Boston Red Sox Prospects: Who will make their MLB debut in 2022?
Red Sox catching prospect Ronaldo Hernandez
The catching situation for the Red Sox is sort of up-in-the-air right now. Christian Vazquez didn’t have a great year offensively. Even worse, his defense took a major step backwards. However, he had a strong showing the postseason.
Kevin Plawecki however was phenomenal offensively during the regular season, but struggled (in very limited reps to be fair) in the postseason. Defensively, he was even worse than Vazquez though.
So there’s a pretty clear issue with this position. A lack of defense. That’s where Ronaldo Hernandez comes in to play. The catcher had a massive year in 2021. In Double-A, the right-handed hitter slashed .280/.319/.506 in 336 at-bats. Then in 27 at-bats in Triple-A, Hernandez posted an incredible .333/.400/.444.
The now-24-year-old finished with one triple, 16 home runs, 58 RBI, 45 runs scored, and a career-high 29 doubles. Most importantly though, he’s gifted defensively. That includes a cannon for an arm that should help Boston limit steals a little bit.
With Hernandez getting a little bit of work in Triple-A, it’s safe to assume that’s where he’ll be starting in 2022. However, there is another issue here and it comes in the form of Connor Wong.
Wong picked it up a lot as the year went on, fixing his Triple-A numbers. Meanwhile, he looked great in the very limited reps he got in the Majors. Wong will be 26 in the 2022 season, so he’s seen as a potential future option at the position as well. His athleticism gives him the ability to play a few other positions, but it feels like Boston wants to at least give him a chance behind the dish.
Those are the four catchers on the 40-man roster right now though. So Hernandez is absolutely on the short-list. And it doesn’t feel like the front office has the most confidence in their current MLB catchers (Vaz and Plawecki). There were rumors that Boston tried to trade for Jacob Stallings from the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the Miami Marlins made a bigger offer.
So Wong and Hernandez might not be far away. And with Ronaldo Hernandez’s defensive gifts, it feels like the Red Sox might want to give him a try at some point. Thanks to that, the temperature is “warm” on the catcher.