Red Sox

McAdam: It’s early, but Michael Chavis inserting himself into AL ROY race

Over the winter, he was a bit part in the Prospect Industrial Complex, the seemingly year-round business which tracks, projects and lionizes the game's best prospects before they come close to having their first at-bats in the big leagues.

Thanks to Baseball America and countless other publications and sites, we know more about prospects than ever before -- their strengths and weaknesses, their skill sets, their expected impact and arrival date.

You could have spent days and days reading about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Eloy Jimenez and so many others. You could see scouts projecting them as future superstars, read about their gaudy numbers in the minors and dream about what they might deliver once it was time for them to graduate to the majors.

Michael Chavis wasn't in this August group. Sure, he might have been considered by most to be one of the top position player prospects in the Red Sox organization. But that seemed to be damning with faint praise, since the Red Sox minor league system was ranked dead last by Baseball America.

And besides, hadn't Chavis's time come and gone? A year ago, he was banned for 80 games in the minors after violating baseball's PED guidelines. He had no real position, and given the Red Sox roster, no obvious place in the organization's future.

So when he popped a handful of homers in spring training, it was a nice story — and little more.

And yet, here we are, just shy of the one-third mark of the season, and Chavis has become a major figure for the 2019 Red Sox.