The Boston Red Sox have enough headaches right now without beginning to think about their lineup. Luckily, Michael Chavis is trying to make that job easy.
We’ve all been entrenched in the mess that is the 2017 Astros scandal and the impending punishment from the 2018 Red Sox allegations. Not everyone is locked in solely to the news though and some are gearing themselves up for the 2020 season. Michael Chavis is one of those players as he has his sights set firmly on being an everyday player this season.
When he was called up in April of 2019 Chavis was an instant shot in the arm to an already exhausted lineup. Between his excitement for the game and his penchant for smacking dingers to the freakin’ moon, he became a fan favorite in a hurry.
Not to mention that he gave the term “on the job training” new meaning as he played second for the first time in his career. It was a hell of a ride watching him play every night and with new challenges, the Ice Horse is looking to step up.
The second-year player was in Beantown for the Baseball Writer’s Dinner and he spoke on a number of topics. One of the things he gave some insight into was his offseason workout regimen that focused on his athleticism, and, well, hitting moon bombs. His goal for the winter was to make his style of play more versatile so he can be plugged into any and every situation in the infield.
"“The approach was more-so just toward versatility,” he said.” I wasn’t really focused on working to be a third baseman or working to be a first baseman. It was just to focus more on athleticism and footwork, just making sure I’m ready for whatever I need to be.”"
That’s the perfect mindset for a young player to have especially on a team like the Red Sox that’s full of absolute beasts. We all know that Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers have half the infield locked up for the foreseeable future but the other side of the diamond is wide open. The biggest gap in the lineup comes at first base where Chavis’ only real competition will come from Bobby Dalbec.
If Chavis is improving his on the field abilities then he should be a shoo-in for the starting job at first, but I’m sure Dalbec won’t go down without a fight. Considering he was a rookie in 2019 and was thrown into a clubhouse just coming off of the best season in franchise history, he lived up to his hype.
"“Whether I’m playing first, second or third, as long as I’ll be in the lineup, I’ll be happy,” he said."
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An impressive .254/.322/.444/.766 line through 95 games had him in the early ROTY talks before injuries took him out of the lineup. As a former top prospect, he carried that excitement into his freshman campaign with the Red Sox and the fans went along for the ride. I think all of Red Sox Nation will forever remember his first Fenway Park homer with his mom and sister in the crowd cheering.
That was 2019 though and now it’s time to turn the page to 2020 and another season at-hand. The promise is more than tangible with Chavis as he’s shown he won’t crumble under the pressure. Getting more reps in the field and at the plate will not only help his consistency but also help build familiarity with his teammates that lacked at times last season.
Obviously we can’t get ahead of ourselves considering the Red Sox don’t have a manager and are currently under investigation from the MLB. Whoever gets the call to replace the dethroned Alex Cora will have a lot of strong personalities on their hands, and Chavis is no different. Not strong in a bad way, but Boston has a 40-man roster filled with guys that want to play all 162, managing that won’t be easy.
Michael Chavis proved last year that he can be an important member of the Red Sox roster for years to come. With his dedication in the offseason, he’s going to hammer that message home in 2020. There are plenty of opportunities ahead of him right now and if he can capitalize on them then we should be in store for one hell of a show from the Ice Horse.