It’s not quite as notable as The Summer of George, but the 2017 season has clearly been The Summer of Michael Chavis, and it’s nice to see that it is extending into the fall. Chavis was rewarded for his breakout season by claiming a spot in the Arizona Fall League, a move that gave the Red Sox infield prospect an opportunity to play against and with some of the best prospects in all of baseball. Between the high level of competition and how late into the year the Fall League extends, it’s hard to take the performances too seriously, and if Chavis was to struggle it wouldn’t have been something to get too worried about. Fortunately, that hasn’t been the case. He’s more than held his own against this competition, and he’s been good enough that he’ll participate in the league’s All-Star Game.
The truth is, while Chavis hasn’t been bad in the AFL by any stretch of the imagination, he hasn’t really been dominant or anything either. He likely used some of that reputation he’s built up over the course of his incredible 2017 season to vault him to the All-Star roster. Still, he has been able to hit .269/.316/.423 with one home run and five doubles in 12 games. The Red Sox haven’t gotten great performances from their other young players in Arizona, so Chavis was really their only shot at some representation.
Regardless of how he closes out his AFL run in 2017, he is going to be arguably the most exciting prospect at the Red Sox complex next season. Jason Groome will still be the top prospect, of course, but Chavis is a position player who fills a more important need on the roster and is closer to the majors. In fact, I would not be surprised if people will call for him to make the majors out of camp in 2018. I would be completely and utterly shocked if that did happen, but he could end up at the highest level at some point in the second half next season. Expect him to continue working at first base and increasing his versatility. This past year has been all about Chavis and it got him back on the map after struggling following his first-round selection. While 2017 was the breakout, 2018 could be the year he proves it’s all for real. He certainly has the talent to do so, and he didn’t falter against the strong competition down in Arizona.