Michael Chavis, SS: 2014 MLB Draft 26th overall

mabrowndog

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At the beginning of the month we saw Chavis get a start at 3B. The next day he got another.
 
As Chris Hatfield notes at SoxProspects:
 
 
First 17 games: 9 starts at SS, 8 starts at DH
Next 9 games: 5 starts at 3B, 3 starts at DH, 1 start at SS

Now, given the complications on the left side of the GCL infield between him, [Rafael] Devers, and [Javier] Guerra, there may be other issues in play here, but they're at the very least making a concerted effort to acclimate him to third base, even if it's only to help alleviate that playing time pressure that was leading to him and Guerra needing to split all of the shortstop reps.
 
FWIW, he's gotten 12 fielding chances so far at 3B, handling all dozen balls hit to him and making as many throws for putouts.
 
I was also going to note his latest slump/on fire splits at the plate, but Chris already took care of that in the same post:
 
 
First 11 games: 2 for 36, 2 2B, 4 BB/15 K, .056/.150/.111
Next 15 games: 15 for 44, 6 2B, 8 BB/12 K, .341/.453/.477
 

mabrowndog

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A 3-for-6 day for Chavis with a triple and run scored. That makes him .410/.439/.667/1.106 over 41 PA in his last 10 games.
 
Reworking his drought/dominance splits for the season:
 
First 11 games: 2 for 36, 2 db, 4 BB/15 K, .056/.150/.111/.261 in 40 PA
Last  23 games: 28 for 78, 8 db, 3 tr, 9 BB/20 K, .359/.432/.538/.970 in 88 PA
 

Byrdbrain

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Fred in Lynn said:
Is he really going to haul things or tow a boat? What a waste.
Any reason to think a good ol boy like him doesn't  have fishing boat to tow?
But go ahead and blame him for destroying the world or some such thing.
 
Edit:Excuse the V&N detour, wrong thread for this.
 

Shore Thing

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In 2 professional seasons to begin his career, Michael Chavis is striking out at quite a high rate - 25.3% in 2014 and 34.0% in 2015.  FanGraphs considers  27.5% to be awful.
 

jscola85

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31% K rate career to date for Chavis in almost 400 PAs.  Starting to get concerned about this pick.  He's a guy whose bat was supposed to be further along than his glove, but has been hitting like a utility infielder so far.  Hopefully something clicks post-ASB but he seems headed for Jason Place territory.
 

LeftyTG

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he skipped Lowell and was aggressively placed in low A for his first full season.  He is still 19 (turns 20 next month) and would be a college freshmen had he not signed.  There is no doubt he has struggled and the K rate is high, but it is way too early to say he is headed to Jason Place territory.
 

jscola85

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19 is not that young for Greenville, especially a 1st round pick who was not seen as a "toolsy" guy.  Chavis was actually viewed as someone who should hit pretty well from the get-go.  All the reasonable prospects in Greenville right now were born in 1995 or 1996 - Jimenez, Kopech, Chavis, Guerra, Devers, Moncada, Longhi.  Starting a 1st round pick in Low-A is pretty common; I'd be disappointed if he had gone to Lowell.
 
As a basis of comparison, here's where Sox 1st round draft picks have started their first full season since 2008:
 
Kopech - Greenville
Chavis - Greenville
Ball - Greenville
Light - Greenville
Johnson - Greenville
Marrero - Salem
Bradley Jr - Salem
Owens - Greenville
Barnes - Greenville
Ranaudo - Greenville
Swihart - Greenville
Brentz - Greenville
Vitek - Greenville
Fuentes - Greenville
Price - Greenville
Kelly - Greenville
 
More importantly, basically every single one of those players dominated or hit well enough in Greenville to deserve a promotion to Salem by July/August.  Barring a hot streak coming up, Chavis looks nowhere near ready to handle A+ ball.  Chavis has easily the worst numbers among any of the hitters on that list.
 

