C.J. Chatham just might have what it takes to thrive in a Major League Baseball batter’s box.
MLB.com’s Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum named the Boston Red Sox prospect as the “best pure hitter” in the team’s farm system Wednesday.
Chatham has forged a reputation as a dependable contact hitter since joining Boston’s organization in 2016, and that particular tool might help him reach the majors in 2020.
“The highest pick in Florida Atlantic history (second round, 2016), Chatham is a career .298 hitter in four seasons in pro ball,” the trio explained in a piece published on MLB.com. “He employs a contact-oriented right-handed swing and laces line drives to all fields, though he projects more as a utilityman than a regular because he doesn’t provide a lot in the way of extra-base hits or walks.”
Former Red Sox manager Alex Cora in 2019 compared Chatham to J.J. Hardy, who earned two All-Star selections, three Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger during his 13-year MLB career.
Boston optioned Chatham, 25, to Triple-A Pawtucket last month prior to spring training’s halt due to the coronavirus pandemic. If he continues to progress and perhaps some power, he might become a valuable contributor to the Red Sox and one day fill the mold Hardy cast.