The Pittsburgh Pirates have continued to flip through their roster in hopes of finding players for the future. Michael Chavis is next.
At the start of the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates utilized Anthony Alford and Dustin Fowler to man center field. While these players have dealt with injuries and struggled performance in the past, the Pirates liked the potential upside. After both struggled, Ka’ai Tom, a rule five pick, was the next player the club tried this with. While a lot of players in this strategy fail, sometimes a player ends up being a regular or at least a solid bench player the next time the team is contention.
At this year’s trade deadline, Ben Cherington acquired two players who could be potential utility players for the club in future seasons. Hoy Park, acquired for Clay Holmes, is the first of these players. He struggled with the club, hitting .200/.250/.317 in his brief time. The left-handed hitting Park has now been replaced by Michael Chavis.
Chavis, a Ben Cherington draft pick in 2014, was acquired at the trade deadline for relief pitcher Austin Davis. After hitting .254/.322/.444 with 18 home runs in his 95 game rookie season in 2019, Chavis has struggled over the last two years. This season before the year he was hitting .190/.207/.342 while striking out 39.0 percent of the time and walking 1.2 percent of the time.
Still, Chavis was a former top prospect for a reason, and one Cherington knows very well. With about a month left in the season, the Pirates need to see the 26-year-old show more patience at the plate and cut down on his strikeouts. The power Chavis has is still there as he hit five home runs in 17 games with Triple-A Indianapolis. What he needs to show over the next month is not only improved plate discipline, but improved consistently along with the ability to play defense at other positions. Cherington knows the player well so it wouldn’t be a shock to see Chavis have some success and become a utility player for the Pittsburgh Pirates down the road.