Red Sox Prospects: Is Hudson Potts a possible solution at second?

AMARILLO, TEXAS - AUGUST 13: Infielder Hudson Potts #10 of the Amarillo Sod Poodles catches a throw against the Midland RockHounds at HODGETOWN Stadium on August 13, 2019 in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
AMARILLO, TEXAS - AUGUST 13: Infielder Hudson Potts #10 of the Amarillo Sod Poodles catches a throw against the Midland RockHounds at HODGETOWN Stadium on August 13, 2019 in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

Could Hudson Potts be the answer at second base for the Red Sox?

The Boston Red Sox have had a problem at second base for quite some time now. Dustin Pedroia held down the position for a very long time, however, injuries have completely derailed his career. He has had 34 total plate appearances over the last three seasons combined (zero in 2020).

It now looks like Pedroia may be retiring, and you can’t look back on his career and do anything but thank him. He came up in 2007 and made an immediate impact. A Rookie of the Year, an MVP, and multiple Gold Gloves and All-Star appearances. Of course, he also played a huge role in winning two World Series rings (2007 and 2013) for Boston and earned a third in 2018.

If it wasn’t for injuries, the Hall of Fame was a definite possibility for Pedroia. It’s going to be very tough for him to get in now, but Boston fans will love him forever for everything he did for the organization.

Now the Red Sox need to find a new long-term solution though. One of the better options was just traded away. C.J. Chatham has been a longtime top prospect in the organization. He is a friend of the Prospect Watch and one of my “Paul Heyman guys”. Sad to see him go, but he will do great things with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Meanwhile, that just leaves more questions for Boston. Who could fill in for Pedroia? Brock Holt is gone. Jose Peraza was not the revelation they were hoping for last year either.

Christian Arroyo showed some flashes last season and could get a chance in 2021. Jonathan Arauz is interesting too, elite glove potential. Michael Chavis is coming off a bad 2020, but it’s easy to excuse a 60-game season. One bad slump sort of ruins the whole thing. He has plenty of power potential and has shown some nice leather at second on occasion.

Still, the Red Sox used all of those players (not counting Holt) last year. If you include Holt, all those players have been part of the post-Pedroia solution. So far, second base has been one of their least productive positions in that time. Something needs to change.

They could make a trade or try to find someone in free agency, but there are also some other in-house options. That includes a prospect that they actually traded for last season.

On August 30 of 2020, the Red Sox traded first baseman, Mitch Moreland, to the San Diego Padres. They got a surprisingly strong return for the 34-year-old veteran first baseman on a one-year deal. It definitely helped that Moreland was enjoying a superb offensive season, but still.

Boston received two prospects for the first baseman, outfielder Jeisson Rosario and infielder Hudson Potts. Both are now top-20 prospects in the organization’s system.

Rosario is seen as someone who needs more refinement in the minors. However, Potts is right on the cusp of the Majors.

He even spent time in Double-A in both 2018 and 2019, with 107 of his 111 games played in 2019 being at that level. So it’s clear the right-handed hitter has some seasoning.

Can he play the position though? At 6’3″, 218 lbs Potts might not be considered the most prototypical second baseman. He has proven that he can play the position though. Sure he is not the rangiest of rangy at the second, but Potts can get to most balls and has a sure-glove, and is reliable with the arm.

He has logged just 218 innings at second base in the minors, but also has time at all three other infield positions. The versatility makes him intriguing and adds to his value.

For now, though, we’re talking about long-term second base solutions. So while that versatility is nice, it’s not what we want to focus on.

Potts has no experience over Double-A and only 218 innings at second base. Why would he be a good solution in 2021 and beyond, you ask? Simple, he can hit.

Potts has a career .256 average in the Minors, so he is not exactly the contact hitter that Pedroia is. However, he will bring a lot to the position. He has 56 home runs over the last three seasons, an average of 18.67 a year. At the same time, he had 35 doubles in 2018 and 24 in 2019.  The right-handed hitter has a good eye and with time could turn that into a patient bat that helps him draw more walks and get more good pitches to hit.

Boston needs offensive production from second base. It is something that has been lacking from their lineup for a few years now. Potts could change that rather quickly. Think along the lines of Dan Uggla.

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Usually, I’m not a fan of comparisons because everyone brings in multiple different aspects. No one fits perfectly with another player – they bring their own strengths and weaknesses to the table and you should never put someone into a box like that.

So when I say “think along the lines of Uggla” I’m not talking about his whole game. Potts has better defensive potential and won’t flirt with a sub-.200 batting average. However, he could be a second baseman that might not have the highest averages but still get on-base quite often and hit for a lot of power.

Don’t expect much in the speed department, but an all-around offensive talent that is reliable on defense. What more can you really ask for from second base? Especially looking back on the recent history of the position for the Red Sox.

Potts is from Texas, so I can only assume he loves the Geto Boys (if he doesn’t then forget this whole article, I’m 100% out on him). If Bushwick Bill taught us anything though, it’s that size ain’t … well, you know.

Next. Boston re-signs lefty free agent Martin Pérez. dark

Don’t be afraid to give Hudson Potts the keys to second base just because he has a larger frame than most at the position. He could be the perfect solution for the Boston Red Sox at second base for a long time. And 2021 could be the start of that.