LeftyTG

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jscola85 said:
19 is not that young for Greenville, especially a 1st round pick who was not seen as a "toolsy" guy.  Chavis was actually viewed as someone who should hit pretty well from the get-go.  All the reasonable prospects in Greenville right now were born in 1995 or 1996 - Jimenez, Kopech, Chavis, Guerra, Devers, Moncada, Longhi.  Starting a 1st round pick in Low-A is pretty common; I'd be disappointed if he had gone to Lowell.
 
As a basis of comparison, here's where Sox 1st round draft picks have started their first full season since 2008:
 
Kopech - Greenville
Chavis - Greenville
Ball - Greenville
Light - Greenville
Johnson - Greenville
Marrero - Salem
Bradley Jr - Salem
Owens - Greenville
Barnes - Greenville
Ranaudo - Greenville
Swihart - Greenville
Brentz - Greenville
Vitek - Greenville
Fuentes - Greenville
Price - Greenville
Kelly - Greenville
 
More importantly, basically every single one of those players dominated or hit well enough in Greenville to deserve a promotion to Salem by July/August.  Barring a hot streak coming up, Chavis looks nowhere near ready to handle A+ ball.  Chavis has easily the worst numbers among any of the hitters on that list.
long lists are nice, I suppose, but most of that list is inapplicable to Chavis.
 
Kopech - Greenville --> HS pitcher
Chavis - Greenville --> (-2.5 ARL diff)
Ball - Greenville --> HS pitcher
Light - Greenville --> college pitcher
Johnson - Greenville --> college pitcher
Marrero - Salem --> college hitter, was 22 years old the year after his draft year
Bradley Jr - Salem --> college hitter, 22 years old the year after his draft year
Owens - Greenville --> HS pitcher
Barnes - Greenville --> college pitcher
Ranaudo - Greenville --> college pitcher
Swihart - Greenville --> HS hitter (-1.7 ARL diff)
Brentz - Greenville --> college hitter, 22 years old
Vitek - Greenville --> college hitter, 22 years old the year after his draft year
Fuentes - Greenville --> HS hitter (-2.6 ARL diff)
Price - Greenville --> college pitcher
Kelly - Greenville --> HS pitcher (for the most part)
 
Of your list, the only comparables to Chavis are Swihart and Fuentes.  Neither one of those players dominated or hit well enough in Greenville to deserve a promotion to Salem by July/August. (Swihart went .262/.307/.395 and Fuentes went .270/.328/.377).
 
Nobody is saying Chavis is doing well.  His K rate is unacceptably high and he is clearly struggling.  Other players in similar circumstances as him have certainly done better, no doubt.  
 
Where I take umbrage is your conclusion that if he doesn't turn it around soon he is heading to Jason Place territory.  This simply isn't the case.  CHAVIS WOULD HAVE JUST COMPLETED HIS FRESHMAN YEAR OF COLLEGE had he not signed a pro contract.  He is incredibly young and has a lot of time to adjust and improve.  He either will or he won't, but he is at least a couple of years of stalled improvement away from being written off.
 
For perspective, Andrew Benintendi put up a .701 OPS his freshman year in college last year.  A year later, obviously, he exploded to become the 7th pick in the draft.  He was a 31st round draft pick coming out of high school.  Had he signed, he would have been an extreme longshot to even be assigned to a full season club, and even if he had, what do you think his numbers would have looked like?  
 
My point isn't to make a direct comparison between Benintendi and Chavis, but to illustrate that development of  young hitters isn't linear and takes time.  Best to sit back and watch it unfold rather than rush to judgments and conclusions.
 

nighthob

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I'm going to have to concur, what else is rookie league ball for if not high school hitters and international adolescents making the jump from the GCL?
 

jscola85

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LeftyTG said:
long lists are nice, I suppose, but most of that list is inapplicable to Chavis.
 
