Fantasy Baseball: Red Sox call up Michael Chavis; Is he worth the add?
The struggling Red Sox call up Michael Chavis to help fill an injury gap at second base, but Chris Towers says Chavis can make an impact at some position if his big bat delivers.
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Desperate times call for desperate measures, and with the 6-13 Red Sox missing their top-three options at second base, times are indeed desperate in Boston. In recent days, Dustin Pedroia (knee) and Eduardo Nunez (back) joined Brock Holt (eye) on the Injured List, and the Red Sox called up infielders Tzu-Wei Lin and Michael Chavis to fill those spots Friday.
Lin is the kind of organizational lifer who doesn't have much Fantasy appeal even if he ends up with a steady role, so we're hoping it's Chavis who gets a chance to play regularly. But, is he worth Fantasy players making an add?
Chavis' prospect stock has taken a bit of a hit since last season, when he served an 80-game suspension for a positive test for a banned substance. However, he kept right on hitting, clubbing nine homers in 46 games across three levels, with a .298/.381/.538 line in 194 plate appearances. In 120 games between Double-A and Triple-A, Chavis has hit .266 with 26 homers and 30 doubles, with a little more than a strikeout per game.
The bat should play, and he's off to another great start in Triple-A, with four homers in 12 games. Strikeouts might be an issue, but if Chavis gets a chance to play, he should develop into a Fantasy-relevant bat. The question with his callup is how much he'll play, exactly.
The good news is, Chavis has been playing second base lately, as the Red Sox have looked to increase his versatility. The bad news? He was considered a pretty limited defender at third base. Originally drafted as a shortstop, Chavis draws OK reviews for his athleticism but reportedly struggled making throws from second. It's possible he can hold up at second, but there's no guarantee.
If Chavis does prove he can handle second, expect him to get the majority of the starts with Pedroia and Nunez out. And, if he hits like he is capable of — a "right-handed Travis Shaw" isn't a bad comp, somewhat ironically — I would imagine the Red Sox will find a spot for him. Nunez wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire before the injury, and Pedroia (sadly) may just be finished.
And if second base doesn't work, there's always third or first. Things have gone poorly enough for the Red Sox so far this season that there could be playing time for Chavis at third (with a struggling Rafael Devers either sent back to the minors or moved to first) or first, with Mitch Moreland possibly moving to DH and J.D. Martinez spending more time in the outfield (with the ice-cold Jackie Bradley moving to the bench). There are opportunities here, is what I'm saying.
It's going to come down to the bat for Chavis, and it always has. If he hits, expect the Red Sox to find a way for him to stick around. No matter where he plays, Chavis is unlikely to provide much value with his glove, so the bat will be what carries him. He's not a superstar in the making, but Chavis is worth a look in all AL-only leagues, as well as deeper mixed leagues.
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