Not since Jacques Landry hit 36 homeruns in 2001 has there been a 30-homerun season for the Midland RockHounds. That streak is likely to extend another year. Matt Chapman, who currently has 29 homeruns for Midland, was promoted to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday. Chapman leaves the Texas League leading the circuit in homeruns, runs scored, RBI and slugging percentage. He is second in OPS (854).
Chapman, the A's 2014 first-round pick, will be making his Triple-A debut. Chapman had an up-and-down first-half with the RockHounds, but he has a 974 OPS for the second half and has been on a power tear of late. The Cal-State Fullerton alum was one of the stars of Oakland A's big league spring training at the start of the year and he appears to be knocking on the door of the big leagues.
Chapman's promotion leaves a void for the first-place RockHounds, who are looking to three-peat as Texas League champions. However, Chapman's promotion will open up playing time at third base for prospect Yairo Munoz, who has played mostly second and short this year. The A's have not yet announced who will replace Chapman on the Midland roster.
It isn't yet official who Chapman will replace in the crowded Nashville infield, but San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Susan Slusser reports that Chad Pinder will be promoted to Oakland on Wednesday. Pinder won the Texas League MVP last season. His 2016 season has been more inconsistent. He has a .258/.310/.425 line with 14 homers and 23 doubles in 107 games. Pinder has played mostly shortstop for Nashville this season, but he can also play second base and third base if needed.
Pinder would become the third member of the A's 2013 draft class to reach the big leagues this year, following 2013 second-round pick Dillon Overton and 2013 third-round pick Ryon Healy. Pinder was the A's compensation round B selection in 2013 out of Virginia Tech. He is a career .280 hitter and has reached double-digits in homeruns in each of his three full professional seasons. Pinder was a mid-season All-Star in both the Texas and Pacific Coast Leagues and was named to the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars game last off-season. We ranked Pinder the A's fifth-best prospect coming into this season.