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December 18, 2015 at 8:00 AM

2015 Top 40 Season in Review: Luis Alexander Basabe and Michael Chavis

This week, we recap the next six players in the season-end Top 40, going from 16 to 11. All entries in this year's Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.

2015 Team: Lowell Spinners
Final Stats: 256 PA, .243/.340/.401, 7 HR, 32 BB, 67 K
2015 Peak Ranking: 10 (Current)

Season In Review: An intriguing raw outfield talent, 19-year-old Basabe was an All-Star in his first season with the Lowell Spinners. Basabe - not to be confused with his twin brother Luis Alejandro, who played shortstop and second base for the GCL Red Sox - signed as an international free agent with the Red Sox out of Venezuela at the age of 16. Flashing a combination of power, speed and arm strength in the field, it is easy to see why Basabe has risen through the ranks of Red Sox prospects. 

Basabe tied with Andrew Benintendi to lead the Spinners in home runs, including a pair of two-homer games. He continued to show consistent speed on the basepaths, as well, leading Lowell with 15 stolen bases. That was also good for 10th in the New York-Penn League. Basabe also showed off a strong arm from the outfield, racking up eight assists on the season. The season ended on a down note for him, however, with a .200 average and 25 strikeouts in 80 at-bats in the month of August. Basabe may be starting to be a little more patient at the plate, as scouts Ian Cundall and Chaz Fiorino noted that Basabe took a few walks in Fall Instructional League. - Eric Gendron

Scouting Report and 2016 Outlook: Basabe is one of the toolsiest prospects in the system right now, yet he is still very raw and competed at an advanced level in the short-season New York-Penn League this year as an 18-year-old. He is an athletic, switch-hitting center fielder with some pop from both sides of the plate. He is also a plus runner, projects to play an above-average defensive center field, and presently has an above-average arm. Listed at 6-foot-0, 170 pounds, Basabe is lean and skinny with some room to mature physically. As with most prospects at age 19, the biggest question mark with Basabe is the future hit tool. He is very aggressive early in counts with poor pitch recognition and lots of swing-and-miss. However, this is to be expected of a young hitter who hits from both sides of the plate, and he will only get better with experience as he begins to develop an approach. Basabe is extremely toolsy yet raw at present, making him a high-risk prospect, but he is a potential everyday-type center fielder.
 I would expect Basabe to continue to be challenged by breaking 2016 with the full season, Low-A team in Greenville as the Drive's regular center fielder as one of the youngest players in South Atlantic League. - Chaz Fiorino

#11: Michael Chavis, 3B
2015 Team: Greenville Drive
Final Stats: 471 PA, .223/.277/.405, 16 HR, 29 BB, 144 K
2015 Peak Ranking: 9 (Current)
Season In Review: 2014

Season In Review: While Chavis struggled mightily at the plate at times in 2015, there is no denying the raw power - and enthusiasm for the game - the 2014 first-round draft pick possesses. Chavis was second in the South Atlantic League in strikeouts with 144 K’s, but when the 20-year-old made solid contact, he turned heads. Very few of his system-leading 16 home runs on the season were cheap, many driven over the Drive’s version of the Green Monster in left field. Chavis tied for fifth in home runs in the South Atlantic League. While his slash line left something to be desired, it should be noted that it was only Chavis’s first full season of professional baseball. 

The Georgia native seemed to make some adjustments at the plate after a move to the two spot in the lineup. His best month was August, when he posted a .242/.300/.505 slash line with 13 extra-base hits before he ran out of gas in September, when he hit .179 in 28 at-bats. Chavis and Rafael Devers split time fairly equally between third base and designated hitter for the Drive, but Chavis’ defense left a little something to be desired with 19 errors on the season. - Eric Gendron

Scouting Report and 2016 Outlook: The calling card for Chavis is the raw power from the right side that he generates from his plus bat speed, strong forearms, strong wrists, and uphill swing path. Chavis is very strong in both the upper and lower body with a strong core and looks maxed out physically at this point, the 20-year-old listed at 5-foot-10, 210 pounds. Though undersized, he has a very strong frame with athleticism. The hit tool is the biggest question mark at present, as he is an overly aggressive hitter and the swing can get long at times when he is trying to do to much and pull everything over the left field wall.

Defensively, Chavis shows some athleticism, moving side-to-side laterally at third-base with decent hands. Chavis has average arm strength overall but can flash above-average arm strength when he is able to take his time, gather his feet and rear back to fire it over to first base, which appears to take some effort. Chavis is still improving defensively, showing 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. Given Chavis’ frame and power potential, I see him best suited to stick at third base or a potential move to a corner outfield spot long term. Chavis will be entering just his second full season of pro-ball in 2016, which could be a big year developmentally as he continues to develop a consistent routine and approach every day. This will help Chavis to slow the game down and let the tools and athleticism take over. - Chaz Fiorino

Photo Credit: Kelly O'Connor

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