Kopech - Greenville --> HS pitcher
Chavis - Greenville --> (-2.5 ARL diff)
Ball - Greenville --> HS pitcher
Light - Greenville --> college pitcher
Johnson - Greenville --> college pitcher
Marrero - Salem --> college hitter, was 22 years old the year after his draft year
Bradley Jr - Salem --> college hitter, 22 years old the year after his draft year
Owens - Greenville --> HS pitcher
Barnes - Greenville --> college pitcher
Ranaudo - Greenville --> college pitcher
Swihart - Greenville --> HS hitter (-1.7 ARL diff)
Brentz - Greenville --> college hitter, 22 years old
Vitek - Greenville --> college hitter, 22 years old the year after his draft year
Fuentes - Greenville --> HS hitter (-2.6 ARL diff)
Price - Greenville --> college pitcher
Kelly - Greenville --> HS pitcher (for the most part)
 
Of your list, the only comparables to Chavis are Swihart and Fuentes.  Neither one of those players dominated or hit well enough in Greenville to deserve a promotion to Salem by July/August. (Swihart went .262/.307/.395 and Fuentes went .270/.328/.377).
 
Nobody is saying Chavis is doing well.  His K rate is unacceptably high and he is clearly struggling.  Other players in similar circumstances as him have certainly done better, no doubt.  
 
Where I take umbrage is your conclusion that if he doesn't turn it around soon he is heading to Jason Place territory.  This simply isn't the case.  CHAVIS WOULD HAVE JUST COMPLETED HIS FRESHMAN YEAR OF COLLEGE had he not signed a pro contract.  He is incredibly young and has a lot of time to adjust and improve.  He either will or he won't, but he is at least a couple of years of stalled improvement away from being written off.
 
For perspective, Andrew Benintendi put up a .701 OPS his freshman year in college last year.  A year later, obviously, he exploded to become the 7th pick in the draft.  He was a 31st round draft pick coming out of high school.  Had he signed, he would have been an extreme longshot to even be assigned to a full season club, and even if he had, what do you think his numbers would have looked like?  
 
My point isn't to make a direct comparison between Benintendi and Chavis, but to illustrate that development of  young hitters isn't linear and takes time.  Best to sit back and watch it unfold rather than rush to judgments and conclusions.
 
Both Fuentes and Swihart put up materially better lines than Chavis has right now.  Fuentes posted 42 steals in 47 tries and was always viewed as a slap hitter who could be a 40 SB guy in the majors with good defense, so his OPS wasn't that surprising.
 
Blake Swihart was learning to play catcher in Greenville and still posted a vastly better line than Chavis.  Chavis' OPS is now below 600.  If you want to make a list that will get me to feel better about his inaugural season, I'd love to find a list of top-50 draft picks who hit for a ~600 OPS in A- ball and then turned into a quality MLB player.
 
I'd put the SEC as an analogous league to Greenville, so again, a 700 OPS for Benintendi is still vastly better than Chavis.  He also again posted plus defense and speed during his time as a freshman at Arkansas, playing a premium position (CF) and stealing 17 bases in 61 games and having a 20/24 K/BB, suggesting most of his struggles would be corrected by better luck and some more experience.
 
Perhaps I am too tough on the kid but we're now getting to a statistically relevant sample size and his numbers are only getting worse as the season progresses.  I'm happy to be patient with guys who are clearly projects like Trey Ball or Blake Swihart.  Hell, if Chavis were just hitting a "meh" line of ~700 OPS I'd not be very concerned at all.  But a 600 OPS is flat out futile, especially in concert with a K rate well north of 30%.  That complete futility is a red flag to me almost regardless.
 
I'd just like to see even one month, 60-80 PAs from the kid where either his K is cut down to a reasonable level or he mashes the ball when he does make contact if his K rate is going to be that high.  Until then I'm going to be concerned and I don't see how that is such a crazy viewpoint.
 

