2023 Fantasy Baseball Trends: Can Matt Chapman Remain This Hot?

by Ryan Kirksey

Welcome to 2023 Fantasy Baseball Trends: Can Matt Chapman Remain This Hot?

On Monday night, Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman reached bases two more times (via a hit and a walk). That .400 on-base-percentage night actually lowered his season average to .460. If there has ever been an indication that a player is scorching hot to start the year, Chapman just proved it.

By all accounts, Chapman has been the best hitter in baseball this year. He has combined power, speed, and average, much to the delight of fantasy managers. Whatever you paid for him in drafts, he is already turning a profit.

Can Matt Chapman possibly keep up this torrid pace throughout the fantasy baseball season or should we expect it to all come crashing down soon? He is fully healthy after some relatively poor production in 2022. He also has a significant park upgrade working for him. But what should we project the rest of the way? Can he stay this hot or should we sell high?

2023 Fantasy Baseball Trends: Can Matt Chapman Remain This Hot?

Become an All-Access Member to get access to the Most Accurate Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Tools and more.

If you are already a member, sign in.

Matt Chapman is Baseball's Most Valuable Hitter in 2023

Embed from Getty Images

It doesn't matter whether you are a fan of standard stats or advanced stats. Matt Chapman is likely at the top of whatever you decide to look at. He ranks second in average, second in on-base percentage, and first in slugging. He ranks first in wOBA, wRC+ and offensive WAR. For many of these stats, it's not even close. He is 24 points ahead of the second place hitter in slugging percentage (Max Muncy is behind him).

In our own Keith Lott's rest-of-season rankings, he placed Chapman third behind only Rafael Devers and Jose Ramirez. Fantasy managers have been extremely happy with the .384/.465/.687 slash line. The five homers, 17 runs, 21 RBI, and a steal and are also propping him up to the top of fantasy player raters.

A quick glance at Chapman's Statcast data shows an average strikeout rate, and near immaculate numbers in just about every other hitting category. He has the highest exit velocity and highest barrel rate of his career. Chapman is striking out less than any other season of his career save for 2019. And he has a lineup around him that literally (and genetically) resembles a number of MVP candidates from the 1990s.

But under the hood, things are not all shiny and clean. In fact, there are some signs that regression could be lurking around the corner.

Warning Signs Could Lead to a Sharp Decline for Chapman

Embed from Getty Images

The first thing that jumps off the page when you look at Chapman's advanced stats is clearly his BABIP. At .485, it is the highest mark in the league and almost 200 points higher than his career average (.298). The league average BABIP is also .298 this year, so the chances are high that it comes back down to earth this season.

This is further supported by the fact that Chapman's groundballs are identical to his 2022 numbers (34%). His line drives are actually down from a year ago and his flyballs are only up 0.8%. Nothing in this profile would suggest a sky-high BABIP. The barrel rate helps, but if 83.5% of your batted ball events are on the ground or lifted in the air, the batting average will eventually suffer.

The next thing to monitor with Chapman is his zone contact rate. While once at the top of the charts to start the season, it is Statcast data and has fallen below league average.

With this headed in the wrong direction, batting average and slugging percentage can't be too far behind. The scary BABIP and zone contact rate are pushing me towards the sell side of the equation.

Sign up for the Fantasy Six Pack Newsletter to receive email updates.

What to Expect From Matt Chapman the Rest of 2023?

While the power looks absolutely legit this season, the batting average and on-base percentage are sure to start tumbling soon. This is a guy hitting way over his head compared to his career average (.246) and OBP (.334).

He will certainly get his home runs. He has four seasons on his resume with more than 24 bombs already, so 30 in this park is reasonable. The potent lineup will ensure he has plenty of opportunity to score runs and drive in teammates. But it's the average and rate stats that worry me the most. After more than six seasons in the majors, Chapman has shown who he is, and it's clearly not a .300/.400/.600 hitter.

Thanks for reading  2023 Fantasy Baseball Trends: Can Matt Chapman Remain This Hot. Check out the rest of our Fantasy Baseball content.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2023 F6P Badges

Follow us on social media


A Six Pack of Fantasy Sports

Copyright © 2023 Fantasy Six Pack.