Eric Cesar Chavez (born on December 7, 1977 in Los Angeles, California) is an American Major League Baseball infielder for the New York Yankees. Chavez has also played for the Oakland Athletics (1998–2010). Chavez has won six Rawlings Gold Glove Awards (2001–2006).
Chavez's high school success was such that in the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft, he was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the first round as the tenth pick. Chavez eventually chose a professional baseball career over a full scholarship at the University of Southern California (USC), signing with the Athletics on August 27, 1996. His time in the minor leagues was relatively short, lasting just under two seasons. He spent the 1997 season playing for the Visalia Oaks, the Single-A team in the Athletics' farm system. He played 134 games, all at third base, and hit .271 with 18 home runs and 100 RBI. Before the start of the 1998 season, Chavez was promoted to the Double-A Huntsville Stars. After 88 games, he had a batting average of .328, 28 home runs, 86 RBIs, 12 stolen bases, and a triple. His efforts caused him to be promoted to the Edmonton Trappers, where in 47 games he hit 11 home runs and had a .325 batting average. When Edmonton's season finished up on September 8, 1998, he was called up to the major leagues. He finished his minor league career by being named Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America, as well as earning the J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the Topps/NAPBL Minor League Player of the Year.
He made his professional debut on September 8, 1998, in a game against the Baltimore Orioles, where he came in as a pinch hitter for Mike Blowers and struck out in his only at bat. He finished the 1998 season having played in 16 games, and ending with a .311 batting average, as well as a triple.