Dylan Hardy could be a fun prospect to watch for the Red Sox in 2021.
The Boston Red Sox have a lot of intriguing prospects that should dominate the headlines. Everyone should want to see what Triston Casas, Bryan Mata, Jarren Duran, Jay Groome, Gilberto Jimenez, and others are going to do.
That being said, the top names aren’t the only ones that can bring a lot of intrigue. Every year it’s extremely fun to watch some of the under-the-radar prospects put together strong campaigns and catapult themselves into conversations.
Then you can go even deeper than that. There are the prospects that are so under-the-radar, you aren’t going to hear about them unless they put up comically absurd video-game like numbers. We’re talking Pablo Sanchez dominating at Steele Stadium (that’s the best park in Backyard Baseball, debate a brick wall please) type stats.
One of those players for the Red Sox might be Dylan Hardy.
Hardy has a lot going against him when it comes to finding his way into headlines. The most obvious problem is his draft position, getting picked up in the 13th round of the 2018 MLB draft (400th overall). At that spot, he likely isn’t going to be getting much attention to start.
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He is 24, which obviously is far from old, but it’s not like he’s some 19-year-old raw prospect who fans can talk about being a few years from the Majors and it not meaning much.
Then there’s the fact that Hardy plays in the outfield. Boston’s outfield in the Majors is far from fantastic. They have multiple question marks and not a lot of depth.
However, once you trickle down into the minors that completely changes. Duran is going to be a star. Jimenez is extremely young and a few years from the Majors but he’s got all the star power in the world as well.
Marcus Wilson is a stud and doesn’t get the love he deserves either, but people at least recognize that he could be a factor. Throw in Jeisson Rosario and you’ve got a pretty long list ahead of Hardy.
Finally, there are the stats. Hardy slashed just .215/.300/.308 in 2019.
So what exactly makes me think he could be interesting to watch in 2021?
Well first off, he is at a loaded position in the minors for the Red Sox. A loaded outfield is different than any other position (not counting pitcher) though. I named four guys, a normal Major League team has at least four outfielders, so it’s not like they’re all fighting for one spot.
Then you can look at the stats. Sure, that slash line wasn’t very good. We can break that down though. Hardy was in just his second year in the minors in 2019. Coming into the season he had played just 40 games, and they were all in Short-A.
After 2019, Hardy has still only appeared in 118 career games. He has 357 career at-bats. That’s not even a full season. So it’s not like he’s had a lot of time to prove himself.
Finally, that slash line mentioned before? That came across five different levels in 2019. Hardy appeared in games for Short-A, Full-A, Advanced-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. Excuse him if he couldn’t get comfortable while moving around so much.
Now let’s look at the player himself. Listed at 5’11”, 175 lbs, Hardy isn’t exactly going to standout on the field. But he brings a nice all-around game with him that definitely adds some intrigue.
The right-handed hitter probably won’t be a 30-home run type of guy any time soon. However, 10-15 is not out of the question. Add in good speed that should help him rack up extra base hits and a decent amount of steals and you have a nice well-rounded offensive player.
Hardy could grade out to be a .270-plus hitter with 20-plus steals and decent enough pop. Throw in good defense and there is a lot to like about the outfielder.
The Red Sox have a lot going on in 2021. There is potential with the Major League team and the minors have a number of storylines to follow. Due to that, you’ll be forgiven if you aren’t paying attention to Dylan Hardy at first.
Don’t be all that surprised if he puts together a really strong 2021 though. The pieces are all there. He’s definitely one under-the-radar prospect to keep an eye out for.