The Boston Red Sox’ top infield prospect is making waves during his first week with the Pawtucket Red Sox. Shortstop C.J. Chatham faced off against AAA pitching for the first time in his career, but didn’t look overwhelmed by the increase in competition. In his latest game, the 24-year old went 3-4 in his Pawtucket Red Sox debut, hitting a double and a homer while driving in two runs.
C.J. Chatham Enjoys Fantastic Pawtucket Red Sox Debut
Chatham’s breakout game came during his fourth start with Pawtucket. This homer was the fourth of the season, and he never profiled as a power bat. However, it’s worth noting that AAA is using the same balls as the majors, and home runs have skyrocketed throughout the high minors. Perhaps the change in baseballs can allow Chatham to increase his power and further rise up the prospect rankings.
Chatham has managed to go 4-17 during his four games in Pawtucket, registering one double and a home run. This comes on the heels of a solid season in Portland where he posted a .297/.333/.403 slash line and a 113 wRC+ in 90 games with the Portland Sea Dogs. While the infielder missed some time with injury, overall this has been a fantastic campaign which shows bright promise for a potential MLB future.
Chatham’s Role Going Forward
Sox Prospects currently has Chatham as the ninth-best prospect in the system and the best middle infielder. He started the year at number eight, but his fall has more to do with impressive seasons by guys like Gilberto Jimenez, Bryan Mata, and Jarren Duran than it does Chatham being bad.
Chatham has an MLB future, but he’ll never be an All Star. If Chatham’s to make it in the majors, he’ll need to learn to move around the diamond. The Red Sox already have a superstar shortstop in Xander Bogaerts, and Chatham will never be better than him. Chatham is naturally a shortstop but has recently taken up second base.
That change is good news for his future, as the Red Sox don’t have a definitive long-term answer at second. Michael Chavis has had an up-and-down season, which is expected from a rookie. He’s going to be a major league mainstay, but it might not be at second. If Chatham can transfer his hitting prowess to the major league level, he could play second while Chavis takes on first base. Additionally, Bobby Dalbec is close to being called up and could be the first baseman of the future. If all three pan out, Dalbec could play first, Chatham could play second, and Chavis could play both. Chances are, Chavis would be the primary second baseman in this scenario with Chatham providing invaluable depth.
It’s been a great season for Boston’s former second-round pick, and Chatham should make his way to the majors before long. Depending on how the Red Sox season goes, Chatham could see some extensive playing time in the majors during September call-ups.
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