Blue Jays’ Matt Chapman provided exceptional defense, but it wasn’t enough to win the American League third base gold glove

Matt Chapman didn’t win the American League Gold Glove for third base, but should he have?

To put it simply, I don’t think he was snubbed, and here’s why.
In 2022, Chapman finished with a 2 Defensive Runs Saved and a 1 Outs Above Average in 1344.1 innings fielded. While defensive metrics aren’t the sole factor in determining a good defender (the eye test should also be used), they are very important in deciding the Gold Glove winner, and Chapman’s decline in defense is interesting.
In 2021, Chapman had a 10 DRS and 17 OAA, with the latter being a career high, which led to him winning the 2021 Gold Glove for the position. What’s with the decline? I have a litany of theories, such as the lack of foul ground and the turf playing a factor, but the eye test tells me and everyone else that Chapman had a good year.
Let’s compare that to the winner, Baltimore’s Ramon Urias won the award. He finished with a 14 DRS and a 7 OAA in 769.1 innings fielded at the position. While he had a smaller sample size, both DRS and OAA are accumulating stats, meaning that with more innings, it’s likely that Urias’ numbers would be even better. As for the eye test, I couldn’t tell you. I don’t go out of my way to watch Baltimore Oriole games.
What happened with the other Blue Jays nominees? 
As y …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

TLN Prospect #1: Matthew Knies wreaks havoc as a new breed power forward

The rise of Matt Knies has truly been a sight to behold over the past year.
Entering the 2021-22 season, expectations were fairly muted for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ top pick from the 2021 draft. He wasn’t a significant faller in the draft, having been projected to go in the range in which the Leafs selected him, and slotted a modest seventh on last summer’s TLN Prospect Rankings.
Knies was a notable break from previous Toronto selections, listed at 6-foot-3 and over 200 pounds, but there wasn’t major hype surrounding him heading into the season. That changed pretty quickly.
Matt Knies’ emergence as a borderline dominant presence in the NCAA as a freshman vaults him to the top spot on the TLN Prospect Rankings.
Matt Knies
LW | Minnesota (Big Ten) | Age: 19 | 6-foot-3 | 210 lbs | Shoots: LAcquired: 2021 Draft, 57th Overall | 2021 Ranking: #7
Before we get into the breakdown of Matt Knies’ game and why he is TLN’s top prospect, it’s important to understand the context of his draft-eligible season and why he was available in the back half of the second round.
For a full deep dive into this topic, I covered it last summer as an intriguing storyline heading into the year. Essentially, Knies was significantly impacted in the first half of the 2020-21 season by COVID. He dealt with the virus himself and his team, Tri-City, also had an uncertain schedule that was in c …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs goaltending is a question mark, just like every other year

Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov — your Maple Leafs goaltending tandem on opening night — are you ready for it?
It’s been an interesting week for Toronto, first trading away Petr Mrazek to Chicago at the draft and moving down a few picks. Many knew it was going to be a slim goaltending market with Jack Campbell likely headed to Edmonton, but I don’t know if anyone saw the Maple Leafs going out and getting Murray right before free agency began.
The same for Samsonov on Wednesday — Toronto didn’t know he was going to be a free agent until a few days prior to July 13th. The 25-year-old pretty much fell into their lap. Now, the question is, can one of them, or maybe even both of them, turn out to be a good pickup?
If you were watching TSN’s goaltending panel on Wednesday, you know what they all thought. This is going to be a disaster.
The fact of the matter, though, is that it likely won’t be a calamity. Both netminders are coming into this organization with something to prove. Samsonov, to show that he can return to the form he had when he entered the NHL. Murray, to prove that he’s not injury prone and that he can make it …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

What the Matt Murray trade is and isn’t

The Matt Murray trade was doomed to poor reviews from the very beginning. For starters, Matt Murray has been injury prone and struggled since his final year in Pittsburgh leading to some truly unfortunate time in Ottawa, especially if you primarily looking at his save percentage as the best measure of success for him. Until word of Murray to Toronto became a thing and there was a need to justify his numbers, there probably weren’t too many Leafs fans that viewed Matt as their first choice for manning the net this season. It gets more complicated when the return and retention offered to Buffalo at the draft exceeds what Toronto received. The Leafs don’t have a bargain goaltender, no matter who your guy was, Murray isn’t it, and it all feels very reactionary to a goaltending market that has caved in over the past couple of days. You don’t need to like it, but the good news is that if healthy, Matt Murray seemingly offers a lot more than Jack Campbell did.
About a month ago I compared some numbers of rumoured Leafs targets to their incumbent goaltenders. Matt Murray fared pretty well…

GOALS SAVED ABOVE EXPECTED/60
ERIC COMRIE
0.603
2ND
DARCY KUEMPER
0.387
7TH
VILLE HUSSO
0.346
8TH
MATT MURRAY
0.163
18TH
SCOTT WEDGEWOOD
0.046
27TH
BRADEN HOLTBY
0.032
29TH
JACK …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation