Melvin believes Chapman, Soler ‘trying too hard' at plate

Melvin believes Chapman, Soler ‘trying too hard' at plate originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The Giants came into the 2024 MLB season hoping to rebound offensively, adding key pieces to their lineup in free agency as well as a couple of new faces to their coaching staff.

But as new additions Matt Chapman and Jorge Soler try to get going at the plate, manager Bob Melvin believes hitting coaches Pat Burrell and Justin Viele are taking such struggles to heart and doing everything they can to remedy them.

And, Melvin believes, Chapman and Soler likely are pressing to prove themselves on their new team.

"I think with Soler and Chapman, you know, just gotten off to some slow starts," Melvin told KNBR's "Murph and Markus" on Wednesday. "There’s a lot of expectations for them. I think they’re, at times, trying too hard, because they want to succeed and be those guys, and it just kind of snowballs a little bit.

"But it’s not for a lack of preparation, and it’s not for a lack of work with our hitting coaches. Of course [the hitting coaches] wear it a little bit, but I think they’re doing a great job with these guys."

The Giants signed Chapman to a one-year, $18 million contract in March, which includes a $17 million player option for 2025 with a $2 million buyout and an $18 million player option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout. While the Gold Glove third baseman is coveted for his defense, Chapman also was expected to bring some much-needed pop to the Giants' lineup after hitting 27 homers in each of his two previous seasons.

Through his 37 games this season, Chapman is hitting .204 with 14 RBI, four home runs and a .338 slugging percentage.

Soler was brought in on a three-year, $42 million contract with the thought that he could become San Francisco's first 30-homer hitter since Barry Bonds after smashing 36 with the Miami Marlins in 2023. So far, the DH is slashing a paltry .202/.294/.361 and hitting just .115 with runners in scoring position. He is tied for the team lead in homers with five, but the Giants placed him on the 10-day IL on Wednesday with a shoulder injury.

Melvin knows that progress begins behind the scenes, though, and he has all the confidence that Burrell and Viele can help right the ship for the Giants as a whole. Heliot Ramos, who was called up Wednesday after Soler was placed on the IL, could provide a spark as well after hitting .296 this season with Triple-A Sacramento.

"... I don’t know that they could do more than they’re doing, and I’m absolutely happy with our hitting coaches and so are the players," Melvin told KNBR.

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