Prospect Watch: Red Sox 3B Michael Chavis
Red Sox top prospect Rafeal Devers has been swinging a hot bat in Boston during his first two weeks in the big leagues. But there is another prospect in the Red Sox farm system that is wrecking havoc in the minor leagues.
Michael Chavis, the third ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization, slugged his 27th home run of the season in an Eastern League game to lead the Portland Sea Dogs in an 11-10 win over Richmond. The home run ties him with Oakland Athletics prospect Renato Nunez, who is currently in the Triple-A circuit with the Nashville Sound.
The minor league home run leader takes home the Joe Bauman Home Run Award. Oddly enough, Chavis found out about his standing in the race via twitter.
“The only time I’ll find out about it is when I see a tweet regarding it after the game,” Chavis told MiLB.com. “It’s kinda funny that realization that you’re near the Minor League lead in something. But on the field, it never crosses my mind. I’m paying too much attention to my process, but it’s very cool to see after the game.”
Between Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland, Chavis has two more home runs this season than his first three seasons combined. Chavis was a power hitting shortstop in high school who slugged his way into being a first round selection by the Red Sox in the 2014 Draft. He earned his $1,870,500 contract after batting .580 with 13 homers in 28 games in his senior season and winning the home run derby at the 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic.
The transition to full-time third baseman became instant in instructional league after his first professional season. Chavis has improved with experience and while he lacks in range, he has a strong arm and should be at least an adequate defender.
We heard of this before with Refael Devers. Chavis’ recent success is an indication of the Red Sox farm system’s embarrassment of riches, despite trading previous top prospects like Michael Kopech and Yoan Moncada this past winter. Seeing Devers’ starting hot in Fenway makes him feel like that future is within reach.
“Seeing him in Boston, you feel like it’s closer than it might normally be,” Chavis said. “There are definitely times when Boston feels far away, but when you think about it, it’s not so far. It was the same feeling last year with [Andrew Benintendi]. I played with him [in Greenville in 2015] and then he was up in the Majors just last year. I just know if I take care of my work on the field, all of the rest will take care of itself too.”