Michael Chavis, SS: 2014 MLB Draft 26th overall

Pandarama

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Has anyone even done an honest to goodness study on this? Taken one hitter, looked at all their at-bats, and determined whether "luck" balances out?
What does it mean to balance out?

Hitters tend to believe it DOESN’T balance out, because they want one bloop per line drive out. But if you’re a .333 hitter, there should be two lineouts per bloop.
 

mfried

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Slump busted? 3 for 4 with 5 RBI today.
One pop fly that the Mariners turned into a hit; one ground ball that squirted through the drawn-in infield and one legitimate oppo single (I can imagine that the coaches have been begging him to go that way).
 

Devizier

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Has anyone even done an honest to goodness study on this? Taken one hitter, looked at all their at-bats, and determined whether "luck" balances out?
Isn't that basically the idea behind BABIP? Some players (e.g. Ichiro, Dunn) lie on the extreme edges of that scale but mostly batted ball outcomes tend to even out.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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One pop fly that the Mariners turned into a hit; one ground ball that squirted through the drawn-in infield and one legitimate oppo single (I can imagine that the coaches have been begging him to go that way).
Are we really nitpicking a 3 for 4, 5 RBI game because the hits weren't all rockets? All it takes to bust a slump sometimes is getting a seeing eye single or a bloop falling in. If we even really should consider four hitless games as anything more than a blip in a long season, even for a rookie who except for those four games hasn't really experienced much adversity so far.
 

mfried

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Are we really nitpicking a 3 for 4, 5 RBI game because the hits weren't all rockets? All it takes to bust a slump sometimes is getting a seeing eye single or a bloop falling in. If we even really should consider four hitless games as anything more than a blip in a long season, even for a rookie who except for those four games hasn't really experienced much adversity so far.
I’m just saying that Sunday’s game doesn’t prove he’s out of the slump or that pitchers aren’t developing an effective approach to keep him neutralized.
 

bosox79

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Has anyone even done an honest to goodness study on this? Taken one hitter, looked at all their at-bats, and determined whether "luck" balances out?
A good poker player is more likely to take a bad beat than a bad poker player. I'd guess baseball and other sports aren't much different in that regard.
 

E5 Yaz

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Isn't that basically the idea behind BABIP? Some players (e.g. Ichiro, Dunn) lie on the extreme edges of that scale but mostly batted ball outcomes tend to even out.
I suppose, but not in the sense that it was being used that I responded to... which is, actual at bats that turn on a player sticking glove out to catch a liner vs a bloop that falls in. BABIP looks at everything as a whole; I was wondering whether, if you studied one batter's season, would "lucky" and "unlucky" at bats even out
 

charlieoscar

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I was wondering whether, if you studied one batter's season, would "lucky" and "unlucky" at bats even out
How do you tell lucky from unlucky without watching each play? And if you cannot do this for all players, how do you know it should "even out?"
 

Dewey'sCannon

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How do you tell lucky from unlucky without watching each play? And if you cannot do this for all players, how do you know it should "even out?"
I was thinking about this - rather than just looking at BABIP, which doesn't distinguish between different batted ball profiles, you could compare the batting average for Player X on each type of batted ball (FB, GB and LD) and compare it to the league average BA on each of these types. That would at least give you a comparison against league average, and would let you see whether the "bad luck" on line drives hit right at somebody is offset by the bloopers that fall in or the bleeders that get through.

I took a quick look at fangraphs but didn't see the data broken down this way, but may try to look more in-depth later.
 

nvalvo

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Doesn’t the difference between baseball savant’s xwOBA and wOBA capture what we want here?
 

shaggydog2000

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I was thinking about this - rather than just looking at BABIP, which doesn't distinguish between different batted ball profiles, you could compare the batting average for Player X on each type of batted ball (FB, GB and LD) and compare it to the league average BA on each of these types. That would at least give you a comparison against league average, and would let you see whether the "bad luck" on line drives hit right at somebody is offset by the bloopers that fall in or the bleeders that get through.

