Ryan L. Fox
They say having too much of a good thing can be a problem. That can be applied in sports and nowhere where that is more apparent than in baseball. Sometimes teams have too many good prospects at one position, it can create a log jam. In over years with the Boston Red Sox, we’ve seen them obtain an abundance of talented prospects at the shortstop (i.e. Jose Iglesias, Devin Marrero, Xander Bogaerts) and catcher (i.e. Christian Vazquez, Blake Swihart).
Recently, the Red Sox obtained an abundance of prospect talent at the third base position. Already you have the like of Rafael Devers manning the position at the minors but then you have and coming prospect 3B Bobby Dalbec (#3 prospect in Red Sox farm system according to MLB.com) at Double-A Portland and Michael Chavis (#1 prospect in Red Sox farm system, #79 prospect overall in MLB according to MLB.com).
Today we will be looking at Michael Chavis, the power righty third baseman in the Red Sox farm system who is more MLB ready than Dalbec and could give Devers a run for his money as third baseman starter.
Full Name: Michael Scott Chavis
Date of Birth: August 11, 1995
Age Going into 2019 Season: 23
Primary Position: Third Base (3B)
Secondary Position: First Base (1B)
Acquired: Drafted in 1st Round by the Boston Red Sox (26th overall) during 2014 MLB Amateur Draft
School: Sprayberry High School, Marietta, GA
Background Prior to 2018
Chavis was originally drafted out of Sprayberry High School as the Boston Red Sox’s 1st round pick in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft as a short stop but was then converted into a third base man.
He signed on June 24 that year and was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Red Sox in the Rookie League two days later. Chavis appeared in 39 games with the GCL Red Sox, hitting a robust .269 (36-for-134) with 1 home runs, 16 RBIs, 15 walks drawn, 5 stolen bases, and 38 strikeouts while slashing an OBP/SLG/OPS line of .347/.425/.772. He also helped the GCL Red Sox capture the 2014 GCL Championship as well.
Prior to the start of the 2015, Chavis was promoted to the Greenville Drive in Low-A. He ended up spending the entire 2015 season with the Drive that year. He appeared in 109 games with the Drive, hitting .223 (97-for-435) with 16 home runs, 58 RBIs, 29 walks drawn, 8 stolen bases, and 144 strikeouts while slashing a line of .277/.405/.682.
Chavis began his 2016 with the Greenville Drive. However he missed significant time in the early goings of the season due to a thumb injury and was placed on the 7-day disabled list on April 24. He was activated off the disabled list on June 6 as he continued to play for the Drive. Chavis appeared in 74 games with the Drive, hitting a more respectable .244 (68-for-134) with 8 home runs, 35 RBIs, 22 walks drawn, 3 stolen bases, 74 strikeouts, and slashed a line of .347/.425/.772.
The on August 23, Chavis was promoted to the Salem Red Sox in Advanced-A where he finished out the rest of his 2016 season. He ended up only appearing in He ended up appearing in 7 games for the Drive, hitting .160 (4-for-25) with only 1 RBI before heading back to the disabled list to finish the season there.
Looking to rebound after a poor showing in Salem, Chavis went into 2017 with the sole goal of improving himself as well. Things didn’t start off right as he ended up starting the 2017 season on the 7-day disabled list. However after being activated off it, Chavis went on a tear. He appeared in 59 games with the Salem Red Sox, hitting a more respectable .318 (71-for-223), 17 home runs, 55 RBIs, accumulating 19 walks, 1 stolen base, 57 strikeouts, and slashed a line of .388/.641/1.029. Chavis was also named to the 2017 Carolina League All-Star team and was named the All-Star Game MVP as well.
Then on June 22, Chavis was promoted from Advanced-A to Double-A where he finished the rest of 2017 with the Portland Sea Dogs. Josh appeared in 67 games for the Sea Dogs, hitting .250 (62-for-248) with 14 home runs, 39 RBIs, 20 walks drawn, 1 stolen base, and 56 strikeouts while slashing a line of .310/.492/.802.
Chavis was also named the 2017 Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year after his strong showings behind the plate at both Salem and in Portland.
Chavis ended up finishing 2017 by playing with the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League along with Red Sox prospects/farm hands LHP Bobby Poyner, INF Chad De La Guerra, and INF/OF Josh Tobias. In 23 games with the Javelinas, Chavis hit .261 (24-for-104) with 4 home runs, 17 RBIs, 7 walks drawn, and 20 strikeouts while slashing a line of .327/.478/.805.
2018 Season Review
Things seemed to look bright for Chavis going into 2018 as it was announced on January 16 that Chavis had received a non-roster invitation to Spring Training by the Boston Red Sox. A month later though, Chavis suffered an oblique injury that forced him to miss some time. He was transferred to the Portland Sea Dogs in Double-A and was placed on the 7-day disabled list on April 3 to start the season. But then on April 6th, it was announced that Chavis tested positive for the PED dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid. He was then subsequently for suspended for 80 games without pay.
Chavis was then reinstated on July 2 and transferred from Portland to the Lowell Spinners in Short Season-A. He was then went back and forth from Lowell and Portland from July 7 to July 10 before being called up to Portland to play there.
With the Lowell Spinners, Chavis appeared in 5 games, hitting .313 (5-for-16) with 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts, and slashed a line of .476/.750/1.226. He also had had a fielding percentage of 1.000 (3 putouts, 8 assists, 0 errors) in 4 games (4 started) while playing third base.
With the Portland Sea Dogs, Chavis appeared in 33 games, hitting .303 (23-for-122) with 6 home runs, 17 RBIs, 13 walks, 3 stolen bases, 35 strikeouts, and slashed a line of .388/.508/.897. He also split time between playing first third base (18 starts in 18 appearances with a fielding percentage of .913) and first base (10 starts in 11 appearances with a fielding percentage of 1.000).
On August 24, Chavis was called up to Triple-A Pawtucket where he finished out the rest of the 2018 minor league season. Chavis appeared in 8 games, hitting .303 (9-for-33) with 2 home runs, 7 RBIs, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts, and slashed a line of .294/.545/.840. Like in Portland, Chavis also split time between playing first third base (4 starts in 4 appearances with a fielding percentage of .667) and first base (1 starts in 1 appearances with a fielding percentage of 1.000).
2019 Season Preview
It’s obvious that Chavis is trying to rebound after a disastrous 2018 campaign last year during Spring Training with the Boston Red Sox at Ft. Myers, Florida.
In 11 Spring Training games, Chavis hit 4 home runs in 22 at-bats with 10 RBIs to show the Red Sox brass his power hitting while hitting an average of .273 and slashed a line of .333/.818/1.152. It’s clear that he has overcome his earlier struggles of trying to hit the ball out of the park and focused on just putting it in play.
Chavis has also shown progression in his defensive abilities as well show an aptitude of playing other positions if needed (first base) as well as learning how to play other positions (second base).
Chavis’ current situation is interesting. The Red Sox already have Devers playing third at the major league level while Dalbec is playing the same position in Double-A Portland and will probably get an appearance in Pawtucket this season.
There is some good news for Chavis as the Red Sox current situation at first base is essentially ‘by-committee’ with Steven Pearce, Mitch Moreland, and Brock Holt. Second base is also up in the air given the health situation of Dustin Pedroia with his knees as well as the uncertainty of depth behind him (i.e. Tzu-Wei Lin, Holt, Eduardo Nunez).
If Chavis is able to hone in more on his fielding abilities and reaction time, he could be a key depth guy in Boston this year or become a full-time starter down the road.
But given the circumstances of the Red Sox bullpen, there is also a possibility that Chavis could be used as trade bait by the Red Sox for a quality relief guy.
Whatever the scenario maybe, there is no doubt that Chavis will be playing at the major league level either this year or in 2020.
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