BOSTON — Michael Chavis could get used to this.
Chavis, who was the Red Sox’s top pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft, stopped by Fenway Park on Tuesday to check out what someday could become his stomping grounds. The 19-year-old infielder participated in batting practice during his visit — a customary procedure for many top picks — and loved everything about it.
“It’s pretty fun hitting at Fenway,” Chavis said smiling. “Hitting it over the Green Monster is pretty fun. It’s pretty exciting.”
Chavis visited Fenway after being drafted in the first round (26th overall) back in June, but it was a quick pit stop for the Sprayberry High School (Marietta, Ga.) graduate en route to the Red Sox’s Gulf Coast League affiliate in Fort Myers, Fla.
Tuesday marked his first opportunity to fully immerse himself in the big league atmosphere.
“When I walked in, the very first person that said, ‘Hey,’ to me was Dustin Pedroia, which was pretty exciting,” Chavis said. “I was sitting right between David Ross, Mike Napoli and Dustin Pedroia, and I was just like, ‘This is awesome.’ It was great talking to those guys.”
“When I first got in there, I was at this don’t speak unless spoken to kind of aspect,” Chavis said. “But as I started talking to them, I realized it seemed as though they were almost interested in me as much as I was interested in them.”
Chavis hit .269 with one home run, 16 RBIs, five stolen bases and a .772 OPS in 39 Rookie Level games during his first season of professional baseball. He capped his campaign by hitting .372 (29-for-78) with a 1.020 OPS in August — overcoming a shaky start — en route to a Gulf Coast League championship.
Chavis’ personality is one that could grow on Red Sox fans as he makes his way through the system. He’s extremely outgoing (the kid wore a bowtie on draft night) and plays with a level of passion that’s very Pedroia-esque. Chavis was mindful not to step on any toes upon entering the Red Sox’s clubhouse Tuesday, but his silence soon was replaced by his eagerness to learn from guys whom he might someday call teammates.
“With it being my first year and winning a ring, I couldn’t be more thrilled about how the season went, especially beating the (GCL) Yankees in the championship,” Chavis said. “It was awesome. Getting accustomed to pro ball, asking for advice, it was a tough transition, but I’m real happy with the results and how it happened.”
Chavis, known for his immense raw power, was forced to make some adjustments during his first season but did so successfully. He’s now focused on becoming a better all-around player, whether it be at shortstop, third base or second base.
It’ll likely be a few years before Chavis takes aim at the Monster seats during an MLB game, but you can bet he’s waiting with baited breath for the opportunity.
“My first couple of rounds I was trying to take my pregame approach, just stay through the ball, hit some line drives,” Chavis said of Tuesday’s BP session. “But then toward the end, I tried to air it out a little bit, just see how well it was carrying. It was exciting.”
Chavis’ ability to let it fly has served him well to this point. A taste of Fenway only stoked the fire inside him.
Photo via Twitter/@SmittyOnMLB
Powered by WordPress.com VIP