Athletics

Why Chapman believes Laureano is game-changer for A's

Athletics
Ramon Laureaon, Matt Chapman

Every team needs a Ramón Laureano. If he’s not playing the game, he’s either thinking about the game or asking about the game -- he is doing everything he can to get better. And his teammates are trying to absorb that approach. 

It's paying off.   

“Ramón as a teammate -- pretty much what you see on TV,” A’s third baseman Matt Chapman said on Wednesday. “Ramón’s got one speed -- everything you see on TV is Ramón. All in, he’s all in. A lot of passion, a lot of energy, but he’s a good guy. He loves to talk the game, Ramón can talk baseball 24/7, Ramón eats, sleeps, breathes baseball and that’s the kind of guy you want to have on your team.”

A’s manager Bob Melvin would joke how Laureano would text him in the offseason to pick his brain. When Laureano was out for a while with a wrist injury earlier this season, he could be seen roaming everywhere, just trying to study the game.

“He’s definitely a hard worker and he cares, he does everything he can to prepare,” Chapman added. “That’s why the results are what they are.”

The Athletics’ center fielder’s .243 average doesn’t exactly jump off the page, but the league average sits at .236. 

But I digress, that’s a different article. 

Laureano's average doesn't paint the whole picture of what he brings to the A's offense. His patience also is showing at the plate as evidenced by his .814 OPS.

 

He also is a plus center fielder both with this glove and his arm. You can’t run on Laureano, and the league knows that by now, which is why you more than likely won’t see his outfield assists numbers be high this season. But he also possesses something you won’t see on the stats pages: Passion.

“His energy is something that we could all definitely use to our advantage,” Chapman added. “He sets the tone for us a lot of times. And I think yesterday coming up and hitting that homer made us feel like, ‘Hey we’re back in this game,’ and then hits another home run and we’re right back in the game. He has the ability to change this game quick, whether it’s with his bat or defense, or even on the base paths. He gives us the opportunity to win games every single time when he’s in the lineup.”

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That passion has a tendency to get him in trouble, however. He recently was ejected from a game for arguing a third-strike call. A scenario he’s been dealing with since he was 11-years-old as he told NBC Sports California recently.

“That’s why I continue to tell him to not yell at umpires, cuz we need him in the game,” Chapmand laughed. “That’s the passion Ramón plays with. I think that’s why he’s so good, because he cares a lot and he leaves it all out there.”