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I'm not sure he was supposed to hit right away.  His scouting reports were kind of meh for a first rounder and he seems to be living up to those.  Yes, I know a couple of scouts put his "hit tool" high but the draft was weak for hitters at least with pre-draft scouting.  Presumably he still has the non-bat skills that put him that high on the Sox draft board.  But I think it's fair to say that his bat and its translation to pro ball was always in question (again, like most of the guys out of the top 15), and the Sox saw something that may or may not develop.  Ironically this kind of supports both sides of the argument, as one could argue that whatever they saw that may develop still has time to emerge.  
 
I actually think he is similar to Place, it's just these guys don't work out all that often, not necessarily a damning indictment.
 

jscola85

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Part of the reason I picked Place was that he was another HS late 1st rounder who was seen as having good tools but a lot of that never really ended up translating.  I'm not going to lambaste the organization for taking him, as many/most late 1st picks don't end up panning out.
 

Drek717

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smastroyin said:
I'm not sure he was supposed to hit right away.  His scouting reports were kind of meh for a first rounder and he seems to be living up to those.  Yes, I know a couple of scouts put his "hit tool" high but the draft was weak for hitters at least with pre-draft scouting.  Presumably he still has the non-bat skills that put him that high on the Sox draft board.  But I think it's fair to say that his bat and its translation to pro ball was always in question (again, like most of the guys out of the top 15), and the Sox saw something that may or may not develop.  Ironically this kind of supports both sides of the argument, as one could argue that whatever they saw that may develop still has time to emerge.  
 
I actually think he is similar to Place, it's just these guys don't work out all that often, not necessarily a damning indictment.
If I recall what they saw was significant power potential for an infielder.  Chavis' best comparison might be Will Middlebrooks.  Good natural power high school SS quickly moved over to 3B after being drafted.  Middlebrooks was a 5th round selection but I recall him being an over-slot signing and more like 2nd/3rd round talent.  Chavis is a generally better prospect, more compact swing, more advanced power.  As a result he's more likely to step up his hit tool from being potentially plus to actually producing as plus.
 
For comparisons sake Middlebrooks started out in Lowell where he had a .254/.298/.368 slash.  Middlebrooks improved to a .265/.349/.404 the next season when he moved to Greenville.  He then really broke out when he went to AA, and continued it in a small sample at AAA before getting called up.  But Middlebrooks always struck out a bunch, even when he was doing well at different levels.
 

LeftyTG

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jscola85 said:
 
I'd put the SEC as an analogous league to Greenville, so again, a 700 OPS for Benintendi is still vastly better than Chavis.  He also again posted plus defense and speed during his time as a freshman at Arkansas, playing a premium position (CF) and stealing 17 bases in 61 games and having a 20/24 K/BB, suggesting most of his struggles would be corrected by better luck and some more experience.
 
That is nuts.
 

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LeftyTG said:
That is nuts.
 
Yeah. I like Benintendi more than Chavis (as I suspect most do) but calling the SEC analogous to full season A ball is crazy. If for no other reason than the amount of games played, there is no way to do an apple to apples comparison. When you add in other factors, like the fact that everyone in Greenville was good enough to get drafted, it becomes a complete non-starter.
 
Smas pretty much covered it in his response above, though. Chavis is raw, much like Trey Ball, and has a long road ahead of him before he has any chance to contribute at the major league level. Maybe he'll get there, maybe not, but it's far too early to make bold predictions one way or the other on him.
 

jscola85

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I don't see how it is nuts.  Pretty much every single player in the SEC worth a damn gets drafted and a good chunk wind up at or above Greenville not long after getting drafted.  4 of the top 10 picks were SEC players and 7 of the top 30. I mean hell, Florida alone had 9 guys drafted and in total 71 players were taken from the league in 2015.  Is it a perfect comp?  No, probably not.  But there's plenty enough elite competition in the SEC to suggest it's not that far off.  Yes, there are scrubs who never get drafted but Low-A has plenty of filler players too, unless you think the likes of Danny Bethea or Carlos Mesa have any real utility other than fill roster spots.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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Can you offer any support beyond the fact that "any player in the SEC worth a damn" gets drafted? I mean, any player worth a damn in any college conference gets drafted. Are there conversions you can point to like MLE's? Are there pieces written by places like BA or BP or Fangraphs? What can you point to to support your hypothesis that the SEC is roughly analogous to full season A ball?
 

