Prospect Chapman doing it all for A's

Infielder likely going to Double-A, but playing a lot

Prospect Chapman doing it all for A's

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Chapman's batting practice rounds became must-see theatre almost instantaneously. A's coaches raved about his defense, too, and now the two-way prospect continues to impress with both bat and glove in game situations.

"That's why he's getting some starts," A's manager Bob Melvin said after Tuesday's 6-2 loss to the Rockies.

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Chapman drew another against the host Rockies, making a tremendous play at third to open the bottom half of the first and displaying his power in the fourth with an opposite-field two-run homer off lefty Jorge De La Rosa.

"It's great to be able to contribute and help the team," Chapman said. "It's fun to be able to get a start and compete.

"Getting an experience like this is definitely a confidence-booster. When you play against guys that have played in the big leagues for this long, it's nice to have a little bit of success to take some momentum into the season wherever I go. That's out of my control. All I can control is showing up every day, working hard and trying to get better."

Chapman is likely targeted for Double-A Midland. That he's drawing more at-bats in big-league camp than a handful of infielders primed for Triple-A Nashville -- including Max Muncy and Renato Nunez -- is telling of his talent.

Of Chapman's five hits across 19 at-bats, three have been home runs, tying Stephen Vogt for the team lead. The young infielder also has six RBIs.

"He's impressed us beyond what we expected at this point," Melvin said. "I didn't expect him to get this many at-bats, and he's earned them."

"This is the first Spring Training I've been healthy, so I really didn't know what to expect, but it's just been a real honor to be able to play as much as I have and have an opportunity to contribute to the team," Chapman said.

The 22-year-old was the A's first-round selection in the 2014 Draft and has since hit 28 home runs in 138 Minor League games, including 23 with Class A Advanced Stockton last year despite appearing in just 80 games because of two disabled-list stints.

Ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the A's No. 6 prospect, Chapman is also considered a plus defender at third base with smooth mechanics and excellent arm strength. He's been among the early risers, working out with infield coach Ron Washington in the morning, and has appeared polished during games.

"I'm getting more and more comfortable as the time goes on," Chapman said. "I still get nervous, definitely still get some jitters, but the more and more you play, the more comfortable it is. I definitely feel more comfortable now than I did the first couple of games."

• Oakland's top pitching prospect Sean Manaea lowered his spring ERA to 1.35 with two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out three in his third appearance.

• Rehabbing starter Henderson Alvarez threw a 30-pitch bullpen session without any issues Tuesday, mixing in his changeup for the first time since his July shoulder surgery.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.