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Bunt? No way: Chavis' 1st walk-off extra nice

Top prospect hits 108-mph first-pitch single to give Boston win in 10th
@IanMBrowne
May 16, 2019

BOSTON -- Michael Chavis, the top prospect who has shown no fear in his first month as a Major Leaguer, admitted he had a brief moment of apprehension when he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning on Wednesday night. When he looked at third-base coach

BOSTON -- Michael Chavis, the top prospect who has shown no fear in his first month as a Major Leaguer, admitted he had a brief moment of apprehension when he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning on Wednesday night.

When he looked at third-base coach Carlos Febles, Chavis was hoping beyond hope that there would be no bunt sign with runners on first and second and nobody out.

Bunt? Has Chavis even noticed how he’s performed? Of course, there would be no bunt sign. Chavis is a grip-and-rip kind of guy, and he jumped on the first pitch he saw from Chad Bettis and smacked it into center for his first career walk-off hit.

Just like that, Chavis delivered the Red Sox a thrilling 6-5 victory in 10 innings over the Rockies at Fenway Park.

Box score

Chavis whistled a 108.1-mph grounder through the infield and Xander Bogaerts -- who opened the winning rally with a double -- scored easily to end it.

“Standing in the box right there, I'm looking at Febles and all I'm thinking is, ‘Don't let me bunt.’ I wanted to hit,” Chavis said. “So he didn't tell me to bunt, thankfully. Got a good pitch to hit, a first-pitch cutter and didn't try to do too much. One of the other things I was thinking was a single scores him. Don't try and be a superhero and hit a home run or anything like that. Just need one."

With seven homers in his first 81 career at-bats -- most of them tape-measure shots -- Chavis showed impressive poise not to try to hit another one onto Lansdowne Street.

“Chavis got a pitch elevated and didn’t try to do too much. Stayed up the middle,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

As for the crazy bunt thought, how could Chavis even think that was a possibility?

“You know, in that situation, there’s nobody out, a man on second base, you move him over, get a little [closer], something like that. It’s just, I don’t know who I am, dude. I’m new here,” Chavis said. “I know I can hit, I know I have power, stuff like that, but I’m hitting seventh. I don’t know if I’m hitting like Michael, or if I’m like your seven-hole hitter, so I’m just trying to do my part.”

Despite a recent 0-for-19 skid, Chavis has more than done his part, slashing .296/.406/.580 with 21 RBIs in 81 at-bats.

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Seriously, bunt? Bogaerts got a chuckle out of that one.

“I doubt it. Alex trusts his guys,” Bogaerts said. “But I saw he didn’t get a bunt sign. Homeboy is swinging it pretty good.”

One thing that has swiftly become evident with Chavis is he has a presence about him. He wants to hit with the game on the line.

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"Definitely,” Chavis said. “I think that's what every kid dreams about, honestly. In my Minor League career, I've had a decent amount of success in those kind of scenarios, so when this kind of situation comes up, it's definitely one of those times when I want to be the person hitting.”

And when Chavis came through with his big hit, his most prominent teammate swarmed him just past first base.

"I hit first base, and I’ve had a couple walk-offs [in the Minors], it's not like it's something I've never done before, and I kind of just forgot what to do honestly,” Chavis said. “I had my helmet, I was like, ‘Do I throw it? Do I keep it? Do I hand it to somebody? I don't know.’ I turned, got tackled by Mookie [Betts], gave him a hug. So that was great, honestly. I'm a big hugger.”

The 23-year-old Chavis has given the Red Sox an infectious dynamic with his energy and ability to barrel the baseball. It can’t be a coincidence that Boston is 17-7 since his arrival after a 6-13 start.

When Chavis ended the game, he pointed toward his dugout. Who was he pointing at?

“Everybody,” Chavis said. “I was happy for everybody. Honestly, I wish I had somebody in particular. It was more so like, ‘Can you believe this?’”

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