jscola85

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No, because it hasn't been done.  It's just my personal opinion.  You can call me nuts but having watched SEC baseball for years it's very high quality baseball, definitely better than GCL ball which is basically just glorified instructional ball.  I see the main difference as depth, which is mitigated by the fact that SEC teams play 2-3 times a week, meaning you're not seeing a teams 7th-best pitcher much, if at all.
 
There were 71 players drafted from the SEC this year.  In the conference, there were approximately 200 players who got over 100 at bats or pitched more than 40 innings.  I would guess at least 1/3 of those were not draft-eligible this year, meaning 71 were drafted from a pool of around 130.  So if you are playing regularly in the SEC, are draft-eligible, you have a greater than 50% shot of getting drafted.  Put another way, if you're playing regularly and showing to be an average performer in the SEC, not even a very good starter, you're probably getting drafted.  This doesn't account as well for the myriad undrafted players in the SEC who still wind up signing with an organization and getting playing time in short-season ball, with some of them progressing afterwards to Single-A.
 
The point is that a comparison between the SEC and Single-A is not nuts.  Single-A's depth is better and the every day grind of playing full season ball is definitely a challenge not faced in the SEC, but it's not like I just compared Korean League stats to the MLB.
 

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So you acknowledge that roughly 50% of the SEC is not worth being drafted while nearly 100% of full season A ball players were good enough to be drafted, but discount that for some reason that you aren't articulating. How do you account for the age difference? The median age in the SAL is about 22. The median age in the SEC is probably closer to 20. Those two years, the fact that all of those players were better than about 50% of the SEC's player base in any given year, and the full schedule compared to the less intense college schedule all work heavily against your hypothesis. That there isn't any work done out there to support it sinks the argument, IMO.
 
You are entitled to your opinion on this, but I think it's pretty clear that your opinion is very poorly supported and that this idea is, well... nuts.
 

jscola85

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Just because 100% of the players in A-ball were drafted doesn't mean they should have been drafted.  Plenty are international players who get completely overmatched once coming to the US.  Another chunk are HS players drafted purely on potential who wind up never producing and likely wouldn't have produced in the SEC either and therefore wouldn't have gotten drafted.  There's a long history of guys who have passed up getting drafted in HS and then never amount to anything in college.
The fact that the league is 2 years older doesn't tell me much either except that it's two years older and has a fair number of guys like Mesa and Bethea who never hit at any level and are just hanging around to get paid to play baseball.  If the SEC didn't have 4-year eligibility limits I am sure teams would fill their benches with 27 year old guys too.
 
It's a personal opinion.  Personally I would love to see Soxprospects, ESPN or someone else to speak with scouts, because I think many I have spoken to would feel the same way - talent level is equivalent, the main difference being depth in pitching and the rigors of daily baseball.
 
My general point of this whole sidebar is that, regardless of what you think about SEC translating to Low-A ball, Chavis' numbers suck and his plate discipline numbers suggest he's massively overwhelmed, far more so than any other top HS pick the Sox have had in their system in the last 5-7 years.  People jumped all over me saying that it's silly to get worried when all I said is that he will need to pick it up in the 2nd half.  If Chavis ends the year with a 600 OPS and 30% K rate, will people really just ignore that and say he's young and raw?  All I'd like to see is at least a glimmer of competency, even a single month of a 750-800 OPS or a K rate south of 25% to give some hope that he's progressing.  It's not like he's hitting a bit below average or having a bad month.  He's dead last in OBP and 3rd to last in OPS on the roster, while leading the team in strikeouts.  That's not struggles adjusting to pro ball.  That's being completely overwhelmed by pro ball.
 

finnVT

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If only 50% of SEC players will *eventually* be good enough to play in low-A ball (and I'd disagree with the premise.. many, many drafted players never get out of rookie leagues), that suggests a HUGE gulf between the SEC and SAL.  If nothing else, those guys are playing in low-A ball a few years after they were in the SEC, meaning they've presumably gotten better and stronger since they were in the SEC.
 
