Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis made his big league debut on April 20th against the Tampa Bay Rays and came to the plate in a critical spot. And when the team needed him, he delivered with a rope of a double to center field, twisting the defensively elite Kevin Kiermaier in circles.
Since then, there’s been no looking back for the rookie infielder who just exudes confidence and has young, fresh energy about the game.
The Red Sox needed a boost in any way that they could get it. Aside from their bullpen that was actually pitching well, surprisingly enough, nothing was going their way early. The starting pitching was down-right poor for the most part and the offense was meek.
Chavis bursting onto the scene and putting up strong offensive numbers has been exactly what this team needed if they were going to get themselves back into the AL East race, as our very own Mike Petraglia writes in his latest column on CLNSMedia.com.
In his 26 games and 98 at-bats, the rookie’s turned heads and has given Red Sox fans the hope they needed regarding the future of the second base position; if he remains there.
Missing the front half of April caused him to get a late start compared to his rookie counterparts such as the New York Mets Pete Alonso, but that hasn’t stopped him from chasing the power hitters tail in the home run count.
The slugging first baseman has 46 games now under his belt and has shown a great display of power thus far putting 15 balls over the wall. But in 20 fewer games, Chavis is just six home runs behind him with nine. That number is also tied for the second most home runs on the team with J.D. Martinez who, in the power game, is a pretty good name to be sitting beside.
Chavis’ early display of power has been something to really behold as it seems like every time he connects, the ball is traveling well over 400 feet. If you’ve taken away one thing about the rookie’s longball, it’s that they aren’t cheap.
The rate at which he’s been hitting them too has been exceptional. As Christopher Smith of MassLive points out, Chavis is currently hitting a home run every 10.56 at bats.
Michael Chavis averaging a home run every 10.56 at-bats
— Christopher Smith (@SmittyOnMLB) May 20, 2019
Along with his power display, he’s been doing almost everything right at the plate.
One thing that you need to look out for regarding batters who hit for power is batting average. While producing runs with the long ball is great, just getting on base in key spots is almost equally as important when you’re not trotting the bases. And that’s exactly what he’s done.
His batting average sits just below the .300 mark at .296 along with an OBP of .389. What this tells me is that he isn’t always swinging for the fences. Instead, he’s reaching base in any way that he can and he’s connecting as well. Many power-bats get caught up in trying to tack on another bomb and that causes them to swing and miss a lot, or fly out. Chavis has so far proven that he can reign it back a little bit and just get himself out there for the next batter to drive in.
The rest of his numbers in this infant stage of his career are impressive from top to bottom. He has 24 RBIs, a .592 SLG and an .981 OPS.
The team needed an extra bat in the lineup that was going to produce if they wanted to see success this season. While you’ve returned with essentially an identical lineup, you can’t necessarily expect the same production from everyone. The inevitability of a handful of players slowing down and producing slightly less is exactly what we’re seeing. And adding in this type of hitter in the bottom half of the order has been that exact boost that Alex Cora and the ballclub was looking for.
So far, Chavis’ numbers have been exceptional in his rookie campaign. Will they improve even more as time goes on? You’d hope so. But for now, sit back and enjoy what the 23-year-old is doing because, without him, the 2019 Red Sox offense wouldn’t be the same, at least to this point.
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