I took a quick look at fangraphs but didn't see the data broken down this way, but may try to look more in-depth later.
What you want is xBABIP, you can find it here:

https://www.xstats.org/

The biggest difference between xBABIP and BABIP would give you your luckiest and unluckiest batters. Not perfectly, but it's a start.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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What you want is xBABIP, you can find it here:

https://www.xstats.org/

The biggest difference between xBABIP and BABIP would give you your luckiest and unluckiest batters. Not perfectly, but it's a start.
Thanks - I didn't know this site existed. From the description, it looks like they use a different, but similar comparison of actual versus expected results than what I imagined, by using Statcast data on launch angle and exit velocity of each batted ball to determine the xBABIP (based on a comparison of results to other batted balls with the same launch angle/exit velocity profile).

Unfortunately, this site does not appear to have any data reported for 2019. So we cannot solve the equation for when X = Chavis.
 

charlieoscar

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Doesn’t the difference between baseball savant’s xwOBA and wOBA capture what we want here?
https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/the-in-season-predictiveness-of-xwoba/ looks at this question and says:
"Player performance is not linear but, instead, characterized by peaks and valleys. xwOBA (the inputs) fluctuates, and wOBA (the output) fluctuates around it in tandem. It’s a messy affair to describe, let alone predict. As a descriptive tool, xwOBA does a very commendable job; as a predictive tool, not so much. But! Again, that does not negate the value of leveraging xwOBA and the wOBA-xwOBA differential in the tails of their distributions, at their most extreme."

But that aside, suppose there is a group of players who are pronounced ground ball hitters and another group who are pronounced fly ball hitters. Do you expect luck/non-luck to be the same for both groups? What about home fields? A right-handed pull hitter in Fenway or a left-hander with a propensity for hitting to left (Wade Boggs) will get hits on balls that would be outs as opposed to the Giants' park, which has a right-handed park factor of 96 for doubles and 88 for home runs. Ground ball hitters stand to get more "luck" when facing teams with poorer fielding infielders (a matter of schedule). Finally, StatCast doesn't take official scorers into consideration: an error may be called a hit or vice versa.
 

shaggydog2000

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Thanks - I didn't know this site existed. From the description, it looks like they use a different, but similar comparison of actual versus expected results than what I imagined, by using Statcast data on launch angle and exit velocity of each batted ball to determine the xBABIP (based on a comparison of results to other batted balls with the same launch angle/exit velocity profile).

Unfortunately, this site does not appear to have any data reported for 2019. So we cannot solve the equation for when X = Chavis.
This is beginning to remind me of a physics problem. Assume a spherical Chavis...
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
But that aside, suppose there is a group of players who are pronounced ground ball hitters and another group who are pronounced fly ball hitters. Do you expect luck/non-luck to be the same for both groups? What about home fields? A right-handed pull hitter in Fenway or a left-hander with a propensity for hitting to left (Wade Boggs) will get hits on balls that would be outs as opposed to the Giants' park, which has a right-handed park factor of 96 for doubles and 88 for home runs. Ground ball hitters stand to get more "luck" when facing teams with poorer fielding infielders (a matter of schedule). Finally, StatCast doesn't take official scorers into consideration: an error may be called a hit or vice versa.
A couple more confounding factors: slow players always appear, as a group, "unluckier" than fast players, as do players who can be shifted on successfully.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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He's a legit Rookie of the Year candidate at this point with an outside shot at the All Star spot if you consider Altuve a lock via reputation. 2B is a very competitive position this year in the AL with LeMahieu, Schoop, Merrifield and Lowe all having impressive years so far.

