Boston Red Sox Prospect Watch: New season, new headline names

BOSTON, MA - JULY 22: Boston Red Sox 2021 first round draft pick Marcelo Mayer poses for a portrait as he is signed with the club on July 22, 2021 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 22: Boston Red Sox 2021 first round draft pick Marcelo Mayer poses for a portrait as he is signed with the club on July 22, 2021 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox Kole Cottam
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA – MARCH 13: Kole Cottam of the Boston Red Sox takes batting practice during a spring training team workout at JetBlue Park at Fenway South on March 13, 2022 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Red Sox Double-A (Portland)

The Portland offense has been stupid good. David Hamilton taking over the leadoff spot this year has definitely helped. The middle infielder came over in the Hunter Renfroe trade and is utterly dominating so far.

Hamilton is slashing .327/.414/.571 with one double, one triple, and three home runs. The left-handed hitter drove in 13 runs and scored eight more. Oh, and that’s not all – elite speed. The 24-year-old already has 10 steals.

We really need to talk about Kole Cottam more. Okay, not me. I talk about him too much possible. But in general, people need to talk about the catcher more. The right-handed hitter has a hit in all 10 games he’s played in this year. In that time, Cottam is slashing .375/.432/.550 with four doubles and one home run.

That slash line is nuts and I feel like if you asked a good number of Red Sox fans they’d maybe recognize the name, but that’s it. He’s driven in five runs and scored five more. The 24-year-old also improved dramatically defensively last season. And if he takes another step forward this year there’s no reason he can’t make a serious jump as a prospect soon.

Christian Koss is that dude. The shortstop is slashing .321/.357/.472 with two doubles and two home runs. He’s driven in 12 runs, scored eight more, and stolen two bases. The 24-year-old right-handed hitter made some waves in Spring Training, and he’s capitalizing on that to start the year. With the potential he showed in 2021, this is exciting.

Tyreque Reed might be the reason some of you are even reading this right now. That right hook is probably going to go down in history. The first baseman has an impressive swing too though. He hasn’t gotten much time this year (partially due to the suspension). But Reed is slashing a solid .273/.333/.364 with one double and two RBI. And if you watched him last year, you know the home runs can come in bunches.

Elih Marrero is another exciting catching prospect for the Red Sox. Great arm, and fantastic athleticism for the position. The switch-hitting 24-year-old is slashing .300/.481/.450 with three doubles so far. He’s driven in one run and scored five more.

Wil Dalton has done nothing at the plate except mash so far. The right-handed-hitting outfielder is slashing .348/.385/.696 with two doubles and two home runs. He’s driven in six runs and scored six more, stealing one base. The 24-year-old has shown potential at the plate in the past but always stumbles and the numbers end up not looking great. Is this the year he puts it all together?

Cameron Cannon started off slow, but it didn’t take long for him to pick it right back up. The right-handed hitter is up to a .250/.327/.318 slash line with three doubles, two RBI, four runs scored, and one steal. The slugging percentage isn’t great, but Cannon can launch some homers and will pile up the doubles.

Devlin Granberg also started off slow. His current hot streak has been absolutely blazing though. The outfielder is suddenly up to a .308/.419/.462 slash line with two doubles and a triple. Granberg has driven in two runs and scored five more, even stealing a base. The right-handed hitter has drawn as many walks (3) as he has strikeouts (3).

Tyler Dearden is having a good year and the home runs haven’t even started yet. The left-handed-hitting outfield has a .268/.415/.341 slash line with one double and one triple. He’s driven in four runs and scored six more. The 23-year-old had a career-high 24 home runs in a breakout campaign last year, so the homers will likely start piling up soon.

Pedro Castellanos started off icy but he’s starting to thaw out. The right-handed hitter has a .143/.200/.245 slash line with two doubles and one home run. He’s driven in eight runs and scored one more. Usually an extremely consistent hitter, he’ll be fine.

Hudson Potts started the year 0-for-18 and 1-for-22. He’s 5-for-15 since then though. With a double and three homers. The corner infielder is now slashing .171/.293/.486 with two doubles and three home runs. He’s driven in seven runs and scored six more. The right-handed hitter struggled last season and started slow this year. But the recent hot streak is very encouraging.

Brandon Walter enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 between Low-A and High-A. And now at a new level, the left-handed pitcher has made three starts so far this year. In that time he’s posted a 1.06 ERA, .167 BAA, and 0.59 WHIP. The most ridiculous stat though? Walter has thrown 17 innings so far. In that time, the 25-year-old has 22 strikeouts compared to zero walks. Seriously, zero walks.

Brayan Bello is one of the top prospects in the Red Sox system, and he’s made it pretty clear why. After looking “okay” in Double-A last year after being called-up midseason, he’s dominated early on in 2022. The right-hander has thrown 15 1/3 innings over three starts. In that time, Bello has a 2.35 ERA, .179 BAA, and 0.91 WHIP. The 22-year-old has 24 strikeouts compared to just four walks.

Chris Murphy isn’t far behind Bello on that prospect list. And he’s proving why as well. Seriously, how are teams scoring against this rotation? In three starts Murphy has thrown 14 innings. The left-handed pitcher has a 3.21 ERA, .196 BAA, and 1.14 WHIP. He’s struck out 18 batters compared to six walks.

Importantly, the 23-year-old has only allowed one home run so far (it was actually on the first pitch of the season for Murph). Last season he gave up 21 long balls in 101 1/3 innings. If he’s figured out how to limit those, good luck.

Jay Groome has thrown 9 1/3 innings this season, posting a 4.82 ERA in that time. The lefty has a .200 BAA and 1.29 WHIP. He’s struck out nine batters and those tend to come in packs. Groome had an incredibly strong end to the 2021 season and there are plenty of positives to start this year.

Frank German has been electric since moving to the bullpen midway through last year. The right-handed pitcher has been stupid untouchable in 2022. German has tossed seven innings so far. In that time he’s allowed zero earned runs on just two hits and zero walks. That’s a 0.00 ERA, 0.91 BAA, and 0.29 WHIP. Oh, and the 24-year-old already has 13 strikeouts.

Oddanier Mosqueda has a 0.00 ERA in 6 2/3 innings. The 22-year-old lefty also has a .136 BAA and a 0.75 WHIP. He’s picked up more strikeouts (7) than he’s given up hits and walks combined (5). Mosqueda has shown great stuff every year so far and it looks like 2022 will be more of the same.

Andrew Politi also has a 0.00 ERA, this time in 5 2/3 innings though. The 25-year-old right-handed pitcher has a .056 BAA and 0.18 WHIP to go along with that empty ERA. Politi also has more strikeouts (12) than hits and walks combined (1). Yes, he’s given up one hit and has yet to walk anyone. That’s just dumb.

Victor Santos has tossed 17 innings in three starts this year. The 21-year-old righty has a 2.12 ERA, .194 BAA, and 0.94 WHIP in that time. He’s struck out 12 batters compared to four walks. Santos was phenomenal after joining the organization midway through last year and looks like another amazing pickup by Chaim Bloom.

Jacob Wallace has a 1.50 ERA, .105 BAA, and 0.67 WHIP in six innings this season. The 23-year-old right-handed pitcher has nine strikeouts compared to just two walks so far. He struggled in High-A last season but did rack up an insane 76 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings. That shows something special. Despite the higher level in 2022, could Wallace put some things together?