Red Sox top pick Michael Chavis: ‘This is a lifelong dream of mine’
|06.05.14 at 11:29 pm ET|
Michael Chavis was nervous when he woke up on Thursday, alert with the energy of the imminent fulfillment of a dream.
“I was expecting to go somewhere between pick 16 and beyond that. Around 32 would be my ending point,” Chavis, a power-hitting high school shortstop who may see time at second and third base as a professional, said after seeing his name called by the Red Sox with the team’s top pick (No. 26 overall) in the 2014 draft. “Watching it go by, whether it was the first pick or anything where I didn’t even expect myself to go, I was nervous from when I woke up this morning. This is a lifelong dream of mine, and I couldn’t believe I was going to be here for this.”
That it was ultimately the Red Sox who selected him was not a shock, Chavis said. He attended two of the team’s workouts in Georgia, and moments before the pick was announced, his agent called to let him know that the dream was about to be announced as a reality.
“Up until that call [from the agent], I had no idea and I was really hoping it would happen and I’m really thrilled that it came out that way,” said Chavis, who played at Sprayberry High School in Georgia.
While one evaluator suggested that he seems ideally suited for third base, The 18-year-old said that he wouldn’t be surprised to play either second or third. Of course, that’s not his calling card.
Chavis’ standout tool is near-top-of-the-scale power. One evaluator suggested that while he may not quite match the 80 power grade that was put on 2013 No. 5 overall pick Clint Frazier (who played nearby to Chavis), he was pretty close to such a mark, with the ability to send baseballs into orbit.
While Chavis doesn’t physically resemble the prototypical power hitter (he’s listed at 5-foot-10 and described himself as either 5-foot-11 or 6-feet), that’s never stopped him from a power hitter’s approach.
“Growing up, I always have hit home runs. I didn’t realize that I was quote-unquote undersized,” he said. “Being 5-11, 6-foot, that’s always been a major part of my game. Hopefully it will just continue as a part in professional baseball.”
Indeed, Chavis said that he was “fairly comfortable” saying that he would pass on his scholarship offer at Clemson to turn pro. He talked about his excitement to be in an organization with someone like Dustin Pedroia, whose max effort approach Chavis hopes to emulate.
“I love watching Pedroia play. He’s a great player, how he plays and goes about the game is incredible,” said Chavis. “That’s what I think some people are missing nowadays in baseball is that they kind of play lackadaisical and they’re kind of relaxed. I like how he plays 100 percent and plays as hard as he can every single play of the game.”
Now, Chavis can imagine a day when he plays with Pedroia — an idea that may come a bit more into view when he visits Fenway Park to sign and start his pro career.
“I’ve actually never been to Fenway, and I couldn’t be more excited about going, just to walk on the field. I can’t wait. It’s going to be a great experience,” said Chavis. “I’m absolutely thrilled. I couldn’t be more excited. With them winning the World Series last year, obviously they have a great program and a great organization and farm system. I can’t wait to become a part of it.”
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