This one is a bit bold, but the Diamondbacks need a third baseman. Sure, Ivan Melendez could be a solution at the hot corner, but he’s more than likely going to end up at first base. 2023 draftees Tommy Troy and Gino Groover could end up at third, but could also land at different positions. If the D-Backs want to fill third base for a handful of seasons, then they should consider Matt Chapman.
Chapman turned in a .240/.330/.424 triple slash with 17 home runs. He also had a .328 wOBA, and 110 wRC+. Chapman walked at a 10.4% rate, but struck out in 28.7% of his plate appearances. Chapman hasn’t had an MVP-caliber season with the bat since 2019. However, there is a good chance he can rediscover his offensive potential in 2024.
Chapman was in the 98th+ percentile of exit velocity (93.4 MPH, T-5th with J.D. Martinez), hard hit rate (56.4%, second to Aaron Judge), and barrel rate (17.1%, 5th best in baseball). Chapman could greatly use a change in approach. The third baseman has sort of gone full three-true-outcomes, and becoming a flyball-or-bust sort of hitter. In the first two years of his career, Chapman had a 15.4 degree launch angle, 22.8% strikeout rate, and 132 wRC+. Since then, Chapman’s average launch angle is up to 19.1 degrees, he is striking out 29.9% of the time, and has just a 110 wRC+.
Of course, Chapman’s ability to hit is just icing on the cake. He has been one of the best hot corner defenders for years now. This past season, Chapman added +12 defensive runs saved and +4 outs above average to an already impressive resume. Chapman took home the AL 3B Gold Glove, as he leads them all in DRS by a wide margin of seven runs, is second in UZR/150, and fourth in OAA.
Chapman will likely be the highest paid free agent on today’s list. But if the Diamondbacks want to solve third base now, and for a while, he’d definitely be a solid choice. He’d bring a potential middle of the order bat, as well as elite defense. Chapman would definitely be a game changer for the Snakes.