Boston Red Sox Prospect Watch: Are there big changes on the horizon?

CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 07: Jeter Downs #20 of the Boston Red Sox at bat against the Philadelphia Phillies during the fourth inning of a Grapefruit League spring training game on March 07, 2020 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 07: Jeter Downs #20 of the Boston Red Sox at bat against the Philadelphia Phillies during the fourth inning of a Grapefruit League spring training game on March 07, 2020 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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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)

What a week for Kole Cottam. Last week, I mentioned that he was slumping a bit but the numbers still weren’t terrible or anything. He turned it around quickly. Entering with a .233/.357/.422 slash line, he left with a .260/.370/.449 line. The catcher now has nine doubles and five home runs, to go along with 19 RBI and 19 runs scored. An elite offensive catching prospect, it’s good to see he can work out of slumps.

Cameron Cannon wasn’t to be outdone and had himself a phenomenal week as well. He’s been seeing that average climb for a while and it took another massive boost this week, up to .284 (was .270 last week). Cannon has 17 doubles and six home runs on the year. Meanwhile, the shortstop has driven in 28 runs, scored 32 more, and stolen seven bases.

Tyler Dearden has been one of Greenville’s best players all year long. And honestly, he is not recognized nearly enough as one of the Red Sox better all-around prospects. The 23-year-old is slashing .287/.423/.553 with 13 doubles and nine home runs on the season. He’s driven in 37 runs and scored 36 more. The outfielder can do it all.

Tyreque Reed is slashing .287/.385/.557 with six doubles, one triple, and 13 homers this year. He’s driven in 45 runs in 46 games and has 36 runs scored and four steals to go along with it. Reed is definitely someone that should be called up once slots open due to the Olympics.

Brandon Howlett is enjoying a career-year. The 21-year-old is slashing .282/.376/.529 and already has career-highs in triples (2) and home runs (9) to go along with 12 doubles. Meanwhile, he has 32 RBI (three off his career-best) and 36 runs scored, as well as a new career-best two steals.

Christian Koss has been a solid pickup. The slash line is nothing to go crazy over (.247/.321/.371) but it isn’t bad either. Meanwhile he has nine doubles, three triples, and three homers to go along with 18 RBI and 27 runs scored. Koss has four steals and plays a phenomenal shortstop flashing a good glove and solid arm.

Jaxx Groshans got the call-up to Advanced-A this week and that was extremely deserved. So far, Groshans has played in just three games so it’s hard to get into the numbers too much. The catcher is 1-for-11 with a run scored. His Full-A numbers were superb though (.298/.417/.454 slash) and he definitely earned this.

Dominic D’Alessandro enjoyed a good week. His average actually went down from .281 to .269 but the slugging percentage sky-rocketed from .391 to .449. That’s thanks to a two-homer game that included an absolute mammoth shot (as well as a double later in the week). D’Alessandro now has three doubles, one triple, and three home runs on the year. He has also scored eight runs and driven in 13 more. In just 78 at-bats, those are pretty solid numbers.

Nick Sogard went 0-for-7 in his first two games this week but ended with a solid 2-for-5 performance. His slash line is down to .256/.328/.450 – still really solid. The infielder has hit eight doubles, one triple, and seven home runs. Meanwhile, he’s driven in 22 runs and scored 26 more, while stealing five bases.

Chris Murphy did not have his best game this season. The left-hander allowed six runs on seven hits and one HBP. However, there were a number of positives. First of all, he settled down nicely after giving up four runs in the first inning and five runs over the first two innings. In fact, all six runs came over the first three innings. If it wasn’t for that first, it was a solid start. Murph also struck out seven batters. He now has a 3.79 ERA, .228 BAA, and 1.15 WHIP on the year. All still really strong numbers. The 23-year-old also has 60 strikeouts over 54 2/3 innings pitched.

Jay Groome gave up just two runs on one hit and two walks over 5 1/3 innings pitched. Oh and he struck out nine – for the second game in a row. The lefty now has his ERA all the way down to 5.16, to go along with a 1.32 WHIP and .227 BAA. He has a phenomenal 75 strikeouts over 52 1/3 innings as well. I keep saying it but Groome’s return to form this year has been amazing to watch.

Jose Espada has only thrown 13 2/3 innings this year, but he’s been absolutely lights-out in that time. The right-hander has given up just one run (0.66 ERA) and has a .133 BAA and 1.02 WHIP. He’s struck out 16 batters in that time and is definitely deserving of a bigger opportunity.

Cody Scroggins was called up to Advanced-A as well after superb numbers in Full-A (1.33 ERA, .224 BAA, 1.26 WHIP) and now has one shutout inning under his belt as his new level. The righty did allow a walk and a hit, but also managed a strikeout in that time. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to a new level.

He didn’t come alone though as Brandon Walter joined Scroggins and Groshans in the call-up party. Walter had 1.45 ERA, .178 BAA, and 0.87 WHIP in Full-A. In Advanced-A, he has thrown 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk while striking out six. The left-hander dominated at the last level so one not-so-stellar appearance isn’t worrisome. It was still pretty solid.