The Boston Red Sox have plenty of prospects that the following season could be good too. Just exactly who will make it their year in 2019 though?
The Boston Red Sox have quite a few outfield prospects that I’ve spoken highly of in the past. I haven’t been more adamant about giving any of them a proper shot than I have with Danny Mars though. For good reason too.
Minor League outfield depth for the Red Sox over the last few years has been “eh”. Rusney Castillo’s been awesome in Triple-A and Bryce Brentz is back. Mars is the other clear standout.
The last three seasons have seen major improvements in the outfielder’s game. Power will never be a part of his game at the plate, but just about everything is there.
In 2016, Mars hit .293 with career-highs in RBI (54) and steals (31), as well as triples (10). The next year saw new career-bests in average (.304) and home runs (6). He also set new highs in doubles (21) and runs scored (62).
2018 could be considered a down year for the switch-hitter at the plate due to a .255 batting average. The 24-year-old duplicated the 21 doubles and 62 runs scored, however. He also shattered his previous mark for walks in a season with 45 (previous high was 36). Meanwhile, a solid 79.2% steal rate (19-of-24) was the second best of Mars’ career.
He was also incredibly clutch over the last three seasons, hitting .320 (106-for-331) with runners in scoring position.
The biggest improvement outside of his plate discipline is on the defensive end. Mars has always been a good right fielder but looked fantastic in 2018. An average arm is the only non-standout among his skill set. Great instincts lead to good read once the ball leaves the bat, while his speed helps him get to balls others might not.
More from Red Sox Prospects
- Predicting top Red Sox outfield prospect Ceddanne Rafaela’s timeline to the majors
- Predicting Red Sox top prospect Marcelo Mayer’s timeline to the majors
- Red Sox risk repeating rookie mistake with Eric Hosmer release
- Red Sox invited group of players you’ve probably never heard of to Spring Training
- Jeter Downs’ official departure will continue to haunt Red Sox
All this equals up to an outfielder that the Red Sox can rely on. He’s also someone who’s had back-to-back strong years in Double-A. Due to that, a third full year at the level doesn’t seem likely. If he doesn’t start in Triple-A, he’ll certainly be moved there at some point in the season.
Mars is also in line to be one of the first in-case of emergency outfielders. The only two that might be ahead of him are Castillo and Brentz. Cole Sturgeon struggled mightily in Triple-A last year and Luke Tendler’s power is great, but I’m giving Mars the edge in every other category.
Castillo’s contract could hold him back again, while Brentz’s position with the team is confusing after not getting a chance in 2017 then being traded in 2018. With all that in mind, it will come down to how everyone performs. If Mars continues improving in all facets of his game, we could finally see him getting the respect he’s earned within the organization.
Between improving his play and status with the Red Sox to getting promotions, there are a lot of ways 2019 could be good to Danny Mars.