Red Sox Prospect Watch: Thad Ward inserts himself into conversations
By Hunter Noll
Full-A (Greenville Drive)
Finally, we get to the cover boy of the week. Thad Ward has been absolutely unconscious and I actually kind of feel bad for anyone that’s had to try and hit off him lately. Just listen to these last three starts from the 22-year-old.
- Zero runs on four hits and one walk (seven strikeouts) in 7 1/3 innings.
- Zero runs on four hits and no walks (seven strikeouts) in seven innings.
- Zero runs on one hit and one walk (six strikeouts) in seven innings.
I mean, good luck I guess? The right-hander has a 2.20 ERA on the year to go along with a 0.99 WHIP and .188 BAA. In 57 1/3 innings, he’s struck out 64 batters. The bottom line is that Ward is an absolute beast. He was a fifth-round pick in 2018 and somehow still isn’t getting much love, but that should change soon enough.
Yoan Aybar continues to break my heart. He has absolutely filthy stuff and it shows in his strikeouts (21 in 15 1/3 innings) and BAA (.158). His walks (20) and WHIP (1.89) contribute to his poor 7.63 ERA though. The lefty is still just 21 though and actually has some really solid stretches of play. If he can just cut down on the implosions there would be something there. I’d still bet on him being a major bullpen piece in the Majors in a few years.
Triston Casas is 19 and having an absolutely superb season. The left-handed hitter is slashing .270/.349/.503 with 13 doubles and eight home runs so far. He has two steals and 27 runs scored, as well as a system-high 38 RBI.
Kole Cottam is on a seven-game hitting streak at the moment. In that time he’s risen his batting average from .193 to .223. The catcher has seven doubles and two home runs and has driven in 10 runs while scoring 13 more.
The other catcher on the roster is Alan Marrero. Marrero has a .257 average and has six doubles and four home runs to accompany that. He’s driven in 12 runs and scored eight more.
Both catchers possess a lot of potential and should only serve to make each other better.
Devlin Granberg is one of the better all-around players in the minors that no one at all is talking about. The 23-year-old is slashing .305/.398/.468 on the year. He has 10 doubles and three triples, as well as three home runs. The right-handed hitter has driven in 19 runs and scored 23 more, stealing five bases as well.