Also, I'm not sure why the comparison to GCL.  That's a league typically filled with HS draftees, meaning they're younger than most of the guys in the SEC.  Full season ball is a whole different ballpark.  Is that the comparison you were intending to make initially?
 

finnVT

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jscola85 said:
No, because it hasn't been done. 
jscola85 said:
It's a personal opinion.  Personally I would love to see Soxprospects, ESPN or someone else to speak with scouts, because I think many I have spoken to would feel the same way - talent level is equivalent, the main difference being depth in pitching and the rigors of daily baseball.
 
This is a pet-peeve, but... have you looked?  A cursory google search turns up at least one person who's looked, and found that players lose about 30% of their offensive value going from college to low-A (and much higher for some stats, including 45% of their power).  I'm not sure that's a great study, but it's a starting point, and absent other data to the contrary I'm more likely to believe than anyone's data-less opinion.
 
And do you really think no one has spoken to scouts about transitioning from college to the pros?  I feel like every year during draft time we hear countless stories about concerns from scouts about how players' skills will hold up in pro ball.
 

jscola85

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Thanks - appreciate the link.  I actually spent some time trying to find a translation for college numbers to minor league figures and did not find anything.  Also looked around in old Keith Law chats and Baseball America articles trying to see if there were any quotes on scouts discussing the comparison of college to full season pro ball.  If the gap really is 30%, then I'll happily shut up and agree that college ball is not a reasonable comparison to even low-A ball.
 
All that does not change the fact that Chavis is sucking some serious wind.  Call me nuts about the SEC comment but I don't think I'm nuts to be concerned about Chavis.
 

Drek717

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I don't think anyone disagrees that he's a massive under performer so far.  That said, he was given a pretty significant challenge with being assigned to Greenville and he was respectable in his brief GCL stint last year as well has there being good buzz about him coming out of spring mL camp.
 
However, restricting the comparison to a narrower than necessary subset by only looking at other 1st rounders is cherry picking.  The important question here is how much of a sign of the apocalypse relative to his professional potential is a very bad start in Greenville, not how does it make him compare to say, Jason Place.  That's hunting for an anecdotal match, not evaluating the likelihood he turns it around and this is all moot in a year or two.
 
To that end, a few other Sox farm hands to struggle in their first pro season:
Mookie Betts - .267/.352/.307 as a 19 year old in Lowell over 251 ABs.  Exploded the next season when moved up to Greenville and Salem in the same year.
 
Blake Swihart - .262/.307/.395, struck out in nearly 20% of all ABs as a 20 year old in Greenville.
 
David Murphy - College kid who had a good first bit in Lowell (0.850 OPS in 78 ABs), but then had 153 ABs in the FSL of 0.636 OPS ball followed by 272 ABs the next year of 0.669 OPS play.  Moved up to AA the next season and has outhit those A ball numbers every year except his 2013 season with Texas.
 
Brandon Moss - 0.204 0.295 0.292 slash line as a 19 year old high schooler in the GCL.  Then had a 0.237 0.290 0.430 slash at 20 in Lowell with K's in 23% of his ABs the next season.  Suddenly posted a .917 OPS at 21 in Augusta the next year and the rest is history.
 
