Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman will compete in the Home Run Derby, the team announced on Sunday.
Chapman’s selection comes as Major League home run leader and reigning MVP Christian Yelich — who was practicing for the Derby during batting practice in Pittsburgh this weekend — pulled out due to injury.
Chapman becomes the first A’s player to compete in the Derby since Yoenis Céspedes and Josh Donaldson in 2014. Céspedes won the event in 2013 and 2014, the first Oakland hitter to do so since Mark McGwire in 1992.
In competing in the Home Run Derby, Chapman joins former A’s participants Donaldson, Céspedes, McGwire (1987, 1990, 1992, 1996, 1997), Jose Canseco (1986, 1990), Ruben Sierra (1994), John Jaha (1999) and Jason Giambi (2001). The current field includes Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell, Houston Astros infielder Alex Bregman, Toronto Blue Jays infielder Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson and Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana.
After the Derby on July 8, Chapman will play in his first career All-Star Game on July 9. The reigning AL Gold Glove and Platinum Glove winner was elected on the players’ ballot, and is the first A’s third baseman to play in the game since Donaldson.
Chapman, 26, entered the day hitting .265 (90-for-339) with 59 runs scored, 22 doubles, three triples, a team-leading 21 home runs, 52 RBI, a .353 on-base percentage, a .534 slugging percentage and an .887 OPS in 89 games this season.
He is among the American League leaders in extra-base hits (first), go-ahead home runs (tied for first with 10), total bases (fifth), home runs (tied for sixth), go-ahead RBI (tied for 11th with 13), runs (tied for ninth) and doubles (tied for ninth). His 21 homers lead Major League third basemen, and defensively, he leads Major League third basemen in total chances (284) and putouts (103) and ranks second in assists (174), while leading AL third basemen in fielding percentage (.975). He currently ranks 10th in baseball in defensive runs saved, and is first among all Major League third basemen.
Chapman’s 3.6 WAR is the fourth-best among American League position players behind Mike Trout (6.0), Alex Bregman (3.8) and Xander Bogaerts (3.7). He leads American League third basemen in home runs and ranks second in doubles, RBI, runs and slugging percentage.