Throughout every season, one of the constant discussions is, “Who is going to run away as Rookie Of the Year?” In the American League, there have been two names who both happen to be in the AL East.
Those two are Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays and Michael Chavis of the Boston Red Sox.
Toronto fans are hoping for a continuation of a legacy as infielder Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been called up. Junior’s father, Vladimir Guerrero Sr., who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018, ended his career with 1,496 RBI, 449 HR and a batting average of .318. Not to mention he was a nine-time All-Star, an AL MVP, and an eight-time Silver Slugger.
Vlad Jr. definitely has a lot of eyes on him.
After crushing the ball in minors, the free-swinging Montreal native made his MLB debut April 26. His first hit was a double that came in the ninth inning to initiate a rally. Exhilarating fashion, no doubt. His first home run – or should I say home runs, came May 14, launching one to dead center in his first at-bat and another blast, just a bit over more, in the 6th.
In his first 79 at-bats, Vlad has belted five homers. However, he is sporting an average of just .253 over that span. He hasn’t had a jaw-dropping start to begin, but it has been one to talk about.
Now it’s time to get a little trippy.
For Junior’s first RBI, he drove in Justin Smoak. Justin Smoak’s first RBI back in 2010? Driving in Vlad Sr. of course. That first home runs Jr. hit were in the same park where Sr. won the home run derby. This season has been nothing short of ordinary for the youngin.
Contrary to what the media might tell you, Junior has some competition, as Michael Chavis of the Boston Red Sox is having a start that’s cruising under the radar.
He too was having an outstanding minor league career, the 23-year-old was called up on April 19, just a week prior to Vlad. In 28 games, he has produced an impressive 10 round-trippers and 25 RBI, all while hitting a cool .283.
Hitting home runs in consecutive games, including one electrifying multi-homer game in Chicago, and hardly entering a slump.
The man Section 10 calls the “Ice Horse,” also had a walk-off single to bring the Sox to a win over the Colorado Rockies.
Rafael Devers, last 24 GM:
Michael Chavis, last 21 GM:
Devers is 22 years old. Chavis is 23.
Add them to Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi & Xander Bogaerts. Great young #RedSox core.
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) May 23, 2019
Every single one of his homers has been nothing short of incredible and has completely changed the atmosphere of whatever park he is in. He’s contributed in some capacity to every game he’s played.
Going old school, Chavis writes his observations in his notebook. This tactic seems to works for him immensely. With his mature attitude, he fit in the clubhouse right away, blending with the other younger players and even veterans.
There’s crazy potential for both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Michael Chavis in their careers, with striking personalities and love for the game. Michael Chavis puts up a bigger fight as of right now for Rookie of the Year.
There’s still time for the situation to change but Chavis came out hot and on a mission. Usually, players struggle to adjust when first getting up but with the way he’s rolling, Chavis is here to stay and only improve. Keep an eye out on this race for sure.
Oh, and Vlad Jr. had some great things to say about Chavis on Wednesday.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on Red Sox infielder Michael Chavis:
"First of all, Chavis is a great human being. He’s a good player, an excellent hitter. If he keeps working hard he could be Rookie of the Year.”
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) May 22, 2019