The Red Sox came into this season with a farm system on the weaker side, and while there are at least a handful of prospects that have some potential to jump into the national conversation at some point this year, they really only have two legitimate major prospects. Jay Groome is probably the most well-regarded, and he’ll start the year on the disabled list. The other is Michael Chavis, and while he was also slated to start on the DL he just got worse news than that. On Friday, we learned that Boston’s top position player prospect and 2017 breakout was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone. (Don’t ask me to pronounce this.)
Michael Chavis has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone. Best Red Sox prospect.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) April 6, 2018
This is a major blow for both the Red Sox and Chavis himself. As mentioned above, the former first-round pick had a major breakout last season and elevated himself into a legitimate top-100 pick because of an improved swing that let him show off his natural power. Now, after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug — one that multiple MLB players have been suspended for, most recently (as far as I can tell) Chris Colabello — people will fairly or unfairly wonder if the breakout was for real. This was setting up to be a big season for Chavis’ career as he looked to prove his 2017 was no fluke and was trying to get on the doorstep of the major leagues. Now, he loses more than half a season’s worth of development and has a black cloud over his name for the foreseeable future.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, lose their one position player prospect with potential star power (though I think that may slightly overstate Chavis’ ultimate potential) and someone that could have helped the big-league squad in a best-case scenario later this year or at least have been a major trade chip at the deadline. For what it’s worth, the team did release a statement on the matter.
From the team: While we are disappointed by the news of this violation, we will look to provide the appropriate support to Michael. Going forward, the club will not comment further on the matter.— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) April 6, 2018
It goes without saying that this is the last thing a team in Boston’s position as far as prospect depth goes needs. Not the best way to spend an off-day.
UPDATE: Chavis has also released a statement.