Matt Chapman, Oakland A's Surging In AL West

Oakland is in contention for a second straight Wild Card berth

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
August 22, 2019 - 8:50 am
Matt Chapman Oakland Athletics

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The Oakland A’s (73-53) likely won’t win the AL West. They trail the Astros (81-47) by seven games in the division, but they did take three of four from Houston this past weekend and have won six of their last seven games.

Not bad for a team that was six games under .500 in May. 

What changed for Oakland this season? What clicked?

“The Astros are about as close to a super team as you’re going to get in baseball, especially after the trade deadline,” ABC 7 Bay Area sports reporter Casey Pratt said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “The A’s, I think, had looked at the Astros as this massive entity that they were trying to compare themselves to. And when they kind of just forgot about all that and said, ‘We’re just going to do us – and us is actually pretty good, too,’ they really have turned it around since then. They’ve had success against the Astros in this last series, they’re having success against the Yankees – it’s an impressive little run that they’re on here.”

The A’s were 36-36 on June 16. They have since gone 37-17 and are neck-and-neck with Tampa Bay (74-54) for the second AL Wild Card spot.

“If you don’t watch the A’s very closely – and a lot of people don’t; they’re a small-market team, and they overhaul their roster far too frequently for most people’s taste – but they’ve really tried to turn a corner and commit to more players,” Pratt said. “Obviously they committed to Khris Davis, who’s really had a rough year after crashing into the wall. He just doesn’t seem quite right.”

Davis is hitting .220 with a .290 OBP, 18 home runs and 55 RBIs.

“But Matt Chapman is the name everybody should know,” Pratt continued. “This is a guy that I think could be the next $300-million player. If you keep an eye on this guy, he is so impressive. He’s got to be the most fun person to watch defensively in the game right now at third base. He’s a platinum glover, he’s hitting for power, I think this is a guy you absolutely must see.”

Chapman, 26, is hitting .257 with a .340 OBP, 29 home runs and 70 RBIs.

Click below to listen to Pratt’s interview in its entirety.