The highly touted Red Sox prospect has a chance to make his presence felt.
It’s been a whirlwind weekend for Michael Chavis, as outlined by the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato. While he didn’t start in his first game, his presence was a welcomed sight when he lined a key double off of dominant closer, Jose Alvarado, on Saturday.
It was a spark, which is exactly what the dormant Red Sox offense has lacked through the early parts of the season. While you can’t attribute a series sweep solely to the young prospect, it’s important how his teammates have highlighted the energy he brings.
Despite becoming a bright spot within the clubhouse, it’s clear that this likely isn’t a long-term solution. Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt, and Eduardo Nunez all had to make simultaneous stints on the Injured List in order to force the hand of Dave Dombrowski. Even still, the majority of the plate appearances, and starts, have gone to Tzu-Wei Lin that possesses the wanted Major League experience.
It’s not the plan, but all prospects get a small opportunity to showcase their skills. Remember Rafael Devers start? It took the release of Pablo Sandoval and Deven Marrero, as well as struggles by Marco Hernandez, Josh Rutledge and Lin before the Red Sox boosted their top prospect straight from Double A. At that point, it wasn’t certain whether that was a long-term solution, but Devers proved that he belonged and never relinquished the starting job.
Chavis has a similar opportunity with the ETA for both Pedroia and Holt still unknown. Meanwhile, comparing the small sample sizes of both Lin and Chavis show the drastic improvement that the young prospect has at the plate.
Tzu-Wei Lin (13 AB’s)
0% Barrel Swings
87.1 Average Exit Velocity
22.2% Hard Hit Balls
Michael Chavis (14 AB’s)
20% Barrel Swings
96.0 Average Exit Velocity
55% Hard Hit BallsStats via Baseball Savant
As previously mentioned, these are incredibly small sample sizes, and drawing a conclusion would be irrational; however there are takeaways from these numbers. There’s little doubt that Chavis hits the ball with significant authority and can produce at the plate.
He’ll likely draw the start tonight against the left-hander Matthew Boyd, which will be a large opportunity to prove that he belongs with the current Red Sox club.