Is Red Sox Prospect Michael Chavis Answer To Club’s Second Base Issues?


Apr 19, 2019

The Boston Red Sox could use a shot in the arm right about now, not to mention someone who could play second base.

It sounds as if the Sox might have avoided the worst-case scenario with Dustin Pedroia, but given the former MVP’s ongoing knee issues, it’s hard to bank on him being a consistent piece in the Boston lineup even upon his return from the injured list. Meanwhile, Brock Holt suffered a setback in his return from an eye injury, and Eduardo Nunez has more strikeouts than hits this season with a paltry .159 batting average and anemic -2 OPS+.

Heck, the Red Sox used Christian Vazquez at second base earlier this week.

The good news is help could soon be on the way in the form of a current rarity: a top Red Sox prospect. While Boston drafted Michael Chavis as a third baseman, the 23-year-old has played some second base at Triple-A Pawtucket, a development that could fast-track him to the big leagues, especially if things don’t improve in Boston. However, Chavis has just five games of second-base experience, and Boston manager Alex Cora cautioned against expecting to see him at the big leagues anytime soon.

“Yeah, he’s a work in progress,” Cora admitted Thursday on WEEI. “Right now, actually, we have communication with (Pawtucket manager Billy McMillion and coach Bruce Crabbe) about our guys down there, and you start asking about how he’s doing at second. He hasn’t played that much, and there’s a few plays that he needs to get better. We’re comfortable with him making the routine plays, but as you know, there’s other plays that come into play at the minor leagues and big league level. He’s a work in progress, and he’s getting close to what we want to. You never know, injuries and all that come into play and he could be here to contribute, but as of now, he needs a little more work at second base.”

Despite being green at the position, Chavis already is showing the pop of a big leaguer at the plate. He has hit four home runs in just 12 games this season with an impressive .954 OPS to boot.

And he did this earlier in the week.

That kind of power would be a welcomed addition, especially if the struggles at second continue for the Red Sox. Boston second basemen rank last in just about every offensive category this season, including batting average (.125), on-base percentage (.176), slugging percentage (.138) and wRC+ (-21!).

Tzu-Wei Lin, who has major-league experience and has played far more second base than Chavis, appears to be the more likely short-term option if Boston does go to the farm. But if Chavis continues to develop at second base, and if the big club continues to struggle, it sure would make sense to give the prospect a shot.

Thumbnail photo via Gregory J. Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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