The Boston Red Sox have called up top hitting prospect Michael Chavis prior to their series in Tampay Bay against the Rays.
It’s Chavis Time! The Boston Red Sox have called up infielder Michael Chavis, who could make his major league debut during the pivotal weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Another roster move was expected when the corresponding move to placing Dustin Pedroia on the injured list was to call up reliever Marcus Walden, leaving the Red Sox infield dangerously thin. It was suspected that another reliever would be jettisoned from the roster to clear a path for Tzu-Wei Lin. That came to fruition with Erasmo Ramirez being designated for assignment.
The Red Sox also placed infielder Eduardo Nunez on the 10-day injured list with a back strain. That moves leaves room for both Lin and Chavis to join the team in Tampa Bay.
While the arrival of Chavis is less expected than Lin’s, it’s certainly more exciting. Chavis is ranked as the top prospect in the Red Sox farm system and No. 75 overall by MLB.com. He’s the only Red Sox prospect in their top-100 rankings, which highlights how barren the organization’s minor league system is.
The Red Sox selected Chavis with the 26th pick in the first round of the 2014 MLB amateur draft. The 23-year old possess prestigious power potential that was on display in his breakout 2017 season when he smashed 31 home runs and 35 doubles between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. An 80-game PED suspension limited him to 46 games last year but he proved upon his return that there’s still plenty of pop in his bat. Chavis belted 9 home runs in only 171 at-bats while sporting a .919 OPS across three minor league levels.
Chavis is hitting .250/.354/.600 with four home runs in 12 games with Pawtucket this year. Triple-A hasn’t been too much of a challenge in his brief time at that level so perhaps it’s not too soon to test him against major league pitchers.
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Chavis has been seeing time at second base to increase his versatility in order to find a spot for the natural third baseman on the major league roster in the long term. It would be unfair to ask him to take over for the injured Pedroia considering his very limited experience at the position but how he adapts to second base is something to keep an eye on for the future.
He still has his work cut out for him defensively but the kid can hit. Chavis could be utilized as a pinch-hitter and may even spell Rafael Devers at third base against tough lefties.
Nunez may not be out long, Brock Holt should be back relatively soon, and the team is hopefully that Pedroia’s latest setback isn’t serious. There will be a roster crunch once everyone is healthy but if Chavis proves he can hang in the big leagues then the Red Sox will need to find a way to keep him around.
It’s been a miserable start to 2019 for the Red Sox but getting a glimpse of the future gives fans a reason to be excited and may even give this lethargic lineup the spark they need to turn this season around.