MICHAEL CHAVIS, SECOND BASEMAN
|Born: August 11, 1995
Drafted: 1st Round, 26th Overall, 2014 (Red Sox)
How Acquired: Trade (with Red Sox)
High School: Sprayberry HS (Marietta, GA)
WTM’s PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|The Red Sox drafted Chavis in the first round out of prep school as a bat-first player. He has good power, but has tended to sell out too much and put too much emphasis on hunting fastballs, leading to poor walk and K rates. He seemingly broke out in the minors in 2017 and vaulted into Baseball America’s top 100 prospects. He also started off well when he reached the majors, but the weak plate discipline caught up with him. Defensively, Chavis has played mainly third in the minors, and first and second in the majors. He’s probably around average at the latter two positions, going by UZR and Statcast. The latter has his speed as above average. The Pirates acquired him for Austin Davis at the 2021 trade deadline.
Chavis hit well in his GCL debut, although he did strike out a lot. The Red Sox played him at short and third. BA rated him the 11th best prospect in the Sox’ system.
Chavis moved up to full season ball and hit for good power, but it came with a lot of swing-and-miss and not much on-base ability. He played third almost exclusively, but also did a lot of DHing. BA ranked him tenth in the system after the season.
Boston sent Chavis back to low A and he got off to a hot start, but missed two months with a sprained thumb ligament. He didn’t hit well when he came back. He played exclusively at third. BA ranked him 11th in the Boston system.
Chavis improved his approach and had a big season. He hit 31 home runs between two levels and cut down on the strikeouts. He remained an impatient hitter overall, resulting in a weak OBP in AA. BA ranked him second in the Boston system and 85th in MLB.
Chavis’ season hit a lengthy delay when he was suspended for 80 games due to a positive PED test. When he played, he showed the stronger approach at the plate that he’d shown in high A in 2017. He split his time between first and third. BA again rated him second in the Boston system. The Sox added him to the 40-man roster after the season.
The Red Sox called Chavis up in mid-April and he spent most of the season with them. He got hurt in August and, after a rehab attempt in AAA, went out for the season. Chavis got off to a fast start, posting a 1.061 OPS in April. He tailed off after that, hitting just respectably. The swing and miss obviously remained a problem. With Dustin Pedroia hurt, he split his time evenly between third and second.
Chavis was Boston’s regular at first for much of the pandemic season and he struggled at the plate. The power was still there but he didn’t make enough contact.
Chavis spent the bulk of the season’s first half in AAA. The Sox called him up in late June and he struggled in the majors. The walk and K numbers are obviously nightmarish.
The Pirates initially assigned Chavis to Indianapolis. He probably has more upside than Phillip Evans, in fact probably more than most hitters on the 40-man roster. He’s clearly struggling with his approach, though, and the team will want to see some progress. He still has two options after 2021.
|2021: Major league minimum
|Signing Bonus: $1,870,500
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut: 4/20/2019
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2026
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: November 20, 2018
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2021)
MLB Service Time: 1.164
|June 5, 2014: Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 1st round, 26th overall pick; signed on June 20.
November 20, 2018: Contract purchased by the Boston Red Sox.
July 30, 2021: Traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Austin Davis.