Boston Red Sox Prospect Watch: Top prospects headline big week

Feb 26, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Jarren Duran (92) is congratulated in the dugout after his two run home run during the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 26, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Jarren Duran (92) is congratulated in the dugout after his two run home run during the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Red Sox prospect Kole Cottam
Greenville Drive’s Kole Cottam (39) is safe at first base after a pickoff attempt from West Virginia Power during the game at Flour Field Thursday, April 4, 2019.Ss Drive 04 04 2019 1603 /

Red Sox Advanced-A (Greenville)

Remember when Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens had the “Festival of Friendship” and Owens gifted Jericho with the “List of KO” and turned on him? Total betrayal. That’s how I felt this week. Chris Murphy and Brayan Bello were pitching in back-to-back games against Asheville but Asheville doesn’t stream their games apparently. Heartbreaking.

My three favorite pitchers to watch in the minors are Bryan Mata, Murphy, and Bello. El Idolo is injured and now they don’t broadcast Murph and Bello’s games? Hateful. I am distraught.

Murphy gave up five runs on five hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings. Three homers did him in, but when he was on he had things working. The left-handed pitcher did finish with five strikeouts and now has 19 in 14 innings this year. He has a 4.50 ERA to go along with a 1.50 WHIP and a .255 BAA. Some of those numbers aren’t great but he’s still just 22 pitching above rookie ball for the first time. Great mixture of pitches, he’ll be fine and proved that with a dominant start the week prior.

Bello meanwhile allowed two runs on six hits and one walk while striking out 10 over five innings in his start this week. The 22-year-old righty now has a 2.20 ERA to go along with a 0.98 WHIP and a .211 BAA. He’s struck out 23 batters over 16 1/3 innings. Great stuff, absolutely shockingly underrated prospect.

We saw a couple pitchers have solid weeks to bring their numbers down as well. Starting with Jay Groome. The lefty walked four batters over 3 2/3 innings, which isn’t great – but he only allowed one run on one hit while striking out seven (showing those nasty pitches). Groome brought his ERA down to 10.64, WHIP down to 2.36, and his BAA down to .327. Obviously they all need work but his most recent appearance shows that Groome can drop the numbers quickly.

Alex Scherff threw three shutout innings this week. In fact, he only walked one batter while giving up zero hits and striking out six in that time. The righty now has a 4.70 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and absurd .077 BAA . He’s struck out 14 batters in 7 2/3 innings.

Oddanier Mosqueda threw 3 1/3 shutout innings this week. He only gave up one hit and hit one batter, other than that there was no damage, as he struck out seven. The lefty has a 4.70 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and .185 BAA, while striking out 12 batters in 7 2/3 innings.

Yorvin Pantoja has thrown 9 1/3 innings so far this year. The left-handed pitcher has a 2.89 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and .250 BAA at the moment. He has 10 strikeouts compared to just one walk and the 23-year-old is showing real potential with his pitches.

Tyler Dearden is hitting .326 with a .466 OBP thanks to an absurd 11 walks already. The 22-year-old has five doubles and five home runs, driving in 15 runs and scoring another 14. Dearden’s always had all the tools, and it appears he has put them together to become one of the breakout stars of the system.

Give Tyreque Reed his credit. He came into the organization this year without any fanfare. A .280-ish hitter who had 18 home runs in two straight years. The numbers were great but people weren’t really taking notice. He’s making them now though. The 23-year-old is slashing .304/.439/.739 with two doubles and six home runs. He’s driven in 19 runs and scored another 15. Reed’s mashing his way up the ladder.

Cameron Cannon is hitting .313 and already has seven doubles and three home runs. The shortstop came into the system with serious bat potential. That’s shining at the moment. Cannon has driven in eight runs and scored 12 more, stealing two bases. Expect to see him move up a level at some point this year.

Kole Cottam has seen his average dip down to .297. That’s still fantastic though, and he has a .422 OBP which is major. The catcher has one double, two home runs, five RBI, and six runs on the year – all showing that his offensive potential is legit.

Nick Sogard came into the year with zero home runs in 214 at-bats. He now has four in 52 at-bats in 2021. Sogard is hitting .269 with three doubles and one triple to go along with those four homers. The switch-hitter also has eight RBI and eight runs scored, and a really good week at the plate proved that his numbers might be trending upward for a while.

Brandon Howlett is slashing .294/.362/.431 with four doubles and one home run. The third baseman has driven in seven runs and scored nine more. An interesting prospect at a loaded position, the 21-year-old could do himself a lot of favors if he keeps up the offensive production.

I’ve always been a big Tyler Esplin fan and he’s proving once again why. The outfielder is currently hitting .242 with a .382 OBP. He has five doubles and one home run, driving in 10 runs while scoring 11 more and stealing one base. Esplin can do a little bit of everything offensively and has a very good eye. Throw in solid defense and a strong arm and he’s a great all-around prospect.

Michael Osinski is back on the prospect watch after a strong week. 5-for-13 with two doubles, two walks, and five runs scored will do that for you. The first baseman has a .273/.346/.500 slash line at the moment with two doubles and one home run in 22 at-bats. He has driven in four runs and scored five more. Osinski can play multiple positions, which makes him an interesting piece (he even threw 2/3 shutout innings in 2019).