In 2008, Chafin graduated from Collins Western Reserve High School in Collins, Ohio. In his final high school game of his career, Chafin threw a no-hitter at Mapleton. He holds the school record for most strikeouts in a game (19), most strikeouts in a season (178), lowest ERA and is tied for most pitching wins (10). His number was retired by his high school in a ceremony in January 2016.
Andrew then accepted a baseball scholarship to Kent State, majoring in technology.
During the summer of 2009, Chafin pitched for Cotuit in the Cape Cod League.
Delivered pizzas during high school, and in college worked on the Kent State grounds crew when he was injured.
In 2012, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Andrew as the 13th-best prospect in the D'Backs organization. They had him at #9 in the winter before 2013 spring training. He was rated 24th-best in the offseason before 2014 spring camps opened. They had Chafin as the 18th-best D'Backs prospect in the spring of 2015.
In 2012, Chafin led the California League in strikeouts per nine innings (11.0) and opponent average (.241).
August 13, 2014: In his MLB debut Andrew threw five scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and striking out three. He induced 10 groundouts, including a double play to end the fifth.
While at Kent State, Andrew was named a 2009 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America. He was also named 2009 Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year and first team All-Conference.
During his minor league days Chafin lived in an RV. Even now (2017), he lives in a fifth wheel that is really decked out, very luxurious.
Two of Chafin's hobbies are leather working and fishing with a bow and arrow.
Andrew is a big Harry Potter fan and visited Universal Studios Orlando during the 2015-16 offseason specifically to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
July 22, 2017: Chafin is a brilliant opportunist.
The relief pitcher was mic’d up on Fox Sports-Arizona before the Diamondbacks’ game against the Nationals. He used that chance to get the word out about his truck. Might as well.
He made his pitch before asking the FSAZ production team to include it on the broadcast: “If anybody’s interested in a truck, I’ve got a 2012 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali with a fully built twin turbo. With a fully built Allison transmission for sale. Just shoot me a tweet if you are interested … Please put that on there for me. I’m really trying to sell this truck.”
Last year, Chafin spent the season living in an RV to save some money, but struggled on the field. This year, he’s been lights out with a 1.91 ERA in 33 innings.
The next day, the Diamondbacks broadcast followed up on the sales pitch, reporting that Chafin heard from three potentially interested buyers since Saturday’s game. He’ll keep trying until he sells the truck.
When Andrew gave up a two-out double to the Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez in the ninth inning on August 13, 2017, he was not pleased with himself. What happened next was even more painful.
"Well, I just gave up a double, so I was a little bitter, so I probably chomped my gum a little harder than normal," Chafin said. So hard, in fact, that he snapped a crown off one of his teeth.
"It was a tooth I had a root canal on and fillings and then we put a crown on top of it, so once you grind it all the way down and put a crown on it, there ain't much," Chafin said. "It's like a little stir stick straw thing holding my tooth together." Chafin didn't tell anyone about the tooth until later.
"I took it and casually put it in my back pocket," he said of the crown. "I proceeded to walk the next two guys because I was not very focused, but I was able to get the last guy out and even when [pitching coach Mike Butcher] came out for a visit, he didn't notice. I went back in the dugout and smiled and everybody said, 'What happened?'" Chafin went to the dentist the next day and got the tooth fixed.
The 27-year-old gave up smokeless tobacco this year and replaced it with the gum. It was suggested to him that maybe he should stop chewing it so hard in the future, but he had a better idea. "Stop giving up doubles," he said. (Gilbert - mlb.com - 8/13/17)
Chafin has two quarter horses, Roscoe and Cabella.
July 31-Aug 3, 2018: Andrew was on the paternity list for the birth of Addilyn, his first child. He and wife, Shelbi, who was his best friend's sister and met her when Andrew went to their house on a hunting trip.
Chafin and Shelbi, were married in a barn in Ohio after the 2017 season. The couple designed their home on 7.5 acres in Navarre, Ohio, that was completed after the 2017 season. It features a shop to work on car engines and a horse shed.
Chafin won a cow milking competition against teammates Zack Godley and Nick Ahmed at Chase Field on June12, 2018.
