Michael Chavis, SS: 2014 MLB Draft 26th overall

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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The trouble is, so does Devers.
I still don't believe Devers is inevitably a 1B. It took Boggs many years to become a good 3B. Devers has good range and makes some nice plays... he has some mental erros that I think maturity and reps will help eleviate. That said.. there's some people that are pretty high on Dalbec's future as a 3B.
 

catomatic

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Eye test suggests this is indeed the case, though many were calling for Xander to be moved over to 3B in the earlygoing, too.

Valentin played the bulk of 4 years at SS before being moved around the IF - everywhere but 1B. He was a bit stocky, like Chavis, and hit for power like him, too.

I haven't seen enough of Chavis in the field to draw firm conclusions but he sure looks useful, if a little redundant for the moment.
 

Pandarama

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Devers shows all of the physical ability to be a fantastic third baseman. He has great range. Strong arm. Quick reflexes.

All he needs to do is clean up routine plays. He's 23. People who feel he has no future at third need to rethink how they view things.
I still don't believe Devers is inevitably a 1B. It took Boggs many years to become a good 3B. Devers has good range and makes some nice plays... he has some mental erros that I think maturity and reps will help eleviate. That said.. there's some people that are pretty high on Dalbec's future as a 3B.
What I’m thinking is that he’s a big guy and he’s not going to be an ounce smaller or more nimble at age 27 than he is right now.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I still don't believe Devers is inevitably a 1B. It took Boggs many years to become a good 3B. Devers has good range and makes some nice plays... he has some mental erros that I think maturity and reps will help eleviate. That said.. there's some people that are pretty high on Dalbec's future as a 3B.
If Dalbec's bat actually pans out, he will be playing 3b. That's a big if though.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Eye test suggests this is indeed the case, though many were calling for Xander to be moved over to 3B in the earlygoing, too.

Valentin played the bulk of 4 years at SS before being moved around the IF - everywhere but 1B. He was a bit stocky, like Chavis, and hit for power like him, too.

I haven't seen enough of Chavis in the field to draw firm conclusions but he sure looks useful, if a little redundant for the moment.
Thing is, Valentin wasn't moved off SS because he couldn't play there. He was moved to make room for some rookie named Nomar. And he "bounced around" that first year because 2B was where they had the opening to start, then Tim Naehring got hurt and never came back, which allowed Jeff Frye to stop playing the Brock Holt role and settle back into being the starter at 2B. After that, Valentin was a 3B until he started breaking down physically.
 

catomatic

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Thing is, Valentin wasn't moved off SS because he couldn't play there. He was moved to make room for some rookie named Nomar. And he "bounced around" that first year because 2B was where they had the opening to start, then Tim Naehring got hurt and never came back, which allowed Jeff Frye to stop playing the Brock Holt role and settle back into being the starter at 2B. After that, Valentin was a 3B until he started breaking down physically.
I was so sure Tim Naehring was going to be a superstar. Dude could not stay healthy for more than 20 minutes though. Is Chavis's upper body too musclebound to be an agile IF, does he lack the hands? Or is it stuff he can work on, like footwork on taking turns, etc? Has he always been more of a hitting prospect?
 

Byrdbrain

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I was so sure Tim Naehring was going to be a superstar. Dude could not stay healthy for more than 20 minutes though. Is Chavis's upper body too musclebound to be an agile IF, does he lack the hands? Or is it stuff he can work on, like footwork on taking turns, etc? Has he always been more of a hitting prospect?
Yes for sure on your last question.
I don't see him playing anywhere but 1B if he sticks to the IF, LF could certainly be a long term option as well.
His hands seem fine it is agility/quickness that seem to be the issue.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Valentin played the bulk of 4 years at SS before being moved around the IF - everywhere but 1B. He was a bit stocky, like Chavis, and hit for power like him, too.
Valentin was compactly built, but not really "stocky", and he was quite unlike Chavis in terms of his physical gifts. He didn't have nearly as much raw power, but he was a smooth, coordinated infielder. He was #2 among 34 MLB shortstops in Total Zone rating for 1992-1996, behind only Ripken. He gave way to Nomar at short because Nomar was the heralded rookie and because Valentin had already begun to lose some mobility to injury. But in his prime, Valentin was easily the better defensive shortstop of the two.

tl;dr -- the Sox played Valentin at SS because he was really good at it.
 

E5 Yaz

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Valentin was compactly built, but not really "stocky", and he was quite unlike Chavis in terms of his physical gifts. He didn't have nearly as much raw power, but he was a smooth, coordinated infielder. He was #2 among 34 MLB shortstops in Total Zone rating for 1992-1996, behind only Ripken. He gave way to Nomar at short because Nomar was the heralded rookie and because Valentin had already begun to lose some mobility to injury. But in his prime, Valentin was easily the better defensive shortstop of the two.

tl;dr -- the Sox played Valentin at SS because he was really good at it.
Your facts do not line up with his narrative
 

BaseballJones

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Chavis has been quite a spark for the Sox offensively. They've gone 10-5 in games he's played.

