Chapman keeps slugging for RockHounds

A's No. 4 prospect goes yard twice for the second time in four games

Matt Chapman also leads the Texas League with 80 RBIs and 219 total bases. (Shane Roper/

By Alex Kraft / | August 10, 2016 9:30 PM ET

Matt Chapman can't quite put his finger on why he has home run binges, but he certainly won't complain about that.

Oakland's No. 4 prospect went yard twice for the second time in four games and plated all three runs Wednesday as Double-A Midland edged Tulsa, 3-1, at ONEOK Field.

Chapman continued to leave his hitting swoon from June and July in the dust, a process that began with a two-dinger, six-RBI performance four days ago. In that outing, he homered in his first two plate appearances and later tripled. On Wednesday, he waited three innings before making his mark.

With one out and no one on in the fourth, the 25th overall pick in the 2014 Draft fell behind in the count, 0-2, against Drillers starter Andrew Sopko. But the third pitch of the at-bat clipped enough of the plate for the 6-foot, 210-pound infielder to drive it over the left-field fence for his 27th blast of the year.

"I was just trying to see it and make sure I battled anything close," Chapman said. "Luckily, I connected with an inside fastball and just got the barrel to it."

Chapman wasted no time adding another long ball in his next plate appearance. With Beau Taylor aboard and two outs, the 23-year-old pounded a 2-1 fastball out of the park to left.

The two blasts -- his only hits on the night -- allowed Chapman to open up a five-homer lead on Tulsa's Willie Calhoun for the circuit lead.

"It means a lot," he said. "There's a ton of good players in this league and a bunch of good pitchers. It's just a league full of really good players. To be able to lead in something like that is an honor."

Though the Cal State Fullerton product muddled through June and July with a .209 average, he still belted 11 home runs and drove in 39 runs over 54 games. He's shown more consistency in all areas in the first half of August, with a .388 average (14-for-36), four dingers and 12 RBIs over the first nine games of the month.

"Just trying to stay short and simple and not do too much and kind of let your natural ability take over," Chapman said. "Not trying to force things, but just kind of letting them happen. That's what I've been trying to do. Let things happen and not try and force myself upon a game by trying to do too much and just staying within."

Beau Taylor also went 3-for-4 and scored once for Midland.

RockHounds starter Joel Seddon (8-8) gave up a hit and a walk while fanning three over five scoreless innings to nab his fifth straight win. Kyle Finnegan walked one and struck out one in the ninth to pick up his fourth save.

In his third career start for Tulsa, Sopko (0-1) surrendered three runs on five hits and struck out four over six frames.

Second-ranked Dodgers prospect Cody Bellinger singled twice for the Drillers. He has collected five hits in his last three games.

Alex Kraft is a contributor to Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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