Red Sox's Chavis comes up big in AFL action

Red Sox's Chavis comes up big in AFL action

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Baseball is a game of adjustments -- a lesson Michael Chavis is constantly learning and a skill he is slowly mastering.

After struggling during his first two years of pro ball, Chavis made some mental adjustments that led to a breakout campaign in 2017.

The Red Sox's No. 2 prospect (No. 92 overall) recently experienced another tough stretch, this time in the Arizona Fall League, and once again made the necessary tweaks to break out of his slump.

"I struggled a bit recently, but I've made some adjustments," Chavis said after leading Peoria to a 4-2 win over Scottsdale on Thursday night. "I've done some extra time in the cage, tried to put the work in so I could get the results, and it's good to see it pay off tonight for sure."

Gameday

After going 8-for-32 (.250) over his past nine games, Chavis went 3-for-4 with a pair of extra-base hits, two RBIs and two runs scored.

The 22-year-old doubled in his first at-bat, tripled in a run in the fourth and drove in the go-ahead run with a base hit in the ninth.

"I tried to keep it simple," Chavis said of his approach in a tie game with a runner on third and one out. "I hadn't faced [Giants prospect Tyler Cyr] before. I just tried to get a good pitch to hit and get it through the infield, or at least pop it to the outfield so I could drive him in either with a sacrifice fly or a hit and I got the cutter away and I stayed on it pretty well and got a single."

After batting .223 and .237 in his first two full seasons, Chavis raked in 2017. The 2014 first-round Draft pick hit .318 with Class A Advanced Salem before he was promoted to Double-A Portland, where he hit .250. In total, Chavis slashed .282/.347/.901 over 126 games.

"The biggest thing is my mental approach, the consistency and it all just comes from preparation," Chavis said. "A lot of it is maturity. When I was younger, I was immature. I'd go out there in BP and just try to hit home runs instead of going out and trying to prepare for the game."

The Scorpions got off to an early lead as the first four batters reached and the club scratched across two runs via RBI hits from Kevin Kaczmarski (Mets) and Aramis Garcia (Giants' No. 8) in the first.

However, Peoria -- which is tied with Mesa at 12-8 for the best record in the league -- fought back with two of its own in the fourth.

Chavis drove in the Javelinas' first run with an RBI triple and Luis Urias (Padres' No. 3, MLB No. 48) followed up with an RBI single.

The tie held until the ninth when Chavis gave Peoria the lead and Lourdes Gurriel (Blue Jays) provided an insurance run with an RBI double.

"We've got a great group of guys," Chavis said. "Ever since the first day, we've just clicked. We've got some pretty good personalities, so we like to have a lot of fun."

William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.