Boston Red Sox fans have long been waiting for this news, Michael Chavis is in the big leagues. Chavis ranked at the top of my Red Sox list heading into the year, and my number 115 prospect throughout baseball. The room on the roster in Boston was made as the Red Sox placed Eduardo Nunez on the 10-day IL and DFA’d Erasmo Ramirez. Ramirez’ spot is actually taken by Marcus Walden who was called up when Dustin Pedroia was placed on the IL a day ago, Tzu-Wei Lin was also called up with Chavis.
Chavis doesn’t lack for power, although he did serve an 80-game suspension a season ago for performance enhancing drugs after hitting 31 home runs in 126 games the season before. He is off to a hot start this season, hitting four home runs in 12 games, but hitting just below his career average of .257. The hit tool might be the tool scouts vary most on, some think he will end up about average while others feel he will never be better than well below-average. The hit tool, PEDs or not, grades out between above average and plus, so there are few question on that side.
The other big question with Chavis is his defense, as scouts have soured on him at third base in recent years after he entered pro ball as a high school shortstop, most feel his future is at first base given Rafael Devers has him blocked at the big league level. He has seen time at second base, in fact five of his 12 games so far this year have come at that position, and he will likely make his debut at that spot given it was Pedroia and Nunez who landed on the DL. Baseball has seen many natural third basemen get run at second recently and, while he will likely never be better than below average there, Chavis could be the answer for the Red Sox at that position this season.
My overall take on Chavis is that he doesn’t really have a long term spot with the Red Sox unless the hit tool moves closer to average as he would make for a solid first baseman, or if the experiment at second allows him to stick there which would make him a high quality bat at the position. There was a time he was tabbed as a potential future All-Star, which I don’t think is still in the cards for Chavis, but a 50 grade player who sees time at third, second, first, and left while bringing enough power to the lineup to make up for the below average defense is probably where he ends up fitting in.