Alternatively Lars Anderson got appointed to Greenville straight out of high school and beat the crap out of it.  Worked out real well for him in the end.  The low minors just don't really tell us much.  The seasonal swings in development these kids take can turn a future superstar into a dud when he fails to mature equal to his peers, or take a nobody and make him into the next phenom when it all suddenly clicks for him when he comes back form one winter break.
 
Just way too early to tell much.  Well, other than the fact that the Red Sox traded three pretty solid outfielders for basically nothing of significance in return this decade simply because they didn't light the world on fire in the high minors and when they first got a taste of ML pitching.  Maybe a lesson to be learned there...
 

jscola85

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Chavis showed some signs of progress in July - .250/.291/.433 on the month, though he still struck out in 29% of his PAs on the month.  At least he started exhibiting the pop in his bat necessary if he's going to K that much, with 4 homers and 11 XBHs in total on the month among his 26 hits.  He also stole 3 bases in 4 tries.  Hopefully that month is something can build upon for the last month-plus of the year.
 

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The soxprospects podcast recently discussed a trip to Greenville in which all stated that they were surprised that the best BP by far was completed by Chavis. There was some talk of him not being comfortable at all this season, as well.
 
His 2015 has been brutal. The good news is that he's only turning 20 this month and still displays the plus bat speed he's always had. I had hoped he would have been better this year given the reports that his offense was fairly polished for a high school kid (a somewhat older HS draftee, too) but it's too early to abandon ship. If he stalls out next year, it'll be time to worry. 
 

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Drek717 said:
Just way too early to tell much.  Well, other than the fact that the Red Sox traded three pretty solid outfielders for basically nothing of significance in return this decade simply because they didn't light the world on fire in the high minors and when they first got a taste of ML pitching.  Maybe a lesson to be learned there...
 
This statement is just completely untrue.  
 
Murphy was traded for Eric Gagne.  You can argue about Gagne's value but not his significance.  You can say Murphy was a throw in but he was a significant one, I doubt the Rangers were really fooled into thinking Kason Gabbard was going to be a good starter for them or something.  
 
Moss was traded as part of the Manny Ramirez/Jason Bay thing.  OK, again, you can argue that the Sox should have just kept Manny but that has nothing to do with their evaluation of Moss, who btw did hit well in the high minors and in the majors in his early exposure.  Maybe you could have subbed someone else, but it's hardly a given.  Also, Moss took 5 years and his 4th organization before blossoming, and while having a really nice two year peak isn't worth bemoaning.  Maybe you could bemoan the Sox not picking him back up after the Pirates or Phillies released him.
 
Reddick was traded for Andrew Bailey.  Like the Gagne trade, you can argue with the results, but the saying it was of no significance is a bit misleading.  The Red Sox clearly expected Bailey to be their closer.
 

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jscola85 said:
Chavis showed some signs of progress in July - .250/.291/.433 on the month, though he still struck out in 29% of his PAs on the month.  At least he started exhibiting the pop in his bat necessary if he's going to K that much, with 4 homers and 11 XBHs in total on the month among his 26 hits.  He also stole 3 bases in 4 tries.  Hopefully that month is something can build upon for the last month-plus of the year.
 
He doesn't look like complete shit at the plate anymore.  The first few months reminded me of Pedroia when he first came up.  Just brutal.
 
He's still swinging and missing a lot, but we all know the difference between swinging at butterfiles and going up there hacking away.  He's hacking away now.
 

nvalvo

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When I last checked in on Michael Chavis, he was in the midst of a disappointing season. 
 
 
He has a 1.000 OPS in August. He's shaved 10 points off his strikeout rate. He's hit 14 XBH in 22 games. Do we feel a corner has been turned, or is this just a BABIP-driven fluke?
 

TheReal15

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Aug 10, 2015
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Well, isn't he a little young for the Sally league? Certainly he's showing encouraging signs of life, but it could be a while before we really have any idea what his future holds. 
 

