SoxProspects News

October 23, 2015 at 7:30 AM

The Write-Up: Michael Chavis, Luis Alexander Basabe, Stanley Espinal


Recently, SoxProspects Director of Scouting Ian Cundall and Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino traveled to the Fall Instructional League to report on the goings-on in Fort Myers. This is the sixth of six reports from the trip.



FORT MYERS, Fla. --  Michael Chavis was the Red Sox first, first-round selection of the 2014 MLB draft, going 26th overall. At the time, he was listed at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds out of high school. The 20-year-old Chavis is now listed at 210 pounds, and that he has apparently added 30 pounds since high school is incredible given his already strong, undersized, compact frame. Chavis is very strong in both the upper and lower body with a strong core and looks maxed out physically at this point. Though undersized, he has a very strong frame with athleticism.

At the plate, Chavis stands open from the right side with a slight crouch. He generates rhythm and timing pre-pitch with his hands as he slightly waggles them back and forth. Chavis generates plus bat speed through the zone and is an overly-aggressive hitter both early in counts and generally in chasing out of the zone.  Chavis’ calling card is his plus power that he generates from his plus bat speed, strong forearms, strong wrists, and uphill swing path.

In the field, Chavis moves well laterally side-to-side at third base with soft hands and athletic actions. Given Chavis’ frame and power potential, I see him best suited to third base or a potential move to a corner outfield spot long term. I had Chavis displaying 50 arm strength overall, but he did show plus arm strength when he was able to take his time, gather his feet and rear back to fire it over to first base, which appeared to take some effort. The throws are not always on target to first base as a result of some choppy footwork and transfers, but he is athletic, still learning, and should improve with improved body control and repetition, projecting to be an average defender at third base in the future. 

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Luis Alexander Basabe is a toolsy, 19-year-old, switch-hitting outfielder who was signed as an international free agent in 2012 out of Venezuela for a reported $450,000 bonus. I wrote up Basabe based on a five-game look in Lowell this past July, and this three-game look at Instructs confirmed that previous report. Basabe is very intriguing due to his tool set at a young age, displaying plus speed, plus arm strength, raw power, athleticism, and the ability to hit from both sides of the plate.  Basabe’s most impressive day of my three-game look at Instructs came on the last day of the trip on Saturday. In Basabe’s first plate appearance, he demonstrated some plate discipline, drawing a walk. In his second plate appearance, hitting right-handed, Basabe got a 91-mph fastball middle-in that he turned on and drove off the JetBlue Park green monster for a double. In his third plate appearance he was patient once again, even ahead in the count 3-1, and worked himself another walk, which he followed by stealing second base. Having just turned 19, Basabe should begin receiving notoriety across the industry’s Red Sox prospect rankings in the 10-20 range because of his tools, which is impressive amongst one of the deepest systems in the game.

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Stanley Espinal
is a right handed hitter who signed last February out of the Dominican Republic and turns 19 in November. Espinal logged 72 games in the DSL this year to the tune of a .281/.323/.437 slash line with 27 extra base hits and a 14/50 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Listed at 6-foot-2, 188 pounds, Espinal has a medium, athletic build. Defensively at third base Espinal appeared very athletic with an active, agile lower half and good body control with average arm strength. He moves well to either side and seemed to read balls of the bat well at third base. Offensively, Espinal stands square at the plate with a slight hitch in his swing and was unimpressive in a small sample size of five plate appearances that resulted in three strikeouts and two groundouts to the shortstop. On the first day of the trip, Espinal struck out three times, chasing three sliders down-and-away in his final plate appearance that day. It was a very limited look, but Espinal did not display any tools worth noting outside of his raw athleticism and reads on balls off the bat at third base. 

Photo credit: Michael Chavis and Luis Alexander Basabe by Kelly O'Connor.

Chaz Fiorino is Assistant Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @cbfiorino.

 
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