Red Sox Prospect Watch: Minor League regular season is over

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: A detail of the base prior to Game One of the 2018 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: A detail of the base prior to Game One of the 2018 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 31: The Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series Championship banner hangs outside Fenway Park on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

Advanced-A (Salem Red Sox)

Salem had a major shakeup recently. Those moves brought a lot of players on the roster. One of those players was the top prospect in the system, Triston Casas. Casas played in two games for Salem, going 3-for-7 with a double, a home run and three RBI. Overall, the 19-year-old hit .256 with 26 doubles, five triples, and 20 home runs. He also had 66 runs scored and an impressive 81 RBI. It will be fun to see how close to the Majors he gets next season.

Hopefully, Casas and Pedro Castellanos get a chance to play in the same lineup next year. It didn’t happen in 2019 because Castellanos has been on the IL since August 20. He finished the year hitting .276 with 23 doubles, two triples, and nine home runs. Castellanos finally showed real signs of that power potential. He also obliterated old career-highs with 61 runs, 71 RBI and 10 steals. That superstar potential is real.

Tyler Esplin also got two games in Salem, going 1-for-5 with a walk. The right fielder was great in Full-A this year, hitting .253 with 26 doubles, three triples, and five home runs. He drove in 43 runs and scored 52 more and has solidified himself as a player to keep an eye on in 2020.

Grant Williams hit .333 in Advanced-A after hitting .265 in Full-A. That combined for a .274 average as the second baseman hit 19 doubles, four triples, and one home run. The middle infield is a tough spot because the Red Sox have a lot of strong prospects in that position right now. However, Williams proved he’s up for the challenge.

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Kole Cottam played just 11 games in Advanced-A but hit four doubles and two homers in that time. He also drove in 10 runs and scored five more, with a .256 average. Cottam proved he’s a top catching prospect for the team and one of the better offensive catchers in the minors. Overall, he hit .255 with 25 doubles, one triple, and eight home runs. The 22-year-old right-handed hitter drove in 44 runs and scored 47 more in his first full season with the team.

Victor Acosta slashed .274/.350/.354 with 17 doubles, one triple, and three home runs. He scored 45 runs and drove in 46 more. He walked 38 times compared to just 42 strikeouts. The outfielder is just 23 and extremely underrated in the system.

Ryan Fitzgerald is way too easy to root for. The shortstop wasn’t even in the minors two years ago and now has put together two straight strong seasons in the Red Sox system. Fitzgerald hit .271 with 25 doubles, seven triples, and three homers. He drove in 65 runs, scored 63 more and stole 11 bases. Although the 25-year-old wouldn’t be considered a top prospect don’t ever count him out.

Devlin Granberg ended up hitting .222 in Advanced-A. Overall, the first baseman hit .273 with 25 doubles, five triples, and eight home runs. He drove in 56 runs and scored 66 more. Often overlooked due to playing with prospects like Casas all year, he was one of the most consistent hitters in the Red Sox minors this season.

Alex Scherff made his Advanced-A debut to end the year. The righty allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings, showing his incredible potential. Scherff combined for a 4.66 ERA in 129 1/3 innings – his second year in the system. Given time, he’ll only get better.

Yoan Aybar also ended his year in Advanced-A, throwing five innings over four appearances. The lefty struggled with command all year in Full-A but had no walk issues with Salem. He walked just one while striking out three, giving up just one run. Between the two levels, Aybar had a 4.61 ERA and walked 41 batters, but had a .176 BAA and 70 strikeouts. Serious star potential out of the bullpen if he can tame the walks.

Thad Ward posted a 2.14 ERA between Full-A and Advanced-A. In that time, he struck out 157 batters in 126 1/3 innings and had a .198 BAA. The 22-year-old righty shot up the rankings quickly and should be considered one of the most promising and exciting arms in the Red Sox organization.

Dominic LoBrutto had a 2.04 ERA in 35 1/3 innings with Salem. He struck out 36 batters and had a 0.99 WHIP in that time. The lefty was also 3-for-3 in saves and walked just three batters in Advanced-A.

Logan Browning finished with a 2.81 ERA in 16 innings with Salem. He combined for a 2.21 ERA on the year though. The lefty did so over 73 1/3 innings, picking up 10 saves in the process. Browning also had 82 strikeouts, a .211 BAA and a 0.98 WHIP.

Another lefty who had a great year, you ask? Rio Gomez had a 2.80 ERA in Advanced-A and a 2.20 combined. In 69 2/3 innings, Gomez had 75 strikeouts and a .218 BAA and 1.13 WHIP, picking up seven saves in that time.

Enmanuel De Jesus finished the year off extremely strong. The lefty posted back-to-back shutout starts, combining for 13 strikeouts over 13 innings. Overall, De Jesus had a 3.58 ERA over 24 starts, striking out 122 batters in 130 2/3 innings. At just 22, De Jesus is showing a lot of potential early on in his career.

Jhonathan Diaz bounced back from a bad start to end up having a rather strong year. The lefty finished with a 3.86 ERA in 27 starts. In that time, he threw 128 1/3 innings and had 118 strikeouts. Oddly enough, like De Jesus, Diaz is 22 and finished the year with two straight scoreless starts. He even struck out 13 batters in 13 innings over those two games.

Andrew Politi threw 78 2/3 innings for Salem this year. He made five starts in 33 appearances in that time. Politi struck out an impressive 96 batters and had a .196 BAA. The 23-year-old righty was lights out for basically the entire month of August and really helped his stock in doing so.