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2017 Red Sox top prospect voting: Michael Chavis is still looking for his breakout

Michael Chavis has some talent, but he hasn’t put it together yet

Kelly O’Connor;

This was as close as any of our votes could possibly get, and it was tied all the way up until 30 minutes before the poll closed. I know that because I worried about what the hell I’d do if the vote finished in a tie. Either way, it didn’t happen and Michael Chavis comes away as our number nine prospect taking 22 percent of the vote.

Although Chavis isn’t the same kind of bust as someone like Trey Ball, he was still a first round pick. The number 26 overall selection in the 2014 draft, he was taken out of high school in Georgia. The righty ended up playing in 39 games the same year he was drafted, all in the Gulf Coast League. He put up impressive numbers in that time, hitting .269/.347/.425. It was a good enough performance to earn a promotion to full-season ball in his first full pro season as a 19-year-old. This didn’t go as well, with the third baseman hitting .223/.277/.405 in 2015.

After that disappointing performance, it was easy and understandable to be down on Chavis even considering his young age. First round picks shouldn’t have that much trouble getting on base over a full season in A-ball. As such, he repeated the level. At first, it looked like he was back on track. He hit .356/.415/.576 in April before succumbing to a thumb injury. He’d return in June, but was never the same. He finished his time in Greenville with a .711 OPS and a .637 OPS after April. He still got himself a seven-day promotion to Salem and he was disappointing there as well.

The scouting reports show some real potential for the former first round pick, but some real red flags as well. First, the good news. Chavis has huge power potential. By all accounts, he puts on a show in batting practice and can send it a long way when he connects. Unfortunately, that hasn’t quite translated to game action, as he hit just eight homers last year and 16 the year before. This is because his hit tool hasn’t improved at all. He has a long swing that fails to make contact. He’s never posted a strikeout rate below 23 percent as a pro. On the defensive side of things, the high school shortstop has a cannon for an arm that can stick at third base, but he needs to work on his footwork.

The year ahead is a big one for Chavis, who is entering his age-21 season. He’ll likely start the year in Salem, and with another bad year he’ll be firmly entrenched as a first-round bust. He hasn’t reached that point yet, though. His first year in Greenville can forgiven due to age, and an injury screwed up a good thing last year. This year, there are no excuses.

  1. Andrew Benintendi
  2. Rafael Devers
  3. Jason Groome
  4. Sam Travis
  5. Bobby Dalbec
  6. Brian Johnson
  7. Marco Hernandez
  8. Roniel Raudes
  9. Michael Chavis

Now, we are ready to close out the top-10. As always, vote below.