How Blue Jays pitchers will profit from Matt Chapman’s elite defence

How Blue Jays pitchers will profit from Matt Chapman’s elite defence


When the Toronto Blue traded for Matt Chapman on Monday, they acquired one of many nice defensive gamers within the sport.

Although Chapman’s bat comes with a level of uncertainty, his skill to show batted balls into outs is past reproach. The 28-year-old has gained three Gold Gloves, two Platinum Gloves, and finds himself on the high of defensive metric leaderboards since he broke into
the majors in 2017.

When it involves the recent nook over the past 5 years it’s Chapman, Nolan Arenado, a major hole, then everybody else:


This is good news for numerous Blue Jays pitchers — foremost amongst them Hyun-Jin Ryu, who permits extra balls in play than common, generates excessive groundball charges, and has confronted right-handed hitters 79.6 per cent of the time since signing in Toronto. That means a tonne of grounders to 3rd:


Although his increased strikeout price means few balls in play, the identical premise applies to new addition Yusei Kikuchi:


While Ryu and Kikuchi stand to profit essentially the most from Chapman’s presence, they gained’t be the one ones. Not solely will every pitcher on the Blue Jays employees get to get pleasure from a human vacuum behind them at third, so will his compatriot on the left aspect of the infield, Bo Bichette.

Bichette’s play at shortstop has been uneven at instances, however with Chapman on board, his life will likely be made considerably simpler. Looking at Chapman’s directional Outs Above Average it’s clear that he excels masking floor in the direction of the shortstop aspect.


The proven fact that a lot of Chapman’s defensive manufacturing comes from coming in on balls isn’t shocking contemplating his place, and for the report he’s not somebody you need to bunt on…

Exhibit A


Exhibit B


Exhibit C


… however the best way he expands the standard space of his place is arguably extra particular.

Chapman positions himself deeper than most third baseman (in 2020 he was the deepest third baseman at 124 toes, final season he was at 121, one foot behind the leaders), giving himself extra time to react and vary into the hole for giant performs.

Take this double play from his rookie season, as an example:


Not solely are his fielding actions and throw easy and environment friendly, however that’s a ball that the majority third baseman merely don’t contact.

Chapman is exceedingly formidable and unafraid to stray removed from his dwelling at third base if he feels there’s a play to be made. Off the bat this ball appears to be like prefer it’s heading immediately for the shortstop, however it’s travelling slowly and Phil Gosselin has ninety fifth percentile Sprint Speed so Chapman goes all out for a dramatic inning-ender.


Even figuring out a few the issues Chapman does with the glove seems like short-changing him to a point, as a result of the truth is that he stands out in nearly each space. This play is an efficient instance of all of the instruments he brings to the desk:


This is a tricky ball to corral off a large hop, however Chapman does it with ease, units his toes immediately, and throws a comically-accurate frozen rope to the plate to get his man by a mile. That play has so many transferring elements to suit collectively in such a short while — and he makes it look elementary.

Chapman’s presence alone gained’t make the Blue Jays an elite defensive workforce. That nonetheless doesn’t venture to be this membership’s energy. No single addition may’ve completed extra to strengthen that space of the workforce, although. While some Blue Jays pitchers will achieve greater than others from this transfer, all of them can sleep a bit of simpler realizing there’s a defender able to snowconing a 105.5 m.p.h. liner like this standing behind them.




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