The Red Sox have plenty of young talent, depending on how you define “young.” Mookie Betts is 26, as is Eduardo Rodriguez, and Andrew Benintendi is 24. Rafael Devers celebrated his 22nd birthday four days before he would help Boston claim another World Series championship last October. They’ve struck that balance of youthful talent and veteran wisdom that many championship teams find.
It seems they may have found themselves another young gem. Michael Chavis has been on a tear since getting called up to the majors early this year, and it all came together for the 23-year-old as he smacked a game-winning single up the middle to complete a Red Sox victory against the Rockies on Wednesday night, 6-5. Chavis has been a monstrous bat in the lineup and is hardly a newcomer to most Red Sox fans, but the walkoff single was the cherry on the sundae for the young prospect.
Chavis is the best hitter the Red Sox have brought up through their system in quite some time. He has seven home runs in 22 games played, and most of them have been absolute moonshots. The franchise had high hopes for Chavis, but he was the 26th pick in the 2014 draft; most MLB prospects who come in and make this kind of immediate impact went in the top five of their respective drafts. It comes at a crucial time for the Red Sox, who have been in desperate search of offense from the beginning of the season after their starting pitching rotation collectively collapsed in the weeks following Opening Day.
Chavis is technically a shortstop, but has bopped all around the infield while up in the majors. Right now, where he ends up depends on several other developments. In the short term, Devers is being given every chance to win the third base spot, while Chavis is comfortably slotted at second with both Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt are working their way back from injury. Devers isn’t a sure thing, though, and while Pedroia is a beloved figure within the franchise, his time is running shorter than many assumed.
Chavis has provided a needed boost to a Red Sox team that stumbled badly coming out of the gate, and has more than done his part in working their way back from the deficit they put themselves in. It’s only 22 games in, but it’s hard not to be optimistic about a kid coming in and playing this well with some high expectations. Chavis still has a lot of developing to do, but the early returns indicate the Red Sox might’ve found another quality farm prospect.