BOSTON -- If there was any doubt that the Red Sox could sign first-round pick Michael Chavis, they went out the window when the two sides came to an agreement on a deal Monday, first reported by Ryan Hannable of Inside the Batter's Box. The two sides came to an agreement for the slot value of $1.8705 million. Chavis will fly to Boston on Tuesday to make the signing official. Chavis just finished his senior season at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, G.A., where he hit .580/.663/1.197 with 13 home runs and 37 RBIs.
Now that Chavis is now officially a part of the Red Sox organization, what does he bring to the table and where does he rank in relation to the organization's current batch of prospects?
"Our approach each year is to select the best players available to us and we believe Michael fits that description," said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye following the draft. "He was undoubtedly one of the best high school hitters in this this year’s class, and we were fortunate to have him. In addition, we believe his athleticism and defensive versatility will also be an asset to us."
From conversations with multiple talent evaluators, there is seemingly solid consensus on Chavis and his talents. Chavis, who stands 5-foot-11, projects as a power hitter despite being on the smaller side. One evaluator believes that Chavis presents similar tools as another top Red Sox prospect.
"I think he's very similar to Mookie Betts in a lot of ways," said one evaluator of Chavis. "The bat is special and will carry Chavis. Very adavances approach. He's likely ready for shortstop at Lowell. It's an odd profile because of his size, but he has a chance to stick at third with a plus bat and above-average power."
Chavis projects at multiple positions: third base and the outfield with an outside shot at behind the plate as a catcher.
"Glove needs work, no doubt," the evaluator said. "He has athleticism to his left and right and has an above average arm."
Another evaluator also believes that Chavis will eventually move to third base.
"I've seen him at third base. He's been great," the evaluator said. "I saw him at short this year, all year and I don't think short is his natural position. Do I think he can play it? Yes, because he's that good an athlete. I think he's probably a third baseman when he's all set and done, but obviously, that's for player development to decide, but the fact that he showed that he can play short this year, and he made some unbelievable plays, it says a lot about him and his athleticism."
Another evaluator told Alex Speier of WEEI.com that Chavis' bat speed compares favorably to Clint Frazier, the No. 5 overall pick for the Cleveland Indians in 2013. The Red Sox were prepared to choose Frazier had he fallen to their draft spot at No. 5, valuing his bat speed and power potential.
"[Chavis is] very close [in a power grade to Frazier]," added the evaluator to Speier. "He's got power. It's one of those things where he played in a decent size high school park, and raw power, he hits them as far as anybody. That's going to be part of his game, without a doubt. He can use the whole field. He'll hit balls to right, he'll hit balls to center, he'll hit balls to left, and that's what makes him a good player as well. He's got power to all fields."
Chavis brings a max-effort approach to the baseball field, similar to Dustin Pedroia. Non-coincidentally, Chavis looks up to Pedroia as someone to model his game after at the next level.
"How [Pedroia] plays and goes about the game is incredible," Chavis said. "That's what I think some people are missing nowadays in baseball, is that they kind of play lackadaisical and they're kind of relaxed. I like how he plays 100 percent and plays as hard as he can every single play of the game."
Out of the gate, evaluators seem to believe that Chavis is immediately a top-10 prospect in the Red Sox system, ranking as high as third overall with the likes of Blake Swihart. Where Chavis starts his pro career is still up in the air, but the raw talent is very clearly there. Chavis represents a very-polished high school player with the potential to make an impact at multiple positions with good bat-to-ball skills and at least above-average power potential.