His line in games they've won with him: 43 PA, 4 hr, 11 rbi, .382/.512/.794/1.306
His line in games they've lost with him: 20 PA, 2 hr, 2 rbi, .235/.350/.588/.938

Following games on April 23, I posted the Sox' position-by-position stats, and here's where they ranked in 2b production (AL only, by OPS):

15th (.354; 1st is Hou at .970; 14th is Oak at .480)

Now Chavis hasn't played all his games at 2b (he's actually mashed when playing 1b), but on April 23 they were, as a team, at .354 ops at 2b. Now they're at .565. So quite a bit of improvement there.

This injection of offensive production has sparked an offense that was averaging 3.84 runs a game in the 19 games before his arrival. Since he's shown up, they've averaged 6.13 runs a game. So obviously it's not all about Chavis, but he's been a major offensive spark.
 

mwonow

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I used to wonder how/why players would go to the MFYs and play at an unexpectedly elevated level for months. It's pretty cool to see this from the Sox side of the diamond: rook arrives from AA, many moonshots follow.

Tl;dr - great ride so far, I'm down with enjoying it as long as it lasts
 

Koufax

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The kid has a cannon for an arm, that's for sure.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
I'll always remember Devers' defensive ceiling from game 4 of the WS, where he stemmed the tide of another potential Kimbrel meltdown. I know, one play is not an argument, it's about consistency, but guys who can do this even once deserve a long look at the position.
And for me at least, that was not even the best play he made last year. I'd give the nod to this one, which is probably one of the half-dozen best 3B plays I've ever seen:

https://www.mlb.com/video/devers-backhand-robs-mccutchen-c2508388283

Four impressive athletic feats on that play: reacting quickly enough to get a glove on the ball at all, adjusting to the high hop in mid-dive, rising quickly into throwing position, and throwing an accurate bullet for the out with his back foot practically at the point where the foul line meets the OF grass.

Of course, being capable of making spectacular plays does not automatically make one a great or even good fielder, but it does indicate the possibility of a high ceiling given enough work and enough reps. I haven't heard or seen anything to suggest Chavis has a ceiling like that at any defensive position.
 

Lowrielicious

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https://www.mlb.com/news/michael-chavis-hardest-hitting-red-sox-player

A few choice facts from that article:
Longest HR by Red Sox, 2019
1) Michael Chavis: 459 feet, May 3^
2-T) Michael Chavis: 441 feet, April 28
2-T) Michael Chavis: 441 feet, April 23
4) Michael Chavis: 438 feet, May 4
5) Rafael Devers: 436 feet, May 3
^Fourth-longest Red Sox HR since 2015


Highest barrel rate, 2019
Min. 35 batted balls
1) Gary Sanchez (NYY): 31.5%
2) Joey Gallo (TEX): 30.0%
3) Michael Chavis (BOS): 21.1%
4) Christian Walker (ARI): 21.0%
5) Anthony Rendon (WSH): 20.3%

==========================

I’m trying not to look with red tinted glasses on this one but if he was putting this up for another team I’d struggle to find any big red flags.
Obp is ridiculous at .433 but isn’t badly babip inflated (.344) for someone who hits it hard regularly. The obp is due to the very good walk rate at 16.4%. K rate is high but not extreme at 25.4%.
Hr/fb is also high but not extreme at 33%.

This may not actually be just a ridiculously hot streak.





 

mfried

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If he’s still in the starting lineup when we visit the bidet, I’d hope he can lift the ball to right field: 350 feet will do the trick.
 
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Let’s slow our roll a bit. I’m all for being happy about a bright spot in this season, but, he’s had a grand total of 67 pa. As you said he’s sporting a .344 babip (his career average is .310) but with only a 13% LD rate. He’s due for some bad luck and the pitchers will find something eventually. I hope he can adjust but lets be patient with the kid.
 

EricFeczko

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Let’s slow our roll a bit. I’m all for being happy about a bright spot in this season, but, he’s had a grand total of 67 pa. As you said he’s sporting a .344 babip (his career average is .310) but with only a 13% LD rate. He’s due for some bad luck and the pitchers will find something eventually. I hope he can adjust but lets be patient with the kid.
Eh...even that LD rate is misleading, which only serves your point further that these are small sample size extremes.

LD/GB/FB includes homeruns, which is around 13/39/48. Assuming all HR are classified as FB, if you separate that out into LD/GB/FB/HR, his rates look like 13/39/32/16.

I fully expect Chavis to hit less than 16 percent of non-foul balls as homeruns. I also expect his LD to even out has he does hit at a reduced HR rate.

