Red Sox Prospect Watch: Start of the 2019 MiLB season
By Hunter Noll
Double-A (Portland Sea Dogs)
Okay, I know it’s two games in for Jhon Nunez – but wow. The 24-year-old catcher is 5-for-7 with two doubles. He’s trying to firmly plant himself as the elite-catching prospect on the team with that .714 average. The switch-hitter has shown a lot of promise in the past and this could be the year he puts it all together.
The other two major hitting prospects on the roster are C.J. Chatham and Bobby Dalbec, and they aren’t disappointing either.
Chatham is slashing .333/.353/.533 with three doubles already. The shortstop has an elite bat and after a massive season last year is off to a hot start in 2019.
Dalbec might have the most power in the Red Sox minors. He’s slashing .286/.412/.500 with a homer and three RBI to this point. The third baseman had his breakout campaign in 2018 and we should expect a lot of home runs and RBI from him in 2019. We should also expect at least one promotion.
The pitching side of the Portland Sea Dogs is a lot of fun – with four major prospects.
First there’s Denyi Reyes – a personal favorite. After an absolutely bananas season last year, he’s back at it in 2019. Between Full-A and Advanced-A last season, the right-hander posted a 1.97 ERA.
In one game this year the 22-year-old has a 1.50 ERA. Reyes allowed just one run on two hits and one walk (four strikeouts) in six innings. So there are a lot of pretty numbers to go with that ERA, including a 0.50 WHIP and .095 BAA. This guy is out-of-this-world good right now.
Darwinzon Hernandez is ranked by the MLB as the Boston Red Sox best pitching prospect. There’s good reason for it too. Hernandez possess disgusting pitches that give him a lot of potential. He flashed that in his lone start so far this year, throwing five shutout innings. In that time he allowed just two hits while walking four. He also struck out 10.
Tanner Houck is another one of the top pitching prospects in the system. He looked great at the end of last year, but is starting off 2019 with a bad start. He allowed seven runs on 11 hits in four innings. Don’t be discouraged though. This is the 22-year-old right-hander’s first start in Double-A. He’ll adjust.
A lot of people wanted Durbin Feltman already in the Majors. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a part of that. That being said, it makes sense for him not to be there yet. Why rush things too much? Feltman’s got all the tools to be legit. Give him time to develop everything though and you minimize the threat of the Majors overwhelming him. Then you get your closer of the future for 15 years instead of 16.
Feltman’s allowed one run in two innings so far, walking as many batters (2) as he’s struck out (2). That will all change soon enough, but this is quick proof that giving him more time is the right move.