In the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft, the Oakland Athletics selected third baseman Matt Chapman.
Despite his strong throwing arm, apparently clocked throwing a 98 mph out of the bullpen, rumors are spreading that he may be moved to the mound. Scouting director Eric Kubota has put these rumors to rest, saying, “Never. We have no intention of doing that.”
Chapman also views himself as a third baseman, even declaring himself the best in college baseball.
“I consider myself strictly an infielder,” said Chapman. “Obviously third base is where I’ve been labeled, but I can play second base and shortstop, so wherever I’m needed is where I’ll play. I know I can hit at the next level, and once I tap into that power, I don’t see the need for me to ever pitch. I think my glove and defense is definitely a tool, and I’m going to find ways to help the team win with my offense. Pitching is something I have in my pocket, but my goal is to hit and play the infield every single day.”
In the second round, the A’s chose Daniel Gossett, a right hander who is expected to fill the void of starting pitching depth in the minors.
“We like a lot about him,” Kubota said about Gossett. “He’s a proven college performer. He’s got a fastball that’s from 92 to 94. He throws strikes. He’s got the makings of an out-pitch breaking ball and a very good changeup. He’s a very athletic kid.”