Michael Chavis has been one of the few bright spots for the Boston Red Sox this season.
But as usually is the case with young hitters during their first shot in the bigs, things tend to come back to Earth after a bit of time.
After a scorching start in which he was batting .296 through his first 26 games with nine home runs, Chavis has cooled off mightily. The second baseman is 7-for-42 over his last 11 games with just one extra base hit. His season averaging now is down to .257. He has struck out in 12 consecutive games.
Therein lies the problem, says manager Alex Cora.
As to be expected, teams have generated more of a scouting report on the slugger, and are incorporating it more appropriately, giving Chavis a steady diet of high fastballs — leading to more strikeouts, and less walks.
“There’s certain teams that have special fastballs,” Cora said, via Mass Live’s Christopher Smith. “And we faced the last three weekends two of those teams (Yankees, Astros). And you can see where they are going.
“The Astros and the Yankees, they’ve got special fastballs,” Cora said. “Probably some of the teams are going to try to do that. Not everybody throws 97 (mph) with hop. It’s just one of those that they’re going to that spot. Sometimes you want to get on top of that pitch and you don’t. Sometimes it’s better off just being disciplined up in the zone. And right now he’s not. You see the walks lately. He hasn’t walked I think in a while if I’m not mistaken.”
In fact, Chavis has struck out 21 times compared to just four walks in this recent stretch.
“Walks tell you a lot about where the hitter is,” Cora said, . “We talk about Raffy (Rafael Devers) early in the season. He was walking and controlling the strike zone. Right now, he (Chavis) is just not controlling the strike zone.”
It’s important to remember that Chavis was .257 hitter through six seasons in the minors, and while he always has been a good power threat, he never has really displayed a great K/BB ratio. So while we know the hitter Chavis is capable of being, it seems he has regressed a bit to his actual average.