Red Sox Prospect Watch: Players already separating themselves
By Hunter Noll
Full-A (Greenville Drive)
Yoan Aybar has a 16.88 ERA. Sometimes numbers lie though. His first three outings equated to 2 2/3 innings. In that time walked three, but also struck out three. The 21-year-old also allowed just one hit and no earned runs. His last outing saw the left-handed pitcher not record an out though. He gave up three hits and two walks – along with five earned runs. That outing has ballooned his numbers despite looking strong most of the season.
Triston Casas is hitting just .219 but has a .350 OBP. He has three doubles and one home run as well as a solid two steals on the year. The 19-year-old is a top prospect in baseball and the Red Sox will want to see a lot of him this year in the minors.
Kole Cottam is one of Boston’s best catching prospects. The 21-year-old right-handed hitter has posted a .160 average but has a .300 OBP. Don’t be discouraged by the slow start – he has an amazing bat.
Juan Carlos Abreu is hitting .269 this season. The outfield already has six RBI and six runs scored. He had a fantastic 2018 and is already showing improvements in the run production area this season.
Brandon Howlett has a .160 average with two doubles and one RBI. The 19-year-old third baseman had a superb season in 2018 after being selected in the 21st round of the draft. A slow start at a new level of the minors shouldn’t be that surprising, and no one should be discouraged.
If Cole Brannen gets on, he’ll steal a base. The problem is, he’s struggled to get on. The 20-year-old has a .135 average and .200 OBP on the season. Despite that, he’s already got six steals in six attempts. His ridiculous speed makes him a fantastic prospect as the outfielder works to improve his bat. If that can happen, Brannen becomes a top prospect once again.