Hey guys, I’ve seen the 2016 Greenville Drive (Red Sox farm team) 4 times now and I thought I would go up and down the roster giving my thoughts on each of the hitters. I started this the other day with an article about 1st baseman Josh Ockimey Thoughts on Josh Ockimey, 1B, Greenville, today it’s all about Michael Chavis. The next article in the series will be the remainder of the Drive infield.
Michael Chavis, age 20, listed 5’10” 190 lbs, bats and throws right. Chavis was drafted 26th overall in the 2014 draft by the Red Sox out of high school in Marietta, Ga (Atlanta Area).
Chavis looked noticeably slimmer this year compared to last, he’s always been in excellent shape but he’s not as bulked up this year. He is maxed out physically and has a very strong core. I’d guess he’s 205-210 lbs instead of the listed 190.
Chavis is repeating the low-A level, he struggled offensively for a large chunk of 2015. He was a very aggressive hitter and tried to lift and pull everything, often collapsing his backside in the process. I saw some improvements from Chavis in the 2nd half of 2015, he was a little more selective, he was using more of the field and showed some nice power to both gaps and to center. At 3rd base he struggled too, he showed decent hands and range but choppy footwork led to a boatload of throwing errors. Sharing 3rd with Rafael Devers didn’t help as it really cut into the reps. This is why I thought he was a slam dunk to return to Greenville even with the improved 2nd half. It breaks up the time share and both players can get everyday reps at the position.
Looking at the 2016 version:
At the dish Chavis has an upright slightly open stance and he uses a small leg kick for timing. He’s got a long swing and some of the best bat speed in the Sally, very strong hands and wrists, the ball does jump off of his bat. The changes I saw in the 2nd half of 2015 are still here, he’s more selective and is getting into better counts and utilizing more of the field. He’s also cutting down his swing with 2 strikes, something I didn’t see a lot of last year. As a result his strikeout rate has dropped from 30% last season to 15% this season in a small sample size. His walks are up slightly too. I’m still not convinced he can pick up spin but he’s letting it roll by more.
Chavis has plus raw power, he puts on a show in batting practice. He put up a 202 ISO last year and ,220 this year so far in a small sample. He can hit the ball out of any part of the park. Which is quite rare for a 20 year old.
Defensively at 3rd he still has the same issues with the footwork and the throwing that I saw last season. That said when he does get his feet under him and step properly into his throw he has above average carry. But so far that’s been rare.
Chavis is a popular player amongst his teammates, last season and this, he and his buddies are always laughing it up in the warm ups.
He was injured recently, he tore a thumb ligament and there’s no timetable for a return that I know of. I wish him a speedy recovery.
There’s a chance that Chavis could be an average MLB hitter and If he is the power could really play .250-.260 22-28 HR’s. I can’t up my hit projection until he demonstrates that he can pick up spin. There’s still a chance that he can be an everyday 3rd baseman. If not then he’s an outfield corner and that will add pressure to the bat.
Here we get several good looks at Chavis’s swing from 2016 Spring Training courtesy of soxprospects.com