He’s not built like Major League sluggers Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles, or a Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, who are 6-foot-3 and 6-4 and who combined to hit 97 home runs last season.
Instead, Chavis stands at 5-11 and 205 pounds, yet he can wreak serious havoc at the plate.
His hitting numbers this season for Sprayberry were borderline absurd, maintaining a .573 batting average while hitting 13 home runs and knocking home 39 runners and scoring 30 runs himself. And his home run total may have been in the 20s had opposing teams not pitched around him so much. He was also a Perfect Game All-American selection and ranked No. 12 in the nation with a 1.183 slugging percentage.
In the first half of the season, Chavis was hitting .700.
Chavis’ efforts on the plate helped the Yellow Jackets finish with an 18-11 overall record, good enough for a Region 7AAAAA championship, and why he was named Cobb County/Marietta Daily Journal Baseball Player of the Year.
“Every time he came up, we thought whether we would intentionally walk him with the bases loaded and give up just one run instead of four,” said Pope coach Jeff Rowland, who split games with Sprayberry in 7AAAAA play this season. “Fortunately, we were never in that situation.”
Now that the Boston Red Sox selected Chavis as their 26th pick in the first round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft, the ability to maintain stellar hitting numbers remains to be seen.
He often gets compared to the 5-11, 205-pound second baseman Dan Uggla, who hit 30-plus home runs for five consecutive seasons from 2007-2011 with the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves.
Chavis, who is now playing rookie ball for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox based in Fort Myers, Fla., talked about being compared to Uggla in an interview with the MLB Network.
“He’s pretty impressive,” Chavis said. “He’s a good player and I like what he does.”
However, Chavis says Dustin Pedroia is his favorite player. The Red Sox second baseman is two inches shorter than Chavis but has maintained a .300 career batting average in his nine-year stay with Boston.
Chavis, who could be a second or third baseman for the Red Sox, doesn’t consider himself to be a home run hitter. He said midway through the 2014 season that he doesn’t swing for the fence when he steps up to the plate. He makes sure the barrel of the bat makes contact with the ball.
To get the extra power he needs, he depends greatly on the strength of his legs and upper body.
“He works at it a lot,” Sprayberry coach Phil Henderson said. “He’s constantly in the cages and doing team work. As long as he stays healthy (in the Red Sox organization), the sky’s the limit. He’s going to work at it, no doubt about that. Work ethic has never been a problem.”
Chavis’ offense has played a major role all throughout the regular season.
His three-run home run in the seventh inning was the difference in Sprayberry’s 6-3 win over Sequoyah on April 11 and he was 3-for-5 with a home run in an earlier win over the Chiefs. Chavis’ game-tying homer against Northview led to a 2-1 win March 21. He was also
3-for-3 with five RBIs in a 10-0 win over Osborne.
He was also clutch in the first round of the Class AAAAA state tournament against East Paulding.
Chavis belted two home runs in his final game as a Yellow Jacket in the deciding game against East Paulding to build an early lead, but East Paulding rallied to win the game and the series.
Marietta Daily Journal First Team All-County
1B Eli Sepniski, NC
2B Trey Harris, McEachern
3B Jared Walker, McEachern
SS Michael Chavis, Sprayberry
C Tyler Stephenson, KMHS
OF Reggie Pruitt, KMHS
OF Tanner Weeks, Harrison
OF Mason Shifflett, Pope
OF Nolan Greckel, NC
ATH Jake Palomaki, MPC
ATH Trevor Devine, NC
P Riley Gilliam, KMHS
P Clarke Schmidt, Allatoona
P Zach Goodman, KMHS
P Bobby Gavreau, Sprayberry
P Andrew Maxwell, MPC
Player of the Year
Michael Chavis, Sprayberry
Pitcher of the Year
Riley Gilliam, KMHS
Coach of the Year
George Hansen, KMHS
Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County All-County Second Team
1B Patrick Wiseman, Pope
2B Luke Manzo, Walton
3B Justin Evans, Allatoona
SS Gaines Lahue, Walker
C Hunter Fortner, Harrison
OF Henry Rowling, Walton
OF Taylor Trammell, MPC
OF Chase Burks, Walton
OF Isaac Phillips, MPC
ATH Steven Skruck, Pope
ATH Landon Faulkner, MPC
P Evan Steele, Marietta
P Cooper Murphy, Allatoona
P Chase Sloan, KMHS
P Tim Eber, Lassiter
Cole Austin, Jayson Cook, Andrew Patrick,
Mount Paran Christian: Graham True.
North Cobb Christian: Zack Cornell,
Brett Lyle, Braden Zarbinsky.
Cameron Bloebaum, Kevin Bray, Zack Eikost, Paul Grazzini.