Red Sox: 2018 Spring Training Non-Roster invitee snubs
By Hunter Noll
Mars turned 24 today (January 22) and I can’t think of a better early gift for the Red Sox MiLB batting leader in 2017 than a Spring Training invite.
He didn’t get it though, and I’m a little lost on this one.
The Red Sox have four, yes FOUR outfielders on their 40-man roster. If literally one goes down with an injury, they’ll have to scramble to figure out who gets the nod. Mars seems like the logical choice.
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As I said, he led the Boston organization in MiLB batting average last season (Rusney Castillo hit .314 but didn’t qualify with just 347 at-bats).
Mars slashed .304/.351/.403 in 119 games for Portland last season. The switch-hitter roped career-highs in doubles (21) and home runs (6) while hitting four triples as well. He drove in 47 runs and scored a career-best 62. Finally, he stole 12 bases (although he has the potential for many more).
Mars is also a plus defender with an underrated arm.
Look don’t let me get rolling on this, because as many know, I’m high on this kid and think the Red Sox are severely underrating him.
The most impressive part of all that is, despite Mars playing at the highest level he ever played at last year (Double-A) it was clearly his best season. That’s exactly what you want to see from your prospects, continued growth despite tougher competition.
The Red Sox are light on outfielders heading into 2018. This Spring Training seemed like the perfect opportunity to test Mars.
Next: Chris Sale alters spring approach to avoid late-season fade
Spring Training is right around the corner, and it’s easy to get excited. The Boston Red Sox had some great names on their non-roster invitees, that doesn’t mean there were some glaring snubs though.