In a loaded American League Rookie class, the Red Sox second baseman might just be the best of the bunch.
The 2019 American League rookie class has been one of the most hyped in recent memory. White Sox outfielder, Eloy Jimenez, the consensus #3 prospect in all of baseball, signed a $46M extension before ever taking an MLB at-bat, and broke camp with Chicago. Rays second baseman, Brandon Lowe, has been a productive everyday player since being inserted into the Opening Day lineup in Tampa. Most recently, Blue Jays uber prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. the consensus #1 prospect in baseball, made his highly anticipated MLB debut in Toronto on April 26th.
Despite not having the same hype as the rest of the aforementioned prospects, Michael Chavis has held his own among the elite.
With service time accrual restrictions met, the debut’s of Jo Adell (Los Angeles), Bo Bichette (Toronto), Yordan Alvarez (Houston), Casey Mize (Detroit), and Yusniel Diaz (Baltimore) are soon to follow. As the 2019 season is not even at the quarter way mark, the competition for AL Rookie of the Year will be among the most fascinating of the awards races to watch.
In addition to providing a much needed spark to the Red Sox offense, Chavis has inserted himself squarely into the middle of the AL Rookie of the Year race after playing in just 13 games. Here’s a look at how Michael Chavis stacks up against other award contenders.
Michael Chavis, 2B, Boston: 16G / 55AB / .309BA / 6HR / 13RBI / 1.106OPS / 90.6 AVG Exit Velocity
Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago: 21G / 79AB / .241BA / 3HR / 8RBI / .674OPS / 88.6 AVG Exit Velocity
Brandon Lowe, 2B, Tampa Bay: 31G / 114AB / .307BA / 7HR / 20RBI / .935OPS / 91.6 AVG Exit Velocity
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B, Toronto: 9G / 33AB / .152BA / 0HR / 1RBI / .425OPS / 88.6 AVG Exit Velocity
While admittedly, there’s not too much that can be taken from these slash lines at this early point of the season, it is noteworthy that Chavis has had some immediate success against MLB pitching when compared to the top two rated offensive prospects in the American League (Guerrero / Jimenez). Guerrero is going to hit, and with only a week’s worth of MLB experience, he’s just one great series away from completely changing that line. Jimenez has been on the IL and finds himself in a similar situation. Brandon Lowe has been a model of consistency at the plate all season, and it’s not a stretch to say that he’s been the Rays best hitter as they’ve sat atop the AL East standings all season. Even with just 13 games of MLB experience, Michael Chavis has inserted himself into the AL Rookie of the year discussion.
Is Chavis here to stay?
The phenom was brought up out of necessity, but he’s done everything a rookie can do to keep his job with the big league club. In addition to the tantalizing power, Chavis provides some positional flexibility, with the ability to play both infield corners, in addition to second base. However, with Brock Holt, Dustin Pedroia, and Eduardo Nunez all scheduled to return from the IL, it’s Chavis’s remaining minor league options and his ability to be sent down without having to go through the waiver process that are working against his more permanent role with the club.
Either way, he’s shown the team, fans, and media that he’s going to be a key contributor within the future of the organization. If he happens to stick around in 2019, he may take home the first Rookie of the Year award since Dustin Pedoria in 2007, coincidentally, the player he’s replacing in the lineup.