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Red Sox prospect Chavis suspended for PEDs

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Top Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis was hoping to spend the early part of the season completing his development and perhaps earning a trip to Fenway Park at some point in the summer.

However, those plans have taken a major hit as the slugging corner infielder was suspended 80 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program on Friday.

BOSTON -- Top Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis was hoping to spend the early part of the season completing his development and perhaps earning a trip to Fenway Park at some point in the summer.

However, those plans have taken a major hit as the slugging corner infielder was suspended 80 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program on Friday.

Chavis, ranked No. 1 among Red Sox prospects and 80th overall by MLB Pipeline, tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a PED.

"The Boston Red Sox fully support Major League Baseball and the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the Red Sox said in a statement. "While we are disappointed by the news of this violation, we will look to provide the appropriate support to Michael. Going forward, the club will not comment further on the matter."

In a lengthy tweet he posted after the suspension was announced, Chavis said he was unsure how the substance got into his system.

Tweet from @MichaelChavis11: Please see my personal statement on today's news... pic.twitter.com/LihaObpzOf

"Over the past several months, I have been searching for an answer as to how a prohibited substance I have never heard of, DHMCT, was detected in my urine during the offseason," Chavis tweeted. "It is a question that unfortunately has not been answered, and I have run out of time for now to find an answer. As hopeless as this is for me, I am faced with the reality that maybe I never will. The only thing I do know is that I would never, and have never, purposely taken any prohibited substance in my entire life."

Chavis was also apologetic.

"I also want to apologize for the negative attention brought to myself, my family, the Red Sox, our fans and everyone who supports me," Chavis said in his tweet.

In the 2014 Draft, the Red Sox took the right-handed-hitting third baseman in the first round, 26th overall.

A pull hitter with a swing designed for Fenway Park, Chavis had a breakthrough 2017 season split between Class A Advanced Salem and Double-A Portland, slashing .282/.347/.563 with 31 homers and 94 RBIs.

Chavis was invited to Major League camp for the first time this Spring Training, but he couldn't play after injuring his oblique a few days before Grapefruit League games started.

A third baseman for most of his Minor League career, Chavis gained comfort after last season playing first base in the Arizona Fall League. The plan for this season was that Chavis would play both positions to increase his value to the Red Sox.

It remains to be seen how much the suspension will impact the timetable of Chavis eventually getting promoted to the Major Leagues.

The Red Sox currently have Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland at first base with Rafael Devers at third and J.D. Martinez as the designated hitter.

Though there was no immediate need for Chavis in Boston, he offered an intriguing option if someone got injured or underperformed. Chavis is without question the top power bat in the Red Sox's Minor League system.

With Chavis out of the picture for a while, Sam Travis, ranked No. 5 among Sox prospects by MLB Pipeline, is another power bat the Red Sox could call on if a need arises.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox