The Boston Red Sox finally called up their top prospect Michael Chavis a couple of weeks ago, and it’s safe to say the 23-year old has lived up to expectations so far. Since making his major-league debut on April 20, Chavis is hitting .309 in 55 at-bats. He has hit six homers in just 16 games, a testament to the tremendous power he has.
Although he has played mostly third base throughout his professional career, Chavis has spent a decent amount of time playing second base for the Red Sox since Dustin Pedroia is still rehabbing. He has started 12 games at second, making just two errors in that span.
With the Red Sox struggling, they clearly believed it was time to give Chavis his chance in the big leagues. He has been very impressive to this point and has added a huge spark to the middle of the Boston lineup.
An Impact Bat
The fact that Boston’s top prospect is playing solid defense all over the infield (first base, second base, third base) is a plus considering that he was brought up to the big leagues for one reason: his ability to rake at the plate. The former first-round pick is averaging 429 feet on his homers this year, well above the MLB average of just 400 feet. He has hit three homers in his last six games, including a two-homer day against the Chicago White Sox on May 4. Chavis has been hitting lots of homers, but he’s also capable of hitting for average. There have been several times since his call-up where he has driven a ball up the middle, or the other way, in order to drive a guy in. He’s a very mature hitter for his age and isn’t strictly just a power guy. Although the majority of his long balls have been pulled this year, he showed in the minors that he has the ability to drive the ball all over the field with power which shows how good of a hitter he is.
The pure bat speed Chavis has is absolutely phenomenal to watch. He has minimal movement, as his barrel flies through the zone. He has looked so comfortable against major-league pitching, sitting on off-speed pitches and crushing them out of the ballpark:
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 5, 2019
Chavis has a smooth follow through and doesn’t look like he’s trying to go deep every at-bat. He’s simply waiting for a pitch he can drive and letting his barrel do the work.
Versatility on Defense is a Huge Plus
The Red Sox gave Chavis some innings at second base in spring training with the thought that he could play there once he came up to the big leagues. With Rafael Devers at third base and fellow prospect Bobby Dalbec on the doorsteps of the majors, there isn’t a whole lot of room at the hot corner for Chavis. He was a shortstop in high school, so it hasn’t been too hard of a transition.
In the minors, Chavis only played 16 games at second base across five seasons. The fact that he has come up to the big leagues and played a position that he isn’t very familiar with is quite impressive and speaks a lot about his athleticism. He’s out here making highlight-reel catches in shallow right field too:
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 5, 2019
The Red Sox have one special player on their hands who is going to be an absolute star at the big-league level for many years to come. It will be exciting to see how many homers the 23-year old can hit this year, as he continues to tee off against major league arms.