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Red Sox's Arizona Fall League overview

Chavis continuing breakout campaign in AFL
MLB.com @JimCallisMLB

Michael Chavis' offensive potential got him selected 26th overall in the 2014 Draft. But it didn't shine through as hoped in his first three pro seasons.

Chavis hit just .235/.301/.396 with 263 strikeouts in 229 games in the lower levels of the Red Sox system before breaking out in 2017. The 22-year-old third baseman ranked third in the Minors in extra-base hits (68) and tied for fifth in homers (31, six more than his previous career total) while batting .282/.347/.563 in 126 games between high Class A and Double-A.

Michael Chavis' offensive potential got him selected 26th overall in the 2014 Draft. But it didn't shine through as hoped in his first three pro seasons.

Chavis hit just .235/.301/.396 with 263 strikeouts in 229 games in the lower levels of the Red Sox system before breaking out in 2017. The 22-year-old third baseman ranked third in the Minors in extra-base hits (68) and tied for fifth in homers (31, six more than his previous career total) while batting .282/.347/.563 in 126 games between high Class A and Double-A.

Boston's No. 2 prospect and No. 92 on the Top 100, Chavis will try to build on that progress with the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League. He said his improvement resulted more from mental adjustments rather than any physical changes.

"A lot of it has to do with the mental approach, being able to mature and bring myself to the moment, know what I'm trying to do," Chavis said. "And learning my swing, knowing what I have to do before the game and mid at-bat in order to put my best swing on the ball. Have my approach and keep my approach, not only pitch to pitch but through the entire season . . .

"One of the things was acknowledging my strengths and my weaknesses, knowing what I do well and what I don't do well. When I'm up there, for example, it might be a pitch that is a strike but it might not be a pitch that I can drive. So it's part of the maturing and growing up, where I learned it's better to take that pitch than barely hit it and maybe get a single, but the majority of the time you're going to get out."

Arizona Fall League roster & stats

Chavis has more than enough bat speed, strength and loft in his right-handed swing to hit plenty of home runs without shooting for the fences. He understands that now and recognizes he's at his best when he uses the entire field. He's doing a better job of recognizing pitches and executing a two-strike approach.

He started to make progress at the start of last season, hitting .356/.415/.576 with three homers in 15 games in low Class A. Then he tore a ligament in his left thumb that cost him two months and broke a bone in his right middle finger shortly after returning. Trying to make up for lost time, he undermined himself by selling out for power again.

"Chavis had a really good approach in early 2016," Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett said. "He recognized pitches, controlled his upper half, wasn't all pull anymore, stayed back. He has a good routine now and he's very dedicated. He's not overswinging."

There are fewer questions about Chavis' bat after his big season. Where he'll ultimately wind up on the diamond is another matter. A shortstop at Sprayberry High (Marietta, Ga.) who moved to third base in instructional league after his pro debut, he's blocked at the hot corner in Boston by Rafael Devers.

Chavis began working out at first base late in the season at Double-A Portland and continued to do so during instructional league. He played one game there for the Javelinas in the first two weeks of the AFL season, and some scouts wonder if he could become a second baseman along the lines of Jedd Gyorko or Dan Uggla.

"As long as I'm in the lineup, as long as I can help the team, I'm happy to play wherever they need me and wherever they want me," Chavis said. "They told me to start working at first base and I said, 'Hell, yeah.' So I've been working at first from the last two weeks of the season, worked in instructs and I'm obviously working here, going to do some games here as well. I'm excited to see how that works out."

Red Sox hitters in the Fall League

Chad de la Guerra, SS/2B -- A 17th-round senior sign out of Grand Canyon in 2015, de la Guerra stands out for his ability to make consistent line-drive contact and his instincts. The Red Sox's No. 24 prospect batted .283/.361/.437 with nine homers in 110 games between high Class A and Double-A this summer.

Josh Tobias, 2B -- Another 2015 senior sign, Tobias went to the Phillies in the 10th round and came to the Red Sox last December in a trade for Clay Buchholz. De la Guerra's double-play partner for much of the season, the Red Sox's No. 27 prospect hit .284/.381/.382 in 113 games at high Class A and Double-A.

Video: Josh Tobias on using the AFL to improve

Red Sox pitchers in the Fall League

Ty Buttrey, RHP -- Signed for a well-over-slot $1.3 million as a fourth-rounder from a North Carolina high school in 2012, Buttrey had only sporadic success until he became a full-time reliever four years later. He now works with a 93-98 mph fastball and backs it up with a changeup that features splitter action. He had a 4.81 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.

Kevin McAvoy, RHP -- McAvoy relies mostly on a lively low-90s sinker and a cutter/slider. A 2014 fourth-rounder from Bryant, he went 6-9 with a 4.28 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 117 2/3 innings in Double-A.

Henry Owens, LHP -- A 2011 supplemental first-rounder out of a California high school, Owens once ranked as one of the best lefty pitching prospects in the game but has never been able to establish himself in Boston. His stuff and control have regressed, and he now operates with an upper-80s fastball and an effective-yet-diminished changeup. He led the Minors with 115 walks this year while going 7-11 with a 4.21 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 126 innings at Double-A and Triple-A.

Bobby Poyner, LHP -- Yet another 2015 senior sign (14th round) and a teammate of Tobias at Florida, Poyner has an 89-90 mph fastball that plays way up because of the deception in his delivery. He's coming off the best season of his pro career, having posted a 1.49 ERA, 15 saves and an 84/17 K/BB ratio in 60 1/3 innings between high Class A and Double-A.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Boston Red Sox