Whenever the 2020 season does come about, it’s going to be a challenging one for the Red Sox. For Michael Chavis, it’s as important a season as any.
With any concrete news on the 2020 MLB season absent, the majority of the sporting world remains united in a standstill at this obscure time. There are murmurs of the league wanting to start in July, however the risks for this are too high to consider right now. For the Boston Red Sox, this season wasn’t really one to look forward to. During a rebuilding season, both for the roster and the front office, expectations aren’t high whatsoever and playoff aspirations remain an outside-chance.
This season will be important to a lot of people now, with many players looking to make a name for themselves as potential franchise players over the next couple of years. One player that comes to mind in this context is Michael Chavis.
The 24-year-old infielder impressed massively at times during his first major league season. The rookie hit .254/.322/.444 after getting the call in mid-April to help a struggling Sox team. Chavis shared his time on the diamond between first and second-base as his team grappled with injury problems to the likes of Mitch Moreland and long-time Boston star Dustin Pedroia was ruled out for another season.
Chavis did extremely well in his debut season with the Sox, driving in 58 runs. The one glaring problem was his disciplinary record at the plate, where he struck out 127 times. It’s definitely a concern, but it’s really the only one you can have about him at this moment in time. He makes up for his lack of discipline with his sheer power and this is why he as able to make it to the majors pretty quickly. But, if he can be more patient and wait for his pitch, then that average will skyrocket and so will he productivity in situational baseball.
With star players departing Boston and with a handful of others surely shipped around this coming year, Chavis will get his chance to take his game to the next level and become an everyday key player to a big major league franchise. Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts are clearly Boston’s biggest star position players right now, but Chavis has the opportunity to solidify himself alongside them in the Red Sox infield.
He definitely has shown that he’s able to play both right infield positions and there are situations which will see him lock down either one of those spots but you can’t tell which one it’ll be at the moment.
With Moreland coming back and Jose Peraza coming in at second, Chavis could well share his time between the two spots in a platoon with both players. But, from a productivity standpoint, Moreland at first and Chavis at second seems the best way forward. With third baseman Bobby Dalbec tipped to come up at some point this year, also, who would likely spend some time at first, the potential within that Red Sox infield is a very positive area for this ball club.
In a year which saw rookies such as Pete Alonso, Yordan Alvarez and Eloy Jimenez all thrive with the bat, Chavis is one that slips under the radar in a lot of the conversation. He didn’t have as good a second-half to the season as he did to start off with, but outside of Devers and Bogaerts, nobody really had a good year from the plate.
Chavis is an exciting prospect and watching him swing the bat is one of the most intriguing things that Red Sox baseball has to offer at this moment in time. Also, judging by a couple of pictures he posted on twitter a few months ago, it doesn’t look like his bat-speed is going to be falling off any time soon:
Whether Chavis becomes a long-term first baseman, second baseman or even designated hitter, he’s an extreme offensive weapon and one that the Sox need to get in their line-up on a nightly basis. In a time where a lot has already changed and a lot of other changes will be made to their current roster, Chavis is one guy that Chaim Bloom can’t consider dealing. The upside for him is too high.
From a defensive standpoint, there are questions asked over his ability in the field. Again, this is something that can change in the near future, and he did show promise a lot of the time. The same things were said after Devers’ first full season in the league and then last year he showed himself to be an above average defensive third-baseman. Chavis made plays at times, and these times will become more and more consistent as he gets his reps in during his second year with the Sox, whenever that may be.
Potential to be great is a certainty with Chavis. The Red Sox need to trust that and allow him to thrive in this organization.