Boston Red Sox Minors: 2019 will be the year of Victor Acosta
By Hunter Noll
The Boston Red Sox have plenty of prospects that the following season could be good to. Just exactly who will make it their year in 2019 though?
For what it’s worth – with the departure of Esteban Quiroz (still painful to me), Victor Acosta slides into the number 30 slot on my top-30 prospect rankings for the Boston Red Sox.
Acosta’s potential may take a hit in the eyes of some due to his defense and speed. I’m here to dispel those a bit.
He’s appeared at every position except shortstop in his minor league career trying to find the best fit. Last year, Acosta settled on mainly the two corner outfield slots and looked comfortable enough there. Given time, his defense could be seen as average at the position and no longer a weakness.
Speed-wise, true Acosta’s not winning many races. The outfielder is faster than he gets credit for though and can take a steal a few bags and has no problem legging out doubles.
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The reason people should pay attention to Acosta is his ability with a bat. Even with a dip in average last season, Acosta produced all year long at the plate in 2018. The outfielder has the makeup of an all-around hitter and has proven so over the last few seasons.
In 2017, Acosta broke out with a .310 average over 40 games between Short-A and Advanced-A. 2018 saw his average drop to .277 between Full-A and Advanced-A, but he did so in 105 games and while setting multiple career-bests.
The right-handed hitter tied his personal-marks for home runs (8) and triples (3). At the same time, he broke his bests in RBI (49) and runs scored (39) while shattering his hits and doubles records with 105 and 29 respectively.
I haven’t even mentioned his low strikeout-rate. Striking out just 43 times over 418 plate appearances means Acosta’s K’d 10.3% of the time. Only three MLB hitters had better K%s last season.
Due to all this, there are some pretty obvious reasons to get excited for 2019.
The 22-year-old is clearly still in the early stages of his career and is still improving. That’s why his defense shouldn’t be too much of a worry at the moment, he’s gotten better and looks more comfortable in the outfield every day.
The incredible strikeout rate already proves that he’s able to put the bat on the ball. A career-best .438 slugging percentage in 2018 also proves that Acosta’s barreling up more as well.
His improvements at the plate over the last few years have been obvious. 2019 will be no different. Expect Acosta to start his year in Advanced-A. That won’t last though. He’s seen promotions in both 2017 and 2018 – and 2019 will be more of the same story.
The Boston Red Sox minors are filled with underrated prospects. Not many have the offensive talent that Victor Acosta’s already showing. With promotions and more improvements at the plate to look forward too, 2019 is set to be a great year for Acosta.