Red Sox: Three prospects to keep an eye on going forward

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 28: From right, Chris Sale
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 28: From right, Chris Sale /

The Boston Red Sox have had a number of highly ranked prospects make their MLB debuts. However, a few gems down at the farm still remain.

The Boston Red Sox farm system has had quite a number of changes over the past couple of seasons. Some top prospects like Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech were traded while others like Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers graduated to the major league team.

Just a season or two ago, many thought the Red Sox farm system was the best in all of baseball. However, with all the changes taking place, it has fallen towards the middle rankings. But have no fear Red Sox Nation, there still remain a few solid names to look forward to including the following three players:

Bobby Dalbec, 3rd base, 22-years-old

Bobby Dalbec is a 22-year-old third base prospect in an organization that has a 20-year-old third baseman at the MLB level. However, even with Rafael Devers establishing himself as the third baseman of the future, Dalbec continues to shine while in the minors.

Dalbec is an extremely gifted player that relies on his pure athleticism to make an impact. In college for the University of Arizona, Dalbec was a very reliable starting pitcher. He had 11 wins and 5 losses with a 2.68 ERA while recording 88 strikeouts in 95 innings. His pitching ability translated well to third base considering his arm strength and accuracy.

Dalbec’s first pro games were in the New York-Penn League and he showed some true potential at the plate. He slashed .386/.427/.674 with 13 doubles and 7 home runs in 34 games. His sophomore season was a bit disappointing compared to that however, he was still showed some power potential. This year while in A-Greenville, Dalbac batted .246/.345/.437 with 15 doubles and 13 homers.

Currently, Dalbec has a lot of potential at the hot corner. He’s got a strong arm and has shown the ability to hit for some real power. However, he strikes out at a very high rate (37.4% in A this season) but could still develop plate discipline considering he’s only 22. He’s a prospect that the Red Sox don’t currently need but he is a name to keep an eye on if Devers changes positions or if Dave Dombrowski authors another trade.

Jalen Beeks, Left-handed Starting Pitcher, 24-years-old

Jalen Beeks just finished his strongest season as a pro pitcher this year in Double-A Portland and even was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket for 17 games. This is huge for the Boston Red Sox considering their farm system is shallow when it comes to pitching depth.

Beeks is a 24-year old lefty that stands at a mere 5 ft, 11 inches and doesn’t have one truly dominant pitch in his arsenal. He relies on four different pitches that all grade pretty well. Beeks also isn’t the type of guy to fool a lot of batters and get a ton of strikeouts, however over the past two years his K/9 has been about 9.5.

One issue that Beeks is facing and needs improvement on is his control. With his unique delivery, Beeks relies on a lot of deception but it has also lead to him walking about 3.5 batters per 9 innings over the last two seasons.

The lefty could remain a starter in the Red Sox system, however it seems more likely he transitions to relief given his size and repertoire. In Triple-A Pawtucket, Beeks recorded 6 wins and 7 losses with a 3.86 ERA but 3 of his losses came in his final 3 games of the season and he allowed a total of 14 earned runs in that stretch.

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It will be interesting to see where Beeks ends up whether it be as a starter or in the bullpen but either way, he has a certain effectiveness to him that can prove to be quite valuable.

Mike Shawaryn, Right-handed Starting Pitcher, 23-years-old

Mike Shawaryn showed dominating potential this season at Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem this year. He was a fifth round pick in last year’s MLB draft and was known as a heavy strikeout type of pitcher. Currently, he stands as College Park, Maryland’s all-time strikeout leader and that ability carried over to Greenville and Salem quite well.

In Greenville, Shawaryn recorded 13.2 K/9 while in Salem he struck out 10.1 batters per 9 innings. He relies on a three-pitch repertoire but mainly focuses on his fastball which sets up his wipe-out slider. His fastball lacks consistent velocity that varies from the high-80s to the mid-90s but if he can develop that pitch and control more, his slider will become even better.

Over his final four starts, Shawaryn pitched in 26 innings allowed 6 earned runs and striking out 31 batters while only walking 6. His future likely isn’t as an ace but he could certainly top out as a mid rotation starting pitcher. At the least, Shawaryn could be called up and used out of the bullpen to try and maximize his strikeout potential.

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All three of these prospects have shown the potential to make it to the big leagues and make a real impact. The question for all of them though, is where do they fit? Dalbec is currently blocked by Devers; Beeks could wind up in the bullpen; and Shawaryn could be near the top of the rotation or the bottom. In any case, Red Sox Nation should be looking forward to watching the development, growth, and handling of these three young players.