In partnership with Shamrock Farms and the Grand Slam Give Back program, the event resulted in 4,500 servings of milk being donated to St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance.
"It was probably the hat and the boots that put me over the top," Andrew told the Arizona Republic after the competition. "I looked like a cowboy, so [the cow] was like, 'Oh, yeah. He knows what he’s doing.' "
Nickname: THE SHERIFF. Andrew was given the nickname by the D-backs broadcast crew for his penchant for wearing cowboy hats and boots.
Andrew sports a mustache and has an unruly mop of curly hair that juts out from under the sides of his cap. And Chafin just pounds the strike zone.
"It's kind of like that old-school approach,'" Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said. "It's like, 'I'm coming right at you. Here. Hit it.'"
Add it all up, including Chafin's increasingly entertaining presence on social media since joining the North Siders, and the reliever has swiftly become a cult favorite among Cubs fans. Just this week, Chafin took to Twitter on April 10, 2021, to ask Cubs fans if they had an old car he could purchase for commuting to Wrigley Field. "Hey @cubs fans! I’m looking to buy an old 'beater' car for like 2k to drive around the city cuz my truck is way too big for the narrow streets here. Must be manual transmission! Haha cut me a good deal and we can mix in free tickets throughout the season!!"
"He's a nut," Hottovy said. "He's hilarious. But you love it." Chafin's stock among fans has been helped by the fact that the lefty is off to a strong 2021 start, too. Through his first four appearances this season, Chafin has racked up eight strikeouts against 14 batters faced. He has surrendered no runs with just one walk issued and two hits allowed in 3 2/3 innings, giving manager David Ross a veteran presence for key moments.
"Part of it is just knowing who he is," Ross said. "And knowing how he attacks hitters. One, throwing a lot of strikes. Strikes help. Hitting is hard. Pumping balls in the zone works." (Bastian - mlb.com - 4/11/2021)
June 1, 2022: Toward the back of the Detroit Tigers clubhouse, Andrew Chafin rolls over a chair from a neighboring locker.
“Take a seat,” he says. “I’m not gonna talk while you’re standing up and I’m sitting down.”
This is Chafin, constantly bucking the time-honored norms and stilted traditions of how a major-league baseball player should act. Chafin is without pretense. He’s not out to make any grand point, not here to prove anyone wrong. He is here to be Andrew Chafin — the left-handed reliever better known for adventures on the farm, uncanny engineering prowess and a down-to-earth manner that almost feels out of place in pro sports.
He has quickly become a fixture in the Tigers clubhouse, and even if it’s not his intention, Chafin might be teaching everyone in his orbit a few invaluable lessons along the way.
Let’s start with practicality. Chafin signed with the Tigers for $6.5 million this offseason. But rather than live in one of the new downtown high-rises or renting a glitzy home out in Birmingham, Chafin lives at a campsite south of Detroit. He comes home each night to an RV. He wears camouflage Crocs around the clubhouse and showed up to his introductory Tigers press conference with a can of Mug root beer in his hand. He has a YouTube channel called ChafinFamilyFarms and a long list of projects — an overpowered motorboat, a vintage Firebird, chicken coop on wheels and many more.
The RV, Chafin admits, isn’t actually a testament to minimalism. It’s big and spacious, with a king bed in the back, multiple hot-water heaters and three air conditioners.
“It’s a house on wheels,” Chafin said. “It’s bigger than some apartments I’ve lived in. Definitely nicer than a hotel room.”
The immense vehicle makes sense for the nomadic life of an MLB reliever regardless. Chafin lives at a campsite with his boat parked nearby. He chose the location because it is closer to his wife and daughters who live outside Massillon, Ohio, where Chafin has a farm of more than 200 acres. The proximity allows the girls to drive up for weekend visits. They can get on the boat and go fishing in the evenings after day games. And perhaps best of all, Chafin doesn’t have to write a monthly check to some landlord.
“The amount of money you pay in rent versus how much the camper costs, if you’re able to do it for a handful of years, it pays for itself,” Chafin said. “At the end you spend the same amount of money and you got a camper. In that regard, I ain’t much for the financial side of things, but makes sense to me.”
All the details and anecdotes can serve to create a cartoon character, a person who is always doing oddball things. What’s most difficult to grasp, though, is that all of this seems to be genuine.
“The before and after the game, it is somewhat of a comic show,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “But he’s so consistent, so it’s real.”
And the more you come to know about Chafin, his lifestyle and how it all applies to baseball, the more it all starts to make sense.
It’s Sunday morning, and Chafin and Jason Foley are going back and forth.
The two relief pitchers are complete opposites, and that makes them a perfect pair. There’s Chafin, with the unkempt hair and Old West mustache, the boots and jeans and T-shirts. He’s a guy from Ohio, a player one former teammate once called “a walking country song.” Then there’s Foley, raised in suburban New York. He attended Sacred Heart, a private university. He’s got the look of a city kid, and if we’re being honest, he has no clue what Chafin is talking about half the time.
“We asked him if he knew what a lawnmower was,” Chafin said, “and he said, ‘You mean those things you push?’”
Their Sunday conversation was wide-ranging and fascinating, and almost none of it was suitable for print. A few samplings:
Chafin explaining acreage to Foley: “A baseball field is about four acres. You probably live on the mound.”
Chafin on city living: “Are there mosquitoes in the city? Is that a dumb question?”
Chafin on city living, again: “The more people that live in the city, the less people that are trying to buy land next to me, so I’m cool with that.”
Foley, after hearing Chafin talk about trapping raccoons: “I can’t say that was part of my childhood, shooting raccoons.”
This is a daily occurrence in the Detroit Tigers bullpen. Chafin has started giving Foley a “Lesson of the Day.”
“We talk about car engines,” Chafin said.
“Lawnmowers, tractors,” Foley said.
Foley has tried to give a few lessons in return, but they mostly fall upon deaf ears. “You’re not willing to reciprocate,” he joked.
It has the makings of a sideshow, but over the course of a major-league season, there’s value in such levity.
“He’s using terms that a guy from New York has never heard of,” teammate Michael Fulmer said. “It’s pretty comical.”
The bullpen can be a lonely place, quiet and boring, full of guys standing or sitting around. It’s all heightened when a team isn’t playing well, when games drag.
“He’s got one-liners for days,” Fulmer said. “Everybody — especially every bullpen — needs somebody like that.”
What’s it like to be teammates with Andrew Chafin?
The question is direct, and Fulmer laughs.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” Fulmer said. “You look at him, and everything that comes to mind is real.”
In a sport where livelihoods hinge on how well someone throws a ball covered in leather and stitched together, players wax poetic about never getting too high or too low. But the truth is you feel better when you play well and feel worse when you don’t. That’s the case for most guys. But maybe not for Andrew Chafin. Here’s where the World According to Chafin starts applying to baseball.
Chafin admits he does not watch the sport much outside of his job. He came to Detroit not knowing anything about the team’s farm system or the guys on the team. People are always talking about what Chafin does away from the field, but that’s largely per his request. “The less we talk about baseball, the better,” he said in spring training.
But like Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris before him, veering away from the tried-and-true mold of how a baseball player is Supposed To Act can come with an unfair misconception: That you do not care.
“As everybody I talked to before we got him said to me, ‘You’re gonna love this guy, and you’re gonna want him to pitch every day,’” Hinch said. “And that’s turned out to be factual because he’s fun to be around, but also he will leave it out on the mound. I’ve never so far gotten the vibe that the competition doesn’t matter to him, and that’s cool to see.”
More accurately, Chafin might have perfected the mindset it takes to thrive in such a volatile existence. He survived six years as a left-handed reliever in the Diamondbacks system. He made it to free agency, dominated with the Cubs and then got traded to the A’s last season. He had a 1.83 ERA in 2021, pitching so well multiple teams were courting his services this offseason. After a stint on the injury list earlier this season, he owns a 3.09 ERA over 15 appearances.
Playing baseball is his job but not his life. He might just be better at his job because he has so many interests outside of it.
“He’s very good at the mental side of things,” Fulmer said. “It’s not a lack of caring, because he cares a lot. But it’s, ‘Don’t let what happened yesterday affect today.’ I think he’s a perfect example of that, having a short memory. He’s had 70-plus appearances for a lot of years, so he’s pitched in a lot of games, he’s done it.”
