Red Sox Prospect Watch: Strong early impressions made
By Hunter Noll
Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A)
Expect this to be a weekly thing – Rusney Castillo is killing it. He’s not exactly a “prospect” but he’s in the minors. Castillo is hitting .333 and leads the team in runs batted in (9) and runs scored (8), as well as steals (3).
On to the true prospects.
There’s a reason Sam Travis is the Red Sox number five prospect. Dude can rake.
As I’ve mentioned before, there’s no room for Travis on the MLB roster at the moment. That doesn’t mean his strong performance will go unnoticed though.
Through 13 games, the right-handed batter has a .346/.414/.462 slash line with five runs scored and eight runs batted in. The home runs haven’t come yet for someone who was expected to hit around 15-20 a year. He’s yet to mash 10 yet in a season. He’s showing some life though, with three doubles and one home run to his credit early on.
The 24-year-old has played 20 innings in left field this year, expanding his defensive portfolio. Meanwhile, he’s played 89 errorless innings at first base.
Chad De La Guerra is slashing just .132/.175/.184 so far this year. The infielder only has 38 career Triple-A at-bats though, so give him some time to adjust. He’s coming off a breakout season that saw career-highs in nearly every offensive category.
Williams Jerez has thrown six shutout innings for Pawtucket. The left-handed reliever’s allowed one hit and four walks in that time, en route to two saves. The 25-year-old could be an intriguing lefty-bullpen arm behind Bobby Poyner.
Speaking of Poyner, he’s back in Triple-A. After being activated from the disabled list, he was sent to the minors. This was nothing against his performance, he was fantastic in the Majors in fact. The Red Sox pitching staff is just getting healthy again, so there was no room for him.
He’s already got a perfect inning under his belt in Triple-A now. Expect Poyner back in the Majors the next time injuries come knocking.
Kyle Martin made a brief appearance in the Majors last season and appears to want to return. The 27-year-old has a 2.45 earned run average over 11 innings. He’s struck out 11 while opponents are hitting .167 against him.
Robby Scott is trying to find his way back the Boston as well. The left-hander has thrown 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one earned run. Meanwhile, he’s struck out 12 compared to just one walk.
Jalen Beeks broke out last season and only looks better in 2018. The left-handed starter has allowed one earned run over 14 innings (0.64 ERA). Opponents are hitting .192 against him and he’s already logged 26 strikeouts.
I can’t imagine many scenarios where Beeks doesn’t make his Red Sox debut this season.