Chavez feels like ‘Royalty'
Two Kansas City Royals scouts came to Marysville on Friday night to give Gold Sox starting pitcher Tyler Pearson a final evaluation and left All Seasons RV Stadium with a new prospect, but it wasn't Pearson.
The Royals offered relief pitcher Chris Chavez a contract on the spot after he apparently wowed the scouts in two strong innings in which he struck out three in a Gold Sox win over the Novato Knicks.
“It's a difficult situation because they came in here to watch Tyler, and I told them I was going to throw a couple other guys that they might want to take a look at, but I thought it would be for next year,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said. “They said they liked Tyler a lot but they felt he needed to go back to school and work on a few things. They fell in love with Chavez. They liked the fact that he had a hard slider and was always around the zone with the ball.”
The Royals drafted Pearson, who will be a senior this fall at Northern Colorado, in the 30th round early in June.
Chavez, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound right hander who would have been a senior at New Mexico Highlands next fall, went undrafted. The Royals offered him a bonus worth $15,000 in Peek's office late Friday night. Peek said they originally offered $10,000 but after some negotiating, increased the money.”
Chavez, who was 1-0 with four saves and a 0.77 ERA in 23.1 innings for the Gold Sox, will report to the Royals' rookie league team in Surprise, Ariz. on Monday.
“Everyone in the room felt he couldn't pass on the offer,” Peek said. “He was an excited young man last night. He had a huge smile on his face.”
Chavez wasn't projected to become a dominant pitcher entering the summer, Peek said.
“He didn't put up good numbers as a starter (at New Mexico Highlands),” Peek said, “but he excelled in relief for us and that's what (the Royals) want to use him as.”
Chavez was mostly used in middle relief. He was almost automatic to hold a lead and struggled just once, last Sunday in a loss to the Monterey Bay Sox.
“He had one bad inning, and that's because he left one hanging,” Peek said. “He does a great job focusing and has natural movement on the ball. When his slider is on, he's very good, and he has the type of body and frame that he can add strength and gain (velocity).”