POTD Johermyn Chavez - Vid & ML Comps

Q.  Is there any decent video on him?

A.  Best I've found -- hook me up, gentlemen -- is this one.

First thing you notice is that Chavez is very light on his feet, like Frank Thomas was at 21-22.  He is fidgety, twitchy, has too much strength for his weight.

Watch him take off out of the batter's box and again you see Dave Winfield -- the super-long, loping strides, his legs almost impatient with his body as he charges around first base in about seven massive strides.

If you slow down the swing on his hit, you also see a totally ridiculous hip launch.  First you've got freakish power/weight ratio; then you've got the extreme leverage.  This is a kid, you're talking 450-foot homers when he squares it up.


Johermyn Chavez doesn't remind me of Wlad Balentien; he reminds me of Winfield.  Not that he's going to get 3,000 hits, but that's kinda the way he moves and swings.


By the way, in that 2009 video, Chavez' head is moving around wayyyyy too much. 


Q.  Any ML comps you fancy?

A.  Without much to go on, I do kinda like the Jermaine Dye comp that gets thrown around:

  • Dye's minors line tracks real well with Chavez' so far
  • Both are tall, strong, fast, athletic ballplayers with similar body types
  • Dye was a 17th-round pick who just turned out to HIT (for contact) better than expected
  • Same twitchy bat, weight-shifty feet, same locomotive-charge run (especially when younger)
  • Same corner OF slot, same fearsome throwing arm

Yeah, I could go the Dye comp.  So could the M's.  Zduriencik might be thinking of the .300/.370/.560 lines that Dye has put up four or five times.

Other guys in this general template, physically and performance-wise: Torii Hunter who's a bit more greyhoundy, Raul Mondesi, Ellis Burks who was a bit smaller than the other guys ...

You know one of my childhood players who was in Chavez' general template?  Bat-twitchy, very loose in the box, excellent power, free swinger?  Tony Perez, the first baseman of the Big Red Machine.  Maybe Perez is the reason I've always liked that loosey-goosey style in the box, him or Dave Winfield.

You could take Andre Dawson as sort of the ultimate ceiling for this kind of player ... ah, well, now we're talking about Hall of Famers.

Git you a big athletic RH hitter with plus-plus PWR, loose, twitchy and quick in the box, natural ability to put the bat on the ball, tearing up A+ at age 21, and you'll have a pretty decent Chavez comp.

Halman, if Halman were a better HIT-ter.  Or Dye.


Guaranteed ML star?  Neh.  Prospect with a great shot?  Ya you betcha.


Dr D



mabalasek's picture

good POTD doc. but i am not that high with chavez. the OF that i am more interested in is James Jones. jfro is high on him also, because he could walk a ton. they say that he has the best chance to be our next mike cameron. he is in clinton right now, and i think, the way he performed the second half, he, along with franklin, could skip high and and be sent straight to AA. 


Here I was reading along, and going, "the next one should be on James Jones" and I get to the end and mabalasek is already on the case!
April: .218/.315/.372, 7 xbh (3 dbl, 3 tpl, 1 HR), 11 BB:23 K
Note the bad month, but still the patience showing up and 3 triples.
May: .200/.339/.356, 8 xbh (5 dbl, 0 tpl, 3 HR), 17 BB: 27 K
Still struggling, but 17 walks!
June: .257/.337/.432, 7 xbh (3 dbl, 2 tpl, 2 HR), 8 BB: 17 K
Starting to show overall progress and still the patience and extra-base pop.
July: .309/.391/.495, 11 xbh (6 dbl, 3 tpl, 2 HR), 11 BB: 19 K
11 xbh and 11 BB in 27 games, with 3 more triples.
August: .331/.381/.472, 11 xbh (7 dbl, 1 tpl, 3 HR), 11 BB: 31 K
Struck out a little more, but also got more hits -- with another 11 xbh and 11 BB.  All the trends in the right direction except for the Ks creeping up at the end.
Season totals: .269/.356/.432, but heavily weighted toward the second half.
491 AB, 24 dbl, 10 tpl, 12 HR, 62 BB: 122 K, 24 SB/10 CS
Background: was mostly considered a pitcher in college, but Ms drafted him in the 2009 4th round as an offensive player.  He's 6-4, 195, hits lefty, played RF in almost every game, but has a handful of appearances at 1B.

mabalasek's picture

the homer was to opposite field, right?
i am no expert in analyzing the swings, but it looks to me like he has a long swing. very quick bat though. i think he has an intrinsically good eye and it is what is carrying him now. if he could shorten up his swing a bit, combined with his good eye, watch out. he could be something good. 


