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Athletics prospect Matt Chapman named Texas League MVP

MLB: Spring Training-Oakland Athletics at Chicago Cubs Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Midland Rockhounds announced today that the Oakland Athletics’ #3 prospect, AA third baseman Matt Chapman, was named the Texas League Player of the Year. The slugger hit .241/.335/.521 with 29 home runs before he was promoted to AAA Nashville, leading the league in HRs and runs scored. He was also second in RBIs, and played probably the best third base defense in the minor leagues.

This is the second consecutive year a Rockhounds player has won the award. Brand new Athletic Chad Pinder was awarded the honor last year.

The Texas League also named two of his teammates to its postseason All-Star team: Franklin Barreto (the A’s top prospect) and catcher Beau Taylor.

Barreto hit .281/.340/.413 with Midland with 10 home runs and 30 stolen bases, the most in the Athletics' system. Barreto started off the year very slowly, but was arguably the best player in the league over the final three months of the season, hitting a whopping .314/.377/.452 over the last 90 days.

Beau Taylor, 26, had a fairly significant breakout season with the Rockhounds, hitting .285/.387/.409 as the everyday catcher. There’s not a lot of power in his bat, hitting a total of 5 home runs, but his on-base skills were excellent. This is Taylor's fourth year at AA, so hopefully this is him finally figuring the level out.

Midland Manager Ryan Christenson also took home Manager of the Year honors, completing a pretty dang successful awards season for the team.

The Midland Rockhounds will be going into the playoffs with the best record in the league by a solid 7.5 games, where they’ll be looking to win their third consecutive Texas League championship.

Franklin Barreto Promoted

Of course, they’ll be going into the playoffs without their MVP and one of their all-stars. Matt Chapman was called up to AAA earlier this month, and #1 prospect Franklin Barreto was called up to AAA today.

Barreto will mainly play shortstop for now, although there's always the possibility that he could move to second base with the presence of Marcus Semien at the MLB level.

Brand new second baseman Max Schrock will take his place in AA. Schrock, acquired for Marc Rzepcynski, hit .341/.373/.453 on the Nationals High-A team, but got a grand total of nine plate appearances in Stockton before being promoted to Midland.