Michael Chavis spares plenty of thoughts for the crop of would-be professional baseball players who are ready for the next harvest.
The Boston Red Sox infielder sympathized with potential picks in the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday during his appearance on Sirius XM MLB Network Radio. MLB and the MLB Players Association reportedly agreed to cut this year’s amateur draft from 40 rounds to just five, and Chavis believes the reduction and widespread cancellation of spring baseball seasons will force high-school seniors to make tough choices about their futures.
“I was looking at it just from my perspective, I was a first-rounder right out of high school,” Chavis said. “But if I was going into the draft this season, I honestly don’t think I would have been a first rounder. I made a lot of strides my senior year in regards to draft stock, and those guys didn’t get a chance to play their senior year. A lot of guys didn’t get a chance to play their junior and senior year of college.
“So I think going into the draft, it’s going to be tough for (scouts) to look at some high-school players and say ‘yeah, we’ll take him in the first round, but we haven’t seen him play in a year.’ I honestly think if I was going to be drafted this year, I probably would have ended up going to Clemson (University).
“… I do know it’s going to affect some guys’ careers, and that’s something I’m kinda worried about. … If I was in this situation, and I’m being drafted based off my junior-year performance, when I was 16 years old, how are you going to judge if a dude is ready for pro ball at 16 years old … it’s difficult man.”
That’s why Chavis believes MLB should waive rules prohibiting teams from drafting players early in their college careers.
“I don’t know the logistics of how that would happen … but just looking from my personal experience, I feel like that would be appropriate. If you couldn’t draft a guy in the first round out of high school because you didn’t see him play his senior year … if he was going to be ready (as a senior), he’s still going to be ready his freshman year of college.
“I feel like those guys should be given an opportunity, they shouldn’t have to waste three years of eligibility or three years of experience in pro ball (because they’re) caught in this situation that’s not their fault.”
Michael Chavis knows how important one season can be when you're trying to get drafted, and he feels for those not getting that season this spring. @MichaelChavis11 | @RedSox | #RedSox pic.twitter.com/wtLxEF7qTO
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) April 7, 2020
Chavis went through the draft process just six years ago, so the memories still are fresh in his mind. Perhaps that’s why he speaks as an authority on the difficult situations into which the COVID-19 pandemic has cast a host of MLB hopefuls.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images