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 Marcelo Mayer
BOSTON, MA – JULY 22: Boston Red Sox 2021 first round draft pick Marcelo Mayer looks on after signing a contract with the club on July 22, 2021 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Red Sox Low-A (Salem)

Salem has some star power too and it all starts with Marcelo Mayer. The Red Sox’s top pick in the 2021 MLB draft has already shown his potential. He’s started the year slashing .333/.397/.491 with six doubles and one home run. The left-handed hitting shortstop has 10 RBI and nine runs scored, as well as three steals. Great all-around game, he can produce in every category for you. That’s exactