the game at this point.
Highlights from Fri-Mon
We last checked in on Midland on Thursday, when another Chapman dinger helped the club to a win against the San Antonio Missions (Padres). Unfortunately, the Hounds dropped their next three contests against San Antonio, and in particular their pitching staff struggled.
Friday brought Joel Seddon to the mound. After two straight disastrous outings to open the year, he registered yet another stinker, this time allowing six runs in three innings of work. Seddon was a sleeper favorite of mine entering the year, but I'm losing faith quickly. He's not just losing, he's getting absolutely smoked:
Seddon, 4/10: 3⅔ ip, 8 runs, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HR, 8 hits
Seddon, 4/16: 3 ip, 5 runs, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HR, 8 hits
Seddon, 4/22: 3 ip, 6 runs, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HR, 7 hits
Those were all utter thumpings, with no real redeeming quality to take out of them as a silver lining. It's only three games, but it's certainly not the start you want to see from a fringe guy who just moved up to a new level. The A's have been aggressive with the 23-year-old, who was drafted the same year as current High-A Stockton hurlers Gossett, Graves, and Fillmyer, so maybe he just needs more time to adjust. I choose to continue having patience.
At the plate Friday, Jaycob Brugman impressed me the most by homering off Brandon Morrow -- yes, the same Morrow with over 700 innings of MLB experience and more then a strikeout per frame in that time. Ryon Healy also added three hits in that game.
Saturday's starter was Dylan Covey, and his day was almost awesome. He threw six innings total, which is a season-high for him to this point. Five of his innings were of the 1-2-3 variety, as he sliced through San Antonio's lineup like butter. But in the 2nd, things went wrong. By all rights he should have recorded three outs within the first four batters, but an error allowed one of them to reach base to extend the inning. Three singles and two walks later, the Missions had plated four unearned runs and cast a shadow on Covey's otherwise brilliant day. His final line: 6 ip, 4 runs, 0 ER, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 3 hits.
To make matters worse on Saturday, the bullpen failed as well. Trey Cochran-Gill finally allowed some runs, but like with Covey the damage looks worse than it probably was. With two outs already on the board, a ground ball single, a walk, and an infield hit loaded the bases, and the next batter went yard for a grand slam. Dang, that escalated quickly. Yes, Trey did allow a homer, and that's never good, but saying that he allowed four runs in one inning probably overstates his struggles on the day. I'm still thrilled with his season so far. Bobby Wahl came in to wrap things up and gave up two more runs.
There was nothing of great interest in Sunday's loss, and that brings us to Monday, with a new opponent on the docket in Corpus Christi. Healy notched three more hits, Chapman had his aforementioned game-winner, and Franklin Barreto chipped in with his second homer of the year -- on the first pitch he saw from former teammate Brendan McCurry, no less. Unfortunately, Raul Alcantara got hammered in his start (2 ip, 7 runs, 4 Ks, 3 BB, 2 HR), but on the bright side Sam Bragg (2 ip, 0 runs, 3 Ks) and Wahl (2 ip, 0 runs, 1 K, 1 BB) had positive outings in relief.
Key hitting prospects: Season numbers
Matt Chapman: .267/.413/.583, 5 HR, 13 BB, 17 Ks (75 PAs)
Ryon Healy: .333/.392/.569, 3 HR, 7 BB, 15 Ks (79 PAs)
Jaycob Brugman: .250/.311/.426, 3 HR, 5 BB, 11 Ks (74 PAs)
Franklin Barreto: .203/.239/.328, 2 HR, 2 BB, 20 Ks (67 PAs)
Barreto is 6-for-14 over the last three games, and he moved up to the leadoff spot on Monday for the second time this year. And he's finally above the Mendoza Line for the season!
Key pitching prospects: Season numbers
Daniel Mengden: 3 starts, 1.00 ERA, 18 ip, 20 Ks, 9 BB, 0 HR
Raul Alcantara: 4 starts, 8.44 ERA, 16 ip, 20 Ks, 11 BB, 4 HR
Dylan Covey: 3 starts, 2.45 ERA, 14⅔ ip, 12 Ks, 9 BB, 1 HR
Joel Seddon: 3 starts, 17.69 ERA, 9⅔ ip, 7 Ks, 6 BB, 2 HR
Trey Cochran-Gill: 5 games, 4.00 ERA, 9 ip, 10 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HR
Sam Bragg: 4 games, 15.12 ERA, 8⅓ ip, 8 Ks, 6 BB, 5 Ks
Bobby Wahl: 3 games, 4.50 ERA, 4 ip, 4 Ks, 1 BB
Some of the ERAs are getting ugly, but let's keep tracking them and see what happens when the sample sizes get a bit bigger. Alcantara is struggling mightily, and it looks like the problems extend to both his control (lots of walks) and command (hitters teeing off when they swing). Bragg has now turned in two sparkling outings since moving back to the bullpen (total 4 ip, 7 Ks, 1 BB), and his lines in those games look like the ones he posted in Stockton last year. It's a race between him and Seddon to see who can get his ERA back down to single-digits the fastest. As for Wahl, the key thing that interests me is that lone walk in his first four innings as he gets back in the groove after all of his injuries.
All four affiliates are in action.
Triple-A Nashville: 4:35 p.m., Zach Neal vs. New Orleans
Double-A Midland: 5:05 p.m., Daniel Mengden vs. Corpus Christi
High-A Stockton: 6:30 p.m., Heath Fillmyer vs. San Jose
Single-A Beloit: 4:30 p.m., Boomer Biegalski vs. Lansing
Mengden is the man of the hour today from among these four matchups. He tailed off slightly in his last start but still posted a quality outing and earned a victory. Fillmyer has been decent but I'd like to see him start striking out more batters (only 9 Ks in 17 ip so far). In Beloit, Xavier Altamirano is usually the piggyback reliever for Biegalski.