Thanks for the data, Spec.  Prob'ly POTD Jones shortly.  :daps:
Present company excepted, most sabermetricians weight BB's too heavily.  We're talking about prospect development.
But, of course, they've got Billy Beane in their camp, so it's not like the tendency is demonstrably wrong.
In Seattle, on other blogs, you take a LF with a .450 SLG and 60 walks, and he'll be the teacher's pet over a guy slugging .550 with 40 walks.  It gets a little silly here sometimes.
When you're talking about minor league ballplayers, freakish hand-eye coordination is more important than simply refusing to swing until you get your pitch.

muddyfrogwater's picture

Apparently Chavez plays decent in the outfield and has enough of an arm to prevent the triple out of right field. I'm assuming his power is for real and not High Desert enhansed as he hit right along with Poythress who you may remember was considered by some to be the best college power hitter in the draft a year and a half ago. Add to that, Chaves was drafted as a 170 pounder or something like that and has went through a late growth spurt weighing in at 220 pounds. So the power surge is mor than likely for real. I've been wondering where Franklin goes next year. I dont suppose Trunifel desreves a promotion to Tacoma. For Franklin I'm guessing the desert. I wonder if he will bomb 30 times with big men Poythress and Chavez? :Anticipation:


Most of them alleging a Dye-type rifle.  Which would make sense, since Chavez' upper body is what it is.
Thought they had pretty well decided that Franklin would skip A+ ... and what's the latest word about the chances that the M's A+ team is in High Desert next year?

muddyfrogwater's picture

Hmmm. That would either mean a demotion or trade for Trunifel OR Franklin in Tacoma. We'll see. Didn't know A+ team was considering relocation. Spokane bound? : )


The Ms re-signed with High Desert.  It's kind of musical chairs and if no one changes partners, you're just stuck.
FWIW, Jones has the #1 OF arm per BA, which makes sense given that he was a mid-90s pitcher in college.
I do hear you about not getting over-excited about walk totals.  But Jones was slugging close to .500 in the second half and keeping the OBP high.  And give me double-digit triples any day.  A guy who can do that is doing something right.  But I love Johermyn, too.  Glad to have them both.


James Jones:
Pre All-Star: .205/.319/.364/.683, 220 ABs
Post All-Star: .321/.387/.487/.875, 271 ABs
His BB:K was basically identical between the halves, and was 62/122 in 490 ABs.  I really like Jones and a lefty Mike Cameron-lite would be a great thing to have.

Pre All-Star: .293/.362/.521/.884, 259 ABs
Post All-Star: .335/.410/.629/1.039, 275 ABs

