2019 will be a huge year for Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis

FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Michael Chavis
FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Michael Chavis /

The Boston Red Sox top prospect is currently on their 40-man roster and will look to impress in spring training after a hot 2018 season, where he swung the bat extremely well.

2018 may have not started the way Michael Chavis imagined it. The Red Sox third baseman was suspended for 80 games after violating Major League Baseball’s PED program. This limited him to just 46 games across Double-A and Triple-A. Despite the lack of playing time, the former first-round pick was extremely productive at the plate. He hit .298 with nine homers and 27 RBI’s, spending the majority of his time playing the hot corner for the Double-A Portland Seadogs.

He was put on Boston’s 40-man roster just a few weeks ago but will face some competition at third base in Rafael Devers, who has been a stud for the Sox over the last year and a half. Chavis is still just 23-years old though and hasn’t actually played more than three full seasons in the minors after getting drafted in the first round back in 2014. Despite this, he’s a very advanced hitter who has the potential to be a guy who can hit 20+ homers a year in the future at the big league level.

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His best season yet from a power standpoint was in 2017 when he hit 31 long balls between High-A and Double-A across 126 games. He’s a career .258 hitter in the ranks but I believe it’s very important to look how well he hit last year considering he missed a lot of time and wasn’t seeing live pitching for months. Chavis jumped right back in and absolutely raked, a huge testament to his talent at the plate and something that should definitely impress the Red Sox front office.

Where his future stands at the big league level

Like I said above, it’s going to be difficult to break into the majors and push out Rafael Devers or Eduardo Nunez at third base. But it will also be good to have Chavis who can play the hot corner when they are slumping or injured. Chavis can also play first base though, which will definitely help him get more playing time in the majors in the future. Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce stand in his way though, but both of their contracts will be up after the 2019 season.

Pearce was Boston’s postseason hero so it was an absolute no-brainer to bring him back to Fenway on a one-year deal. If Chavis plays well in spring training and produces on a consistent basis in Triple-A Pawtucket, he could definitely see a call-up to the bigs at some point in 2019.

He obviously won’t be starting, but he’ll see some at-bats and could transition into their starting first basemen in 2020 if he shows the ability to hit and play sound defense at the major league level. 25-year old Sam Travis will also be fighting for playing time at first base, but if Chavis can really swing it, he could very well be the starter at first base in 2020.

Chavis is pretty small in stature at 5 foot 10, which does seem a little undersized for first base. Another option for the Red Sox when it comes to the power-hitting infielder is to use him as a DH in the future or even get him to learn how to play second base. His size would be perfect for the position and with Dustin Pedroia dealing with numerous injuries, who knows how much longer he will be in a Red Sox uniform.

His bat will be the deciding factor on Red Sox Major League arrival

It will all depend on how productive Chavis is at the plate in 2019. He’s shown the ability to hit for power and average at times throughout his professional career to this point, so he will have to continue to do the same in order to force Boston’s hand and call him up. Chavis has a sound approach at the plate, with minimal movement. His quick hands explode to the baseball and even when he gets jammed, Chavis can turn on a fastball and take it out of the ballpark.

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Michael Chavis is a very strong young man who definitely has a bright future with this organization. 2019 will be a very important year for the 23-year old as he will look for his major league dreams to come true at some point with a call-up to the Red Sox. WIll he be able to make good on Boston’ s investment and join their core of young successful talent?