The weirdest thing about Chavis so far is his push/pull numbers. Namely, this is the first time in his career that he's shown neutral push/pull, with something like 48 percent of balls hit to centerfield. Not sure what to make of it though.

https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=17321&position=2B
 
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catomatic

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Your facts do not line up with his narrative
My narrative was simply that of one power-hitting Shortstop who played multiple positions reminding me of another one who came along some fifteen years later—that was really the depth and breadth of my assertion.
 

E5 Yaz

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My narrative was simply that of one power-hitting Shortstop who played multiple positions reminding me of another one who came along some fifteen years later—that was really the depth and breadth of my assertion.
The problem with your narrative is that Valentin was a SS, and a better than average one. Chavis is not a shortstop
 

Byrdbrain

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but he might be a left fielder.
Per Spier he spent time in LF today. He didn't do any fielding he just tracked the ball, I have no idea why you would stand out there and not try to catch a ball or two but there you go.
 

shaggydog2000

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From the descriptions in the scouting reports and what (limited) action I've seen him in, I think the optimal deployment of his defensive skills is as a DH, but LF is more likely for him at this age. Between height, agility, and speed, it really doesn't sound like he's a natural at any position on the MLB level.
 

benhogan

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but he might be a left fielder.
Per Spier he spent time in LF today. He didn't do any fielding he just tracked the ball, I have no idea why you would stand out there and not try to catch a ball or two but there you go.
Let him get comfortable first I guess, probably never played outside the infield his entire life.

Playing Blake Swihart in LF really didn't help his development. Was it Hanley who also failed with his LF conversion?

I'd prefer they take it slow with Chavis in LF, the Monster can be tricky
 

Byrdbrain

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Yes Hanley was absolutely awful in LF, I'm impressed you were able to forget that.
I agree the wall is brutal and we won't be seeing him in the OF any time soon but it just seemed funny that they just had him stand out there and look at fly balls.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
but he might be a left fielder.
Per Spier he spent time in LF today. He didn't do any fielding he just tracked the ball, I have no idea why you would stand out there and not try to catch a ball or two but there you go.
I think that actually makes sense, especially when dealing with a cocky young player. Take the focus off the end goal for a while and concentrate entirely on the process. He could make a bad read out there, recover and make a running catch and think he's done it right. Removing the actual catch from the equation avoids that.
 

Al Zarilla

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I think that actually makes sense, especially when dealing with a cocky young player. Take the focus off the end goal for a while and concentrate entirely on the process. He could make a bad read out there, recover and make a running catch and think he's done it right. Removing the actual catch from the equation avoids that.
Is Chavis cocky? I don’t know, hadn’t heard that.
 

Detts

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Dump JBJ? That'd be a travesty. Did you see the game saving catch tonight?
The Sox can’t pay everybody.

Mookie is going to get paid.

JDM has his opt out.

Yes, I saw the catch, but I’ve also seen him bunting a lot. He is at $8.55 mill this year and they shopped him around during the offseason.

I love JBJ and hope he breaks out his hitting slump, but sliding Tendi over to center and slotting a better cost option into LF Just makes a lot of sense.
 
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Yes, I saw the catch, but I’ve also seen him bunting a lot. He is at $8.55 mill this year and they shopped him around during the offseason.

I love JBJ and hope he breaks out his hitting slump, but sliding Tendi over to center and slotting a better cost option into LF Just makes a lot of sense.
Sources for the bolded assertion, please.
 

Detts

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Of the pricey veterans the Red Sox reportedly considered trading last month, they “pushed” center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. harder than anyone else, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic hears (subscription required). However, the Red Sox couldn’t find a deal to their liking for JBJ, Rosenthal notes. The Diamondbacks were the only team publicly connected to Bradley around that time, though there were conflicting reports about whether they were truly interested in him. As of now, it seems the soon-to-be 29-year-old Bradley will once again man center in Boston in 2019, his second-last second of arbitration eligibility. Bradley will make a projected $7.9MM during the upcoming season.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/01/rosenthals-latest-bosox-jbj-mets-grandal-d-holland-as-anibal-astros-keuchel.html
 

dynomite

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Sources for the bolded assertion, please.
I don’t about “shopping him” around, but it was reported they were “listening” to offers. A word distinction worthy of 1,000 words by Rev.