Chafin is not the type to spend his offseason in pitching labs. He doesn’t care much for analytics. He keeps his pitching philosophies simple and talks about the game much like he talks about anything else. “He was swinging at everything but the rosin bag,” Chafin said after one recent appearance.
But on the mound, Chafin cares even more than he might let on. He is very good at what he does, a master of the specialized trade of relief pitching. Even if baseball is just a job, it’s work he takes great pride in.
Taking pride without letting the game overtake you? That’s a struggle as old as the sport itself. Back-end relievers enter in high-pressure situations. A bad outing can cost a team a game. A bad game can cost an entire season. It’s easy for the wiring of the mind to short circuit. Chafin instead brings an admirable level of zen, even if he doesn’t really mean for it to come off that way.
“I think he teaches everyone that,” Fulmer said. “Having a clear head, bringing that same energy, whatever happened the night before, take that same energy into the next day.”
Chafin is as authentic as he is eccentric. So for all the quips and quirks, don’t lose sight of this: Andrew Chafin is one hell of a good pitcher. (Cody Stavenhagen - The Athletic - June 1, 2022)
June 2011: The Diamondbacks chose Chafin in the supplemental portion of the first round (#43 overall), out of Kent State University in Ohio. And he signed for $875,000, via scout Nate Birtwell.
Jan 12, 2018: Chafin and the D-backs avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year deal worth $1.2 million.
Jan 11, 2019: Chafin and the D-backs avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year deal.
Jan 10, 2020: Chafin and the D-backs avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year deal.
Aug. 31, 2020: The Cubs traded with the D-Backs for Chafin.
Oct 28, 2020: LHP Andrew Chafin elected free agency.
Feb. 3, 2021: the Cubs reached an agreement on a one-year, $2.75 million contract with Chafin.
Chafin's pact with the Cubs includes a $2.25 million salary for 2021, with a $5.25 million mutual option for 2022. Chafin can also earn up to $500,000 in performance bonuses in each of the '21 and '22 seasons, based on games pitched.
July 26, 2021: The A’s added LHP Chafin in a deal with the Cubs in return for outfielder Greg Deichmann and RHP Daniel Palencia.
Nov 5, 2021: The Oakland A’s exercised their 2022 mutual option on the contract on Chafin. But Chafin declined his part of the mutual option and became a free agent.
March 16, 2022: The Tigers signed free agent Chafin to a two-year, $13 million deal, with an opt-out after 2022.
- Nov. 8, 2022: Chafin became a free agent opting out of his contract for 2023.
- Feb. 11, 2023: Chafin will be returning to the Diamondbacks on a one-year contract, with a club option for the 2024 season. The deal is worth $5.5 million for this year, with the option coming in at $7.5 million next year; alternatively, there’s a $750,000 buyout. Chafin can also earn up to a million dollars in bonuses.
|DOB:||6/17/1990||Agent:||Pro Star Management|
|Birth City:||Kettering, OH|
|Draft:||Diamondbacks #1 (supp.) - 2011 - Out of Kent State Univ. (OH|
Chafin has a 91-97 mph 4-seam FASTBALL he commands to both sides of the plate, a very good swing-and-miss 82-84 mph SLIDER (his out pitch) that has earned a 60 on the scouting scale, and a solid CHANGEUP that he rarely uses.
Andrew's out pitch, the slider, is a power pitch that both left and righthanded hitters struggle mightily to pick up before the bottom drops out. He can be unhittable, throwing that slider for strikes, or he can bury it to get swings and misses.
2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 49% of the time; Sinker 24% of the time; Change .7%; and Slider 26.7% of the time.
2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 59.4% of the time; and his SLIDER 40% of the time. He only threw 5 changeups all season.
2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 56.6% of the time; Change 1%; and Slider 42.5% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 94.1 mph, Change 86.5, and Slider 83.5 mph.
2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 33% of the time; Sinker 27%; Change less than 1%; and Slider 39.5% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 93.9 mph, Sinker 94, Change 87.5, and Slider 84.6 mph.
2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 41.3% of the time; Sinker 28.2%; and Slider 30.5% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 93.7 mph, Sinker 93.5, and Slider 84 mph.
2022 Season Pitch Usage/Avg. Velo: Sinker 40.6% - 91.5 mph: Slider 31.5% - 83 mph; Fastball 27.2% - 91.7 mph.
Nothing rattles Andrew. The worse the situation, the better he gets.
Chafin locates to both sides of the plate with a plus fastball, he hides the ball well, he has plus life, and he locates the breaking ball that hitters can't see. It's a pretty deadly combination.
Andrew can throw his breaking ball to righthanded hitters because it has enough bite to get in on them. It's not like a cutter, but it has that type of bite where righthanded hitters can get jammed on it. But he can also throw the changeup to be an out pitch vs. righties. It has become a really good pitch for him.
He repeats his delivery and throws strike-after-strike. He has a starting pitcher's repertoire, but with a reliever's delivery. Some scouts worry about his choppy mechanics with a funky finish and upper-body tilt. So he may be better suited coming out of the bullpen. His funk is deceptive and helps him get the ball to the plate faster.
He gets nice angle on his pitches. And he gets his best results when he stops nibbling and just trusts his stuff.
Chafin has the stuff and makeup to be a #3 starter or even a power lefthanded reliever. He is some kind of competitor.
After the 2014 season, and in 2015 spring training, Andrew focused on the mechanics of his delivery and consistently repeating them. He tended to fly open too often in 2014, causing him to misfire with pitches that were supposed to go away to righthanded hitters and in on lefties. "I have a tendency to get a bit aggressive with my leg kick," Andrew said in 2014. "It'll throw things out of sync if I don't keep it under control. I struggled with it throughout the year. It got to the point where I could fix it a little bit, but I need to get it under control and consistently control it."
August, 2014: Andrew made his big league debut and tossed five scoreless innings at Cleveland, close to his hometown of Wakeman, Ohio.
2020 Season: Chafin pitched in four games for the Cubs in after being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the July 31 trade deadline.
The 30-year-old southpaw went 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in four games for Chicago. Chafin went 1-2 with a 6.52 ERA in 15 games overall, but battled a left finger injury throughout the season.
He has had success recently outside of his rough 2020 season. Chafin has a career 3.67 ERA over seven Major League seasons. (Russell Dorsey Feb 2, 2021)
June 24, 2021: On the 66th anniversary of Sandy Koufax‘s MLB debut, the Cubs’ pitching staff threw its first ever combined no-hitter in franchise history at Dodger Stadium. The final out of the 4-0 Cubs win was recorded by closer Craig Kimbrel.
Cubs starting hurler Zach Davies pitched the first six innings, and was followed by Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, and Kimbrel. The four pitchers combined to walk eight batters in the no-hit effort. (Logan Lockhart)
- 2021 Season: Chafin had a fantastic season. He spent time with both the Cubs and Athletics, and he posted some electric numbers.
How does a 1.83 ERA, 2.98 FIP, and 0.93 WHIP sound?
The only question with Chafin is whether or not he can sustain that type of success. In years past, he has been good, but never as dominant as he was in 2021.
He entered the 2021 season with a career 3.67 ERA, 3.23 FIP, and 1.31 WHIP. (Sam Leweck - Dec 3, 2021)
- 2022 Season: Chafin played for the Detroit Tigers last season and was a bright spot on a pretty bad team. Andrew pitched in 64 games, throwing 57.1 innings. The powerful lefty tossed 67 strikeouts and allowed 19 walks, a 3.53 K per walk ratio. His 10.5 strikeouts per nine is a fantastic rate. (Matt Watson - Nov. 14, 2022)
- 2010: Chafin missed the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
- August 2012: Andrew was moved to the bullpen the last month of the season due to some arm fatigue.
- October 2013: Chafin was shut down in the Arizona Fall League after only two starts with a dead arm.
- July 4-Sep 6, 2016: Andrew was on the DL with left shoulder tendinitis.
Aug 19, 2020: D-backs left-hander Andrew Chafin was placed on the IL with a left finger sprain.
- April 2-26, 2022: Chafin was on the IL with groin tightness.
- March 11, 2023: The veteran had some tightness, so the team decided to be cautious and give him some time off. Chafin, who has appeared in three Cactus League games and has allowed four runs on four hits and five walks with two strikeouts, is scheduled to throw a live batting practice session March 11.