A's first round pick Matt Chapman can throw a 98 mph fastball, but the Cal State Fullerton product doesn't expect to find himself on the mound.

"That's always something to have in the back pocket," Chapman said of pitching. "My goal is to play infield and hit and play every single day."

The A's used the No. 25 pick in Thursday's Major League Baseball draft to take a player who calls himself the best defensive third baseman in college baseball.

"I know that my arm strength and my glove can change a game defensively and help my team out," Chapman said.

The A's went to an actual pitcher with their second-round pick, taking right-hander Daniel Gossett from Clemson.

But in Chapman, the A's grabbed a player who played third base at Cal State Fullerton the past two years after playing shortstop as a freshman. He played second base as a freshman in high school and is confident that he can play any of those three positions as a professional.

While the prospect of Chapman becoming the next Sean Doolittle, a former first baseman who the A's converted into a hard-throwing reliever, is intriguing, Chapman doesn't see that in his future.

"I know I can hit at the next level," Chapman said. "Once I tap into that power, I don't see the need for me to ever pitch."

The A's agree. Of the prospect of converting Chapman into a pitcher, A's scouting director Eric Kubota said: "We have no intention of doing that."


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Chapman never pitched in college, but two appearances on the mound last summer with USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team delivered intrigue thanks to his velocity. It's something Chapman downplayed.

"I didn't really pitch," he said. "I just kind of got up there and threw as hard as I could."

Chapman knew he was on the A's radar after he worked out Tuesday for the team at the Oakland Coliseum. Shortly before his selection was announced, he received a text message from A's scout Eric Martins welcoming him to the team.

"My initial reaction was just so happy," Chapman said. "I still can't even believe it that I can to play baseball and the next level."

Chapman is the sixth position player drafted in the first round by the A's in the past seven years. The lone exception is ace Sonny Gray, the 2011 top pick.

The team views Chapman as a potential power hitter and plus-defender.

"He's got a chance to be an elite defender at third base. He can really throw," Kubota said. "We think his bat is ever-improving. We think there's untapped power there. We think this is a guy who is going to develop into a power hitter."

Oakland went the pitching route for its only other pick Thursday when it grabbed Gossett.

The righty is listed at 6-1, 185 pounds but may be smaller than that frame. According to Baseball America, he can touch 95 mph with his fastball but sits in the 88-93 range and projects as a future reliever because of his size. The A's disagree.

"We've only seen him start," Kubota said. "He's a starting pitcher in our mind."

Follow Jimmy Durkin on Twitter at twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.