A common sentiment prevails for Red Sox prospects who land in High A Salem: Good bye, home runs.
Salem Memorial Ballpark in Virginia is considered a graveyard. Andrew Benintendi admits that he all but gave up on hitting homers in a home park where he smashed seven doubles and five triples but never went deep. With fences that are roughly 20 feet high ringing the outfield, players have to learn to accept that perfectly launched shots may end up staying in the park.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that,” said Red Sox third base prospect Michael Chavis. “You can’t expect to hit a bunch of home runs, especially in a bigger ballpark like this.”
Yet Chavis, a 2014 first-rounder, defied the park’s dimensions and its history on Wednesday, becoming the first player in the history of Salem Memorial Ballpark – which opened in 1995 – to go deep three times. He blasted two homers against lefthanded starter Emilio Ogando (measured, according to Salem play-by-play man Ben Gellman, with exit velocities of 114 and 115 m.p.h.) before golfing a fastball off his shoetops off the scoreboard in left-center for a two-run, walkoff homer in a 7-6 win.
Chavis finished the night with a 3-for-4 line that included a walk and five runs batted in along with his three homers.
Take the time to click on the link Rip posted. Maybe, just maybe, the answer is in the article.He played the first game of the season and then missed the following 10 days for some reason. Since returning 3 games ago, he is 6-11 with 1 2b, 4 HRs, 5 runs, 7 rbi, 3bb/2k.
He has 4 HRs in the last 2 games.
He's exactly the Sox fans type of guy too. He's basically PedroiaI just went to Chavis' soxprospects page and was surprised to be reminded how young he still is--seems like he's been around forever. Despite repeating Greenville, he's still almost two years under median age for the Carolina League (as of 2013, anyway), and the second-youngest position player (after Ockimey) on the Salem roster. Wouldn't it be a treat to see him put the pieces together this year and give Devers a run for the title of 3B heir apparent.
Chris: Obviously the real Michael Chavis is somewhere between this year and last year, but what is your current assessment of him?
Keith Law: He played hurt last year and didn’t tell the Red Sox. I’m inclined to throw 2016 out the window for him.
The one big knock on Chavis early was he struck out way too much. It spiked up a little last year but he missed a bunch of games due to the suspension and it's also inflated by 34 PA in AAA. It's not exactly shocking to see a player strike out more in their first few games at a new level. This year he has 7bb/9k in 48 PA.434-foot homer last night. Rotating between second and third base. Michael Chavis is at the very least a replacement for Nunez.
Great research. Chavis is nearing the conclusion of his lengthy minor league internship. Seems like there is an opening in Boston.The one big knock on Chavis early was he struck out way too much. It spiked up a little last year but he missed a bunch of games due to the suspension and it's also inflated by 34 PA in AAA. It's not exactly shocking to see a player strike out more in their first few games at a new level. This year he has 7bb/9k in 48 PA.
2015: 30.6% K rate, 6.2% BB rate, 471 PA, .223/.277/.405
2016: 23.9% K rate, 7.1% BB rate, 339 PA .237/.313/.372
2017: 21.6% K rate, 7.4% BB rate, 524 PA .282/.347/.563
2018: 26.8% K rate, 9.8% BB rate, 194 PA .298/.381/.538
2019: 18.8% K rate, 14.6% BB rate, 48 PA, .250/.354/.600
Another way to look at it
A: 27.8% K rate, 6.5% BB rate, 783 PA, .231/.294/.399
A+: 23.1% K rate, 7.6% BB rate, 277 PA, .302/.372/.593
AA: 22.0% K rate, 8.0% BB rate, 413 PA, .268/.337/.493
AAA: 25.6% K rate, 9.8% BB rate, 82 PA, .260/.329/.575
Chavis is the type of prospect they should hold on to because he offers far more value to the Sox than he does in a trade value. His value is severely suppressed due to his terrible 2015/16, the suspension, and no clear position. Funny thing is, Chavis actually profiles better as a 2b than a 3b so I'm not sure why they decided to try him at third.
I've been paying close attention to the Sox minors since the mid to late 90s and I don't ever recall a player cutting his K rate as much of Michael Chavis. The trends are very nice. He's managed to decrease his K% while increasing his BB% while moving up levels. I believe he was playing with an injury all of 2016 but the Redsox wanted him playing to see/take pitches. If true, that move definitely paid off.
2014-2016: 960 PA, .235/.300/.360, 52 doubles, 7 triples, 25 HR, 68bb/263k. 27.4% K rate, 7.1% BB rate. ISO of .125.
Since 2017: 766 PA, .283/.356/.565, 51 doubles, 2 triples, 44 HR, 65bb/174k. 22.7% K rate, 8.5% BB rate. ISO of .283.
He's had 35 more total bases since 2017 than 2014-16 despite 194 less PA. He also has 3 less walks and 11 less hits.
I thought the knock on him at 3B was about footwork and coordination, which makes 2B seem like an odd destination. But as long as he can be within spitting distance of fringe-average defensively, a bat like that at 2B is an obvious asset.Great post bosox79. I’ve been watching his K and BB rates noticing the same thing. I’m excited how that could translate for him going forward. As for why they tried him at 3B, his scouting report says that his first-step quickness, body control and above average arm made him a potential fit there. He’s listed at 5’10 and 215#. That seems like a tank for middle infield. I haven’t seen any recent reports on his D at 2B.
If his bat is for real, he's an asset anywhere. I think he ends up in LF but here's to positive thinking.I thought the knock on him at 3B was about footwork and coordination, which makes 2B seem like an odd destination. But as long as he can be within spitting distance of fringe-average defensively, a bat like that at 2B is an obvious asset.
Yes, but can they please actually give him consistent playing time? Put him at second for a few weeks with occasional rest days. I hate the idea of bringing him up and then jerking him around in terms of the positions he plays or playing time. They did that with X, Iglesias and Swihart, so hopefully the pattern does not hold.This is going to hurt the minor league system ranking yet further.
Seriously, why the hell not. Worst case, he gets a taste. Best case, he sticks.