PaulinMyrBch

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He has 15 home runs in the SAL as a 19 year old, although he turned 20 earlier this month. That's impressive for a kid straight out of high school who might be 5'10" on a good day. He was working on his approach at the plate earlier in the season and I think we're starting to see the benefit of that. I saw him last week and he had really good AB's, battled back from some 2 strike counts, hit the ball hard. He's got plenty of time to turn the page. Long leash on a kid we've got that type of money in. 
 

Drek717

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nvalvo said:
When I last checked in on Michael Chavis, he was in the midst of a disappointing season. 
 
 
He has a 1.000 OPS in August. He's shaved 10 points off his strikeout rate. He's hit 14 XBH in 22 games. Do we feel a corner has been turned, or is this just a BABIP-driven fluke?
His BABIP for the season is now .301 per Fangraphs, so any spike in BABIP could be the high leading to normalization.  He's maturing as a hitter, the power is still playing very well, and he's possibly starting to reign in some of the strikeout issues.  Promising first full season for the kid, if overshadowed by Devers, Moncada, and Guerra being in the same infield with him.
 

jscola85

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Very encouraging to see the hot streak - exactly what we all really hoped he'd show after several months of futility at the plate.  That said, expectations might need to be tempered:
 
Sean Coyle, 2011 in A-: .247/.362/.464, 24% K%, 13% BB%, 14 HR, 48 XBHs in 466 PAs
Chavis, 2015: .225/.278/.402, 31% K%, 6% BB, 15 HR, 39 XBHs in 422 PAs
 
We've seen that Coyle has struggled mightily in the high majors due to his all-or-nothing approach at the plate, which could be a warning sign for Chavis.  The decline of his K rate in August to the mid 20% range is by far the most promising part of the recent stretch of solid play.  To succeed he's going to have to keep it in that range and add some more walks, even if he can maintain a healthy ISO as a 5-10, 190 pound infielder.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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billy ashley said:
The soxprospects podcast recently discussed a trip to Greenville in which all stated that they were surprised that the best BP by far was completed by Chavis. There was some talk of him not being comfortable at all this season, as well.
 
His 2015 has been brutal. The good news is that he's only turning 20 this month and still displays the plus bat speed he's always had. I had hoped he would have been better this year given the reports that his offense was fairly polished for a high school kid (a somewhat older HS draftee, too) but it's too early to abandon ship. If he stalls out next year, it'll be time to worry. 
 
Soxprospects recently posted an interview with "Chief".  Thoughtful kid... he sounded like someone who is just trying to learn how to be a professional in his first year of playing 140 games day after day.  Talked about spending a lot of time this year trying to find his routine.  High school was 2-3 games a week, some practice, school, etc.  Finding the right routine now that baseball is 24/7 has been tricky for him.  Didn't make any excuses.  I found it interesting to hear from a 20 year old kid.  Sleep patterns, rest patterns, diet, time to eat, how and when to do weight work, infield work, BP, etc. so that every day he's set up to improve a little bit.
 
I'm sure any HS-to-pros kid has to figure the same thing out, but he seemed introspective about the whole thing and understanding of "the process".
 
P.S.  Apparently his Dad is full-blooded Cherokee Native American, hence the nickname.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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From Alex Speier's excellent 108 Stitches newsletter today:

In Single A Greenville, Michael Chavis went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to five games. The 20-year-old is hitting .391/.440/.478.
He has dropped down the list of prospects coming into the season after some struggles in Greenville last year, but he appears to be off to a pretty good start in the first week of games.
 

ALiveH

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seems like he's blocked by Devers & Moncada at 2B and 3B in Salem. i'd assume later in the year when one or both of them move up to AA, Chavis would move to Salem.
 

grimshaw

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Chavis homers again. 3rd game in a row. He's k'd 9 times in 45 AB's which is also very encouraging. He had 144 whiffs in 435 AB's last year.
 

grimshaw

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Agree. The system appeared really top heavy to start the season. It's nice that him and a few others (Stanky, Travis Lakins in Salem) are trending in the right directions.