3. Michael Chavis is a part-time starter by September
Michael Chavis was a first round pick in 2014 and struggled early in his minor league career. He finally broke out in 2017, displaying great power and was able to crack MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects.
Red Sox fans have gotten their first look at him this Spring and he has not disappointed. In 21 at-bats, he has a 1.205 OPS with four home runs.
While it’s unclear where his future is defensively, his bat is what will make or break him. So far in ST, he has played 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The Red Sox also want to try him out in the outfield and see what he can do there. If he makes an impact this season it will likely be at second or third. Rafael Devers is still waiting for a breakout. In a previous slide, I wrote about what I expect from Devers this season, which would make it difficult for Chavis to find playing time there which leaves second base.
Since debuting in 2006, Dustin Pedroia has been a mainstay in the Red Sox infield. He has a career OPS of .806 and has a terrific glove at second. However, coming off knee surgery, it is unknown what he can really contribute. Last year, second base was a really poor position for the Red Sox in terms of production, with Nunez clearly playing through injuries and Ian Kinsler struggling. Just strong defense would be an upgrade. Chavis though may offer more upside with the bat than any of the Red Sox options.
I also think it is possible that Pedroia and Chavis split time at second later in the year to keep Pedroia rested which is why I say part-time starter. However, I hope Pedroia can return to form and be the player Red Sox fans know and love. Regardless of what happens this season, he is a Red Sox Hall of Famer.