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Matt Chapman ranked 7th-best third baseman by MLB Network

Down from 4th place last year, after an injured season

San Diego Padres v Oakland Athletics Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Earlier this month, MLB Network wrapped up its annual Top 10 Players Right Now series, ranking the best in the majors at each position.

The Oakland A’s had a few players make their respective Top 10 lists, including Matt Olson (1B), Mark Canha (LF), Ramon Laureano (CF), and Sean Murphy (C), and to the surprise of nobody they also got a mention at third base for Matt Chapman.

  1. Anthony Rendon, LAA
  2. Alex Bregman, HOU
  3. Nolan Arenado, STL
  4. José Ramírez, CLE
  5. Manny Machado, SD
  6. Justin Turner, LAD
  7. Matt Chapman, OAK
  8. Josh Donaldson, MIN
  9. Gio Urshela, NYY
  10. Eugenio Suárez, CIN

This is the third year in a row that Chapman has made the list at the hot corner, beginning with another seventh-place nod in 2019, but it’s a drop from last year when he ranked fourth.

That downgrade is understandable, since he missed nearly half of the short 2020 season to a hip injury that required surgery. Even before he stopped playing he was noticeably affected by the injury on both sides of the ball, still performing well but not at his usual superhuman level.

Everyone at Athletics Nation has full confidence in Chapman and knows the slugging two-time Platinum Glover could easily be at or near the top of this list right now, but he’ll need to reprove that to the rest of the world this summer. To that end, the good news is he’s looking healthy at spring camp.

As for the rest of the diamond, here’s where the A’s ranked:

  • C: Sean Murphy (5th)
  • 1B: Matt Olson (8th)
  • 2B: —
  • SS: —
  • 3B: Matt Chapman (7th)
  • LF: Mark Canha (3rd)
  • CF: Ramon Laureano (7th)
  • RF: —
  • SP: —
  • RP: —

Five out of eight lineup spots containing a Top 10 player seems like a strong core, and it’s easy to see someone like starters Jesus Luzardo or Chris Bassitt, closer Trevor Rosenthal, or All-MLB Team finalist reliever Jake Diekman rising up in their respective pitching categories. There’s no list for DH, but with only 15 teams eligible, there’s a chance Mitch Moreland could crack it.

Congrats to Chapman and the other A’s on their Top 10 recognition!