Some good news off the field as the Red Sox have announced that the team has signed 18-year-old shortstop Michael Chavis out of Sprayberry High School in Marietta, GA, the club’s first overall pick and the 26th overall selection in the 2014 June draft.
Chavis is one of nine signings announced today by Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye, including third-round draft pick Jake Cosart and fourth-round selection Kevin McAvoy, both 20-year-old right-handed pitchers out of Seminole State (FL) College and Bryant (RI) University, respectively.
Per the Red Sox release: Chavis hit .580 (47-for-81) with nine doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 37 RBI, and 21 stolen bases in 28 games this spring as a senior, leading Sprayberry to an 18-11 overall record and the 7AAAAA regional championship. A 5-foot-10, 190-pound right-handed hitter, he was named the 2014 Georgia Gatorade High School Player of the Year and earned Southeast All-Region First-Team designation.
This year, Chavis was also named a Perfect Game First-Team All-American and won the Home Run Derby at the Perfect Game All-American Classic. Baseball America identified him as the top potential third base prospect available in this year’s draft.
Cosart went 5-3 with a 5.34 ERA (38 ER/64.0), 67 strikeouts, and 23 walks allowed in 13 outings, including 11 starts, as a red shirt freshman this year, his first season with Seminole State after transferring from Duke University. The brother of current Houston Astros right-handed pitcher Jarred Cosart, he grew up in Friendswood, TX and was named to the Perfect Game All-Texas Region First Team as a senior at Clear Creek (TX) High School in 2012.
McAvoy went 9-1 with a 2.62 ERA (29 ER/99.2 IP) and 94 strikeouts in 15 starts this season as a junior at Bryant University en route to becoming the highest-drafted player in school history. The Syracuse, NY native topped the Northeast Conference in both strikeouts and innings pitched, and helped the Bulldogs to the 2014 NEC title. Last summer he pitched for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
In addition to Chavis, Cosart, and McAvoy, the club announced the signings of six more players selected in the 2014 June draft. Among these players are first baseman Josh Ockimey (5th round), center fielder Danny Mars (6th round), right-handed pitcher Karsten Whitson (11th round), left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks (12th round), and centerfielder Tyler Hill (19th round).
Ockimey, 18, led Ss. Neumann Goretti (PA) High School to the Catholic League and District 12 championships as a senior in 2014. The left-handed hitter batted .500 with 34 RBI this past season as Catholic League MVP and batted .411 with 13 home runs and 100 RBI across his high school career.
Mars hit .380 with six doubles, eight triples, four home runs, 35 RBI, and 29 walks in 48 games as a sophomore with Chipola (FL) College this year. The 20-year-old switch-hitter was named Panhandle Conference Player of the Year in 2014.
Whitson went 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA over 14 outings for the University of Florida this year, including nine starts. The 22-year-old pitched 6.0 scoreless innings in the Southeastern Conference Tournament and was named to the All-Tournament Team. The right-hander was the ninth overall selection by San Diego in the 2010 June Draft but did not sign.
The 20-year-old Beeks posted a 6-4 record and led University of Arkansas starting pitchers with a 1.98 ERA and a .213 opponent batting average as a junior this year. The left-hander fanned 68 batters and allowed just 67 hits in 81.2 innings over 13 starts in 2014.
The 18-year-old Hill is a product of Delaware Military Academy. A right-handed batter, he hit .432 with six homers, 29 RBI, 30 runs scored, and 18 stolen bases as a senior this spring and earned All-State honors.
The Red Sox also signed catcher Joseph Winterburn (40th round).
In all, 18 of the 40 players selected by the Red Sox in the 2014 June Draft have been signed to contracts, including each of their top seven selections.