http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp#elem=[object+Object]&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Player+hitting&game_type='R'&season=2019&season_type=ANY&league_code='AL'&sectionType=sp&statType=hitting&page=1&ts=1557879396230&position='4'&sortColumn=ops&sortOrder='desc'&extended=0
 

chrisfont9

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He's a legit Rookie of the Year candidate at this point with an outside shot at the All Star spot if you consider Altuve a lock via reputation. 2B is a very competitive position this year in the AL with LeMahieu, Schoop, Merrifield and Lowe all having impressive years so far.

http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp#elem=[object+Object]&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Player+hitting&game_type='R'&season=2019&season_type=ANY&league_code='AL'&sectionType=sp&statType=hitting&page=1&ts=1557879396230&position='4'&sortColumn=ops&sortOrder='desc'&extended=0
Lowe is a rookie so he is maybe the ROY frontrunner. Among pitchers, Kikuchi, Buttrey (sigh) and Means are ahead of Chavis in WAR, for now. But voters like narratives, and if Chavis keeps hitting tape-measure shots he'll get extra votes for being cool. [Of course, along those lines, if Vlad Jr. is anywhere close to Chavis, he wins out.]
 
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mfried

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If he hit a bunch of 380-ft. HRs, his chances to be a long-time regular will be greatly enhanced. No points for the extra 100 ft.
 

benhogan

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This is one of the few times one of our prospects wasn't overhyped prior to his arrival. Didn't seem like he was touted as a guy that comes up and hits tape measure homers as he has.

from Soxprospects:
Swing can get long, creating a hole on the inner half. Has a lot of swing-and-miss at present. Approach is inconsistent. Can get too aggressive early in the count, hunting fastballs and looking to pull the ball. Susceptible to breaking balls, but pitch recognition has improved and strikeout rate decreased as he has moved up the system. Ability to make contact once suffered due to his tendency to sell out for power and try to hit every pitch out of the park, but reined in that tendency to a significant degree beginning in 2017, to great effect. Has not completely lost tendency to swing for the fences on occasion, and will pop balls up as a result. Potential fringe-average hit tool.
 

Devizier

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Between Chavis, Lowe, Alonso, Tatis, etc. could this be one of the best accumulated rookie seasons in recent history? I know last year was pretty great, too.
 

SouthernBoSox

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He certainly looks very serviceable at second base especially given that he really has very limited game experience there.
 

mfried

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He certainly looks very serviceable at second base especially given that he really has very limited game experience there.
I have more concerns about his hitting: swing-miss at outside breaking balls and low stuff. His swing is too long for a sustained BA over .250. Pitchers will catch on - will he react and use right center more?
 

snowmanny

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I have more concerns about his hitting: swing-miss at outside breaking balls and low stuff. His swing is too long for a sustained BA over .250. Pitchers will catch on - will he react and use right center more?
There was another Red Sox rookie second baseman who was criticized for having too long a swing a dozen or so years ago.
 

Adrian's Dome

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I have more concerns about his hitting: swing-miss at outside breaking balls and low stuff. His swing is too long for a sustained BA over .250. Pitchers will catch on - will he react and use right center more?
Isn't this the exact kind of logic that led to the Twins releasing a young David Arias?
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Isn't this the exact kind of logic that led to the Twins releasing a young David Arias?
Well, no, because the young David Arias had more or less league-average K rates and, in his final season with the Twins (which also happens to be the first season for which these numbers are available), an Oppo% higher than any he ever achieved with the Red Sox. Whatever it was about Ortiz that had the Twins convinced he wasn't the ticket, I don't think it was being a pull-happy K machine, because he wasn't.
 

Adrian's Dome

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Well, no, because the young David Arias had more or less league-average K rates and, in his final season with the Twins (which also happens to be the first season for which these numbers are available), an Oppo% higher than any he ever achieved with the Red Sox. Whatever it was about Ortiz that had the Twins convinced he wasn't the ticket, I don't think it was being a pull-happy K machine, because he wasn't.
That's because the Twins kept trying to make him cut down his swing and hit oppo more for whatever Twinsy reasoning, which is why he never blossomed into what he was until he got here.

The logic behind my reply was more attacking the basic assumption of: "this guy will never be able to sustainably hit this way in the majors."

That isn't necessarily true, and you definitely don't want to screw with a big power swing (like the Twins did.)
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Michael Scott Chavis, aka The Ice Horse, who went to Sprayberry HS will learn to use all fields. He showed a decent opposite field approach in his 5 RBI game.

How he ended up as The Ice Horse and not The Office remains a mystery.

 

ookami7m

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This kid has done everything he can to endear himself to the hearts and minds of Sox Nation. He genuinely is having fun out there and it's infectious. I know we eschew "intangibles" and what not, but once you get past the admittedly better than expected production, Chavis seems to be doing the off the field stuff at a professional level beyond expectations as well.
 

Merkle's Boner

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So it's becoming clearer every day that Chavis has to stay in the lineup every day when Pedey/Holt return. One option is to release WS hero Steve Pearce and have Chavis be the platoon partner for Mitch on days when Pedey can play 2B. In that scenario Holt would probably replace Nunez as the ultility IF, especially as a Xander replacement to give him a rest. Either way, they have to keep Chavis as an everyday option until he proves he's not.
 

ookami7m

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So it's becoming clearer every day that Chavis has to stay in the lineup every day when Pedey/Holt return. One option is to release WS hero Steve Pearce and have Chavis be the platoon partner for Mitch on days when Pedey can play 2B. In that scenario Holt would probably replace Nunez as the ultility IF, especially as a Xander replacement to give him a rest. Either way, they have to keep Chavis as an everyday option until he proves he's not.
I have to assume that Nunez will be the first on the block for a position player to go and when the second of Holt/Pedey(if) comes back they go down a pitcher.
Nunez is essentially redundant with Chavis able to do everything he does except maybe play SS.
 

Adrian's Dome

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Much rather would get rid of Nunez than Pearce.

Moreland is notoriously a quick starter that slows up as the season drags on, plus he's had a tendency to fall victim to nagging injuries that just seem to linger. There's plenty of emergency 2B options around, less so on the 1B side of things, and I'd rather not have Chavis playing 1B when we have a clear need for a long-term starter solution at 2B so I'd rather keep him there and see if he can handle it.
 

Beomoose

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So it's becoming clearer every day that Chavis has to stay in the lineup every day when Pedey/Holt return. One option is to release WS hero Steve Pearce and have Chavis be the platoon partner for Mitch on days when Pedey can play 2B. In that scenario Holt would probably replace Nunez as the ultility IF, especially as a Xander replacement to give him a rest. Either way, they have to keep Chavis as an everyday option until he proves he's not.
Holt right now seems more like a superior bench option than someone to start over Chavis, a healthy Pedroia is another matter but I want to see him healthy before I start thinking about releasing Pearce.
 

DrewDawg

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Holt right now seems more like a superior bench option than someone to start over Chavis, a healthy Pedroia is another matter but I want to see him healthy before I start thinking about releasing Pearce.
What will it take to convince you Pedroia is healthy? I love the guy, but I don't see it. Since the ASB in 2017 he's played in 43 games and turns 36 in few months.
 

joe dokes

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Much rather would get rid of Nunez than Pearce.

Moreland is notoriously a quick starter that slows up as the season drags on, plus he's had a tendency to fall victim to nagging injuries that just seem to linger. There's plenty of emergency 2B options around, less so on the 1B side of things, and I'd rather not have Chavis playing 1B when we have a clear need for a long-term starter solution at 2B so I'd rather keep him there and see if he can handle it.
Pearce is also still at least nominally an outfielder.
 

Merkle's Boner

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Nunez is the only guy on the roster who can play SS in a pinch, so I don’t think he’s going anywhere until Holt is back. I don’t see them putting Chavis at SS. Or Pedey of course if he’s first back.