His BB:K went from .32 to .49 between halves.  I agree with the potential Dye upside and happen to like him as well.
Jo will be 22 in January and will hit AA in April with a great supply of power.  Chavez's power is not park dependent, and he has far more of it (HR power) at the same age than Jones has (14.6% HR rate in A-ball, 19% in A+ compared to Jones' 5.9% in short-season last year and 10.3% this year in A-Ball).
But Jones has what is commonly referred to as a doubles stroke: 25% fly-balls and yet a 34% XBH rate thanks to his very good doubles and triples rates.  He hits a LOT of grounders, but he's got a very interesting game.  A lot of the time doubles power in the early 20s is projected to be HR power later, but I don't see that happening with what I've seen of Jones' swing.  Still, from a potential center fielder I would take 40 2B/3B and 10 HR a year.
And I'd love to see him be able to make the trek to AA next year.  Poythress, Seager, Franklin, Chavez, and Jones would be a very interesting offense.
Most of our "interesting" minor league hitters have either taken giant leaps forward (Mangini, Franklin, etc) or are taking full advantage of their home parks (the Cal League guys) in such a way that it's hard to see their stars tarnishing before next Spring.
The system is ripe for a trade.  We have Smoak, Ackley, Saunders and Moore all scheduled (or at least very likely) for the starting 9, along with a black-hole at SS no matter which Wilson is playing.  If we wanted to trade for a hitter to complement (or replace someone in) that lineup instead of trying to pay crazy millions on the FA market, we should have the minor league hitters to swing such a trade.
Could you pry a disgruntled Colby Rasmus out of SL for Saunders/Seager/Varvaro or thereabouts?  I don't know, but I would try.  We've had a great rising of the tides with regard to hitter performance in the minors.  If we could cash some of it in for already-producing talent still under club control for several years, I would. 
Which guys go?  Well that's a totally different conversation. :)  But Jones and Chavez are not the lone strong performances this year.  If you compared our likely 2011 list of top 20 minor leaguers to past years I'd think you'd see a whole lot better performances to go with the ratings.
Which means we should get stronger trade options out of our extras that we'll have no way of using on our own club in the next few years.


And thanks for your consistent leadership in the tone and rationality scout skills, Spec :- )
Didn't know that Jones was blazing fast, with a 95-mph arm.  Ten triples, huh.  With EYE?  That's a different conversation, a decathlete who can see the pitches.


It dovetails with the impression that pitch reco is not going to be an issue for him.
The Stars & Scrubs paradigm starts to become more obvious as ----- > the local ballclub starts to acquire normal stock shelves' worth of prospects.
In a year or two, people will start thinking in terms of the DELTA between Chavez and Jones, when one of them is traded.
Rotodweebs like me understand the constant fight to convert quantity into quality .... but since there's BEEN no quantity, S&S has been a bit of a tough sell locally ...
Very shortly, it won't be.  The [Jones + 4] for [ML All-Star] deals are going to be annual celebrations, if this keeps up :- )
A club that is genuinely loaded with sexy MLB-ready players really can deal for established ML quality.



Problem is, we NEED the major league influx. 
Next season is basically a washout if we just Stand Pat (tm) and try to go with the rookies as the only heart-of-the-order bats.  I just CAN'T see us winning with a lineup that runs Ichiro/ Figgins/ Gutierrez/ Smoak/ Saunders/ Ackley/ Moore/ Bradley/ Wilson (whichever one).
We NEED at least one and preferrably 2 more above-average bats, and we have precious little in the way of dollar-resources available to provide it.
DH and LF are perfectly valid places to find excess on other clubs, but the only coin we're gonna be able to provide is young talent.
Which means Jack is gonna need to continue to be VERY good at giving away minor talents and getting major ones.
Dumping Bradley's salary in 2012 (along with Wilson's) will be welcome, but Felix is taking a large bite of that himself.  Felix and Ichiro are gonna chew up 40% of payroll by themselves (and yes, I'm assuming here that Ichiro stays and doesn't exactly take a paycut).  Chone and Franklin are another 15% or so.
If we want to win soon, it has to be with cheap players and good players, and we're going to need to stay A's-level flexible with our young guys. In some eyes that would require hanging on to all talent rather than risk trading David Arias and watching him become David Ortiz.
I think we're gonna have to take that risk if we want to morph this historically-dismal offense into something that can win games before 2013 - when we'd be under a different GM.


A 5-to-make-3 situation in the outfield, if anybody's asking my opinion.
Without a doubt, even the best-case scenarios involve lame offense from Smoak and Ackley in 2011.  You're going to have growing pains at 1B, 2B, SS .... where do we stop...
Teams do come up with cheap heroes, Russ Branyan types, and Zduriencik will need a coupla those.  No doubts there.

Taro's picture

A little over 1400 minor league PAs and Dye was in the bigs. Chavez was in LOW A ball.
Dye minor league K%: 15.1%
Chavez minor league K%: 24.2%
Dye is not a real comp for Chavez. You need to find someone who was in high A after 1500 PAs with a minor league K rate around 24% and BB.K of 0.3. 

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