Still, the Sox are said to be “openly listening” to offers for veteran right-hander Rick Porcello, who’ll earn $21MM this year before reaching free agency. Yet more surprisingly, the club is said to be “willing to talk about” star shortstop Xander Bogaerts (projected $11.9MM arbitration salary in final season of eligibility) and quality center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.($7.9MM, second-to-last season of eligibility).
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/report-red-sox-taking-offers-on-rick-porcello-others.html
 

DeadlySplitter

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going through his first slump now, I don't think he has a hit since the 2 HR Chicago game, about a 0 for 15 going. still a lot of Ks. let's see the adjustment.
 

gedman211

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going through his first slump now, I don't think he has a hit since the 2 HR Chicago game, about a 0 for 15 going. still a lot of Ks. let's see the adjustment.
looked pretty bad on some breaking balls out of the zone. Seems like there's a book on him now
 

Cesar Crespo

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His last 5 games, Chavis is 0/18 with 5bb/8k in 23 PA. .000/.217/.000. It's nice that he's still drawing walks during his slump. I keep expecting the BB% to cater but it hasn't yet. Since he returned from suspension last year, he has 40bb/84k in 323 PA. That's a BB% of 12.4% which is GREAT. Prior to his suspension, it was 7.2% over 1588 PA, which is below average. The fact he's increased his BB rate that much while moving up leagues and missing 80? games to suspension is pretty amazing.

They say BB/K rates start to stabilize around 100 PA, so 323 is a pretty healthy sample size. It's simple math but the difference between 12.4% and 7.2% is the difference between slashing .250/.322/.500 or slashing .250/.375/.500. It is absolutely huge. Even if you split the difference, a 9.8% BB rate is still above average. This is the one thing I've been zoning in on for awhile now. It's remarkable. I don't recall ever seeing someone make this much progress drawing walks in such a short period. There are guys like Sammy Sosa but that happened at the Major League level and after hitting 60+ HR's in a season.

At the very least, I can't think of anyone in the Sox farm since 1998 that has improved their plate discipline as much as Chavis has, although Rafael Devers is having quite the year in that regard too.
 

soxhop411

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Most RBI in a player’s first 20 MLB games in Red Sox history.
Ted Williams – 20
George Scott – 20
MICHAEL CHAVIS – 19


Via WEEI
 

Byrdbrain

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The thing is 2 of his 3 hits were complete flukes. One was a pop up that the 2B completely misplayed, another was off the very end of his bat and only got through because the infield was playing in.
The 3rd was a solid line drive the other way.

Good for the kid and I hope he starts hitting ropes but he only did that once today.

Edit: Agree on the below, that was a rope.
 
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TSC

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Between here and everywhere.
The thing is 2 of his 3 hits were complete flukes. One was a pop up that the 2B completely misplayed, another was off the very end of his bat and only got through because the infield was playing in.
The 3rd was a solid line drive the other way.

Good for the kid and I hope he starts hitting ropes but he really didn't do that today.
His line drive was clocked at 107 mph.

If that ain’t a rope...
 

soxhop411

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After the game Chavis took BP. Spoke to the media, then took more BP

BOSTON — Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis took batting practice in the cage at Fenway Park for approximately an hour after Boston won 11-2 over the Mariners on Sunday.

“I’m not done,” Chavis said. “I heard you all were waiting so ...”

He took a break to talk with reporters about his three-hit, five-RBI game. Then he returned to the cage to hit more.

How long does he plan to stay there?

“Until I’m happy,” Chavis said. “I don’t really have a set time. I’m not really in there with a set amount of swings. It’s a feel thing.”

Taking batting practice after games isn’t something new for Chavis. He said he does it when he’s "not feeling great” offensively.
“I don’t like the idea if my swing doesn’t feel good, just be like, ‘Oh, I guess it will feel better tomorrow’ or something like that," Chavis said. "I have my own time just to swing and feel it out myself. It’s just a little bit different when there’s a bunch of people around (pregame). Maybe somebody else is waiting so you need to get your routine out of the way so they can hit. I’ve done this since I was a kid. Even when I was like 14 years old, after a game I’d go hit if I didn’t feel good. In high school, I did the same thing. It’s part of my thing.”
https://www.masslive.com/sports/2019/05/michael-chavis-followed-5-rbi-game-for-boston-red-sox-with-hour-plus-batting-practice-ive-done-this-since-i-was-a-kid.html
 

soxhop411

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The thing is 2 of his 3 hits were complete flukes. One was a pop up that the 2B completely misplayed, another was off the very end of his bat and only got through because the infield was playing in.
The 3rd was a solid line drive the other way.

Good for the kid and I hope he starts hitting ropes but he only did that once today.

Edit: Agree on the below, that was a rope.
A hit is a hit!

Hey. If those fluke hits help him break out of his “slump” then I want more of those hits.
 

Byrdbrain

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Pop fly hits are about as predictive of future success as RBIs.
He had a pretty poor day and got lucky, that happens in baseball.

The good news is he knows he kind of sucked today and took extra bp, so yes hopefully he'll get out of his slump.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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The inverse is true- perfectly smacked hits that end up caught by the 3rd baseman closing his eyes and sticking his glove out in self defense.... the good luck and bad luck balance out over a season