Cal State Fullerton is one of few teams that will be in the mix for the top spot in the Perfect Game College Preseason Top 25 in 2014. In order to meet those expectations, the Titans certainly will need highly touted third baseman Matt Chapman to be healthy.
Chapman, however, has experienced a bump in the road, as he's expected to miss some of fall workouts because of an injury. Chapman played much of the summer with a ligament tear on his ring finger (right hand), and will have surgery, a procedure the Titans expect to occur sooner rather than later.
"He'll miss some of fall workouts, but he'll be fine," Cal State Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said. "He's a tough kid and he's been able to play through it the past couple of months. Now he'll get it operated on."
Despite Chapman's minor setback, the Titans are expecting big things from him in the spring. Chapman has always been an elite fielder with a great arm on the left side of the infield. However, his offensive skills are something that professional scouts would like to see take off in a few months. He finished the spring with a .285 batting average, five homers and 37 RBIs.
Meanwhile, this summer with Team USA, Chapman, a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, hit .278 with 20 RBIs, earning the No. 13 spot in our USA Baseball Collegiate National Team summer prospect rankings. Also intriguing about Chapman is that he's expected to pitch for the Titans in '14, much like outfielder Michael Lorenzen this past spring. Chapman flashed a fastball in the 94-98 range for Team USA.
Vanderhook's Titans finished the 2013 college baseball season ranked No. 8 nationally by Perfect Game.
You can read our in-depth Team USA prospect reports, here.