Matt Chapman heating up at the right time for the Blue Jays
The Blue Jays have a deep and dangerous lineup, and when Matt Chapman is producing as he’s capable it really lengthens the attack.
That’s exactly what’s been happening lately, and the 29 year old has been a big reason why the Jays are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. He clubbed two more home runs last night to lead the Blue Jays to a 5-3 win over the Tigers in the series opener, and that’s just the latest show he’s put on with the bat.
Over his last seven games Chapman is hitting an eye-popping .520/.600/.1000, including three home runs and nine RBI. Extend that out to his last 15 games and he’s slashing .345/.429/.691, and over the last 30 he’s hit .311/.364/.642, including nine long balls. He’s been especially hot over the last week, but he’s been swinging the bat well for a while now.
I can’t recall which game it was from last week, but Sportnet’s Hazel Mae made a comment to Chapman during a post-game interview that sent me to do some research. She mentioned that Chapman was a “second half hitter” historically, and he was quick to agree with her. Sure enough, according to his baseball reference page that statement is true, as he’s hit for more power after the All-Star break in particular.
When you look at his month to month slash lines over his career, Chapman has been particularly good in August. Have a look for yourself:
I used to disregard the idea that some hitters perform better earlier or later in the season, but I have to admit that it’s not something to completely ignore. Blue Jays fans remember all too well how a player like Randal Grichuk would always tease us at the start of each season, and then unfortunately would regress as the year when on. In Chapman’s case, he seems to be in a reverse scenario while finding a groove over the summer months, and that’s obviously a great thing for the Blue Jays as they pursue a playoff spot.
As the usual number seven hitter, it really lengthens the lineup when the 3x Gold Glove winner is also producing at the plate. He started off pretty slow here in 2022, but these days he’s been one of bats that has been carrying the load. That’s important over the course of a long 162 game season, and it takes the pressure off of the other stars.
Here’s hoping he can ride the hot streak for as long as possible, and if he truly is a second half hitter, all the better right about now.