Fans at Hadlock Field have enjoyed watching third-base prospect Rafael Devers as he continues his climb up the Boston Red Sox ladder.

Devers could be gone soon, to Triple-A Pawtucket or perhaps even Boston. When he leaves, that would make room for another rising third-base prospect – Michael Chavis.

Chavis, 21, is a first-round draft pick from 2014 who is putting up the best numbers in his pro career, by far.

After Monday afternoon’s game for advanced Class A Salem – in which he went 3 for 5 – Chavis leads the Carolina League with a .346 batting average and a 1.118 OPS. He has 10 home runs in 34 games.

His previous best season was in 2014, fresh from Sprayberry High in Marietta, Georgia, when he batted .269 with one homer in 39 Gulf Coast League games. Since then, it’s been a series of slumps and injuries.

Until now.


“He’s shown some specific adjustments that has led to that improved performance,” said Ben Crockett, the Red Sox director of player development. “He’s shown a really consistent approach at the plate, making adjustments with two strikes, being aggressive to his pitch.

“It hasn’t been a hot streak or flukiness. We’ve seen some good work being done.”

Chavis, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, has quick hands that generate power. He leads the organization with 10 home runs. He hit three in a game on April 19 and belted two on Saturday.

What’s impressive is that Chavis has bashed nine of his homers at his home field, which grudgingly yields the long ball. Since Salem became a Red Sox affiliate in 2009, only Xander Bogaerts has hit nine homers at home, in 53 games in 2012. Chavis has played 21 home games.

When Bryce Brentz was slugging 19 home runs for Salem in 2011, only eight were at home.

Mentioning Bogaerts and Brentz brings perspective. Bogaerts has become an All-Star for the Red Sox, but Brentz was eventually removed from the 40-man roster and is languishing in Pawtucket (.162 average, .491 OPS, four home runs).


It just a reminder that Chavis is still in Class A.

Will he be in Portland soon?

Crockett would not commit to that, only noting Chavis has “missed a lot of time because of health last year and previous (seasons). He needs at-bats. Wherever those at-bats are coming, it’s important for him to get everyday reps.”

A sprained thumb sidelined him for six weeks last year. He played 74 games for low Class A Greenville (.244 average, .711 OPS) before a one-week call-up to Salem.

Chavis played one game in Salem this year before going on the disabled list because of a sore right elbow. He came back April 17 and has been hot since.

But Boston is being cautious with Chavis. He did not begin playing third base again until May, and he has not played consecutive days in the field, serving as a designated hitter in the other games.


That caution may keep Chavis in Salem longer than Sea Dogs fans want. But if he keeps mashing Class A pitching, he will be at Hadlock soon.

IN PAWTUCKET, Sam Travis went 5 for 5 on Thursday night. Through Sunday, he’s batting .372 in his last 10 games. … Ryan Court (.303 average, .865 OPS) continues to lead the team in batting. … Austin Maddox has joined Jamie Callahan as relievers promoted from Portland. Both were in major league spring training camp until the end.

IN PORTLAND, Utility player Tzu-Wei Lin (.338 average, .953 OPS) has been activated from the disabled list. … Devers is hitting .364 in his last nine games, and .320 for the season with a .944 OPS. … Jalen Beeks started nine games in Double-A last year and has made seven starts this year (5-1, 1.60 ERA, 48 strikeouts, 17 walks in 391/3 innings). … Since Kevin McAvoy made an adjustment in his delivery, he’s allowed four earned runs in four starts (26 innings).

IN SALEM, Chavis is not the only one raking. First baseman Josh Ockimey hit his fifth home run on Monday. He is batting .309 with a .906 OPS. … Outfielder Trenton Kemp joined Salem in May. In 17 games, he’s batting .390 with a 1.065 OPS and three triples. … Starter Shaun Anderson, just up from Greenville, got rocked in his Salem debut (seven earned runs) but threw six scoreless innings Sunday, allowing two hits.

IN GREENVILLE, third baseman Bobby Dalbec started coming out of his slump (.381 in his last six games), but is now on the disabled list because of a sore wrist. … Right-hander Michael Shawaryn (fifth-round pick last year out of Maryland) gave up nine earned runs in his first start but has allowed eight runs in his last seven starts (39 innings, 1.85 ERA), with 56 strikeouts and seven walks.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: ClearTheBases

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