Could the Red Sox have a future shortstop in their ranks?
The Red Sox drafted C.J. Chatham out of Florida Atlantic University with their second-round pick in 2016. He is currently rated as the Sox 10th overall prospect within their Minor League organization.
Chatham spent three seasons at Florida Atlantic, batting .300 in 53 games as a freshman, following that up with .335 in 60 games as a sophomore and .357 in 58 games as a junior. His junior campaign displayed his full offensive output which included eight homers, four triples, 17 doubles, and 50 RBI’s. The strong performance netted the shortstop with offseason honors such as Conference USA Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.
The Red Sox prospect currently resides in High A Salem and has provided solid offensive numbers throughout the beginning of the season. He’s hitting .327 this season with two homeruns and 15 RBI’s. The current pace will likely allow for Chatham to continue on to double digit homeruns barring a call up to AA Portland.
Xander Bogaerts and Chatham possess similar agility and athleticism, allowing for positional flexibility. The Florida Atlantic product is a taller middle infielder at 6′ 4″, but has proven that he may play the position regardless of taller stature. He will draw comparisons to Troy Tulowitzki in regards to physical appearance, but will lack the offensive prowess to reflect that common comparison.
Sox Prospects’ scouting report on Chatham includes the following:
Ceiling of a second-division, everyday player. Won’t stand out in any particular category, but won’t hurt a team either. Type of player where the sum of the parts make the player. Not flashy, but is a consistent, professional performer. Even though he is bigger than the average shortstop, should be able to stick at the position long-term. Potential to play at least average defense at short with a plus arm and hit in the .260-.280 range with double-digit home runs. – Sox Prospects
Of course, Xander is entrenched at shortstop at this point, but with his contract due to expire in 2020, the Red Sox will certainly look to see if the shortstop from Florida will eventually be able to play the position. The Sox will have a few tough decisions to make in regards to contracts, but Chatham may allow for moves to be made.
Keep an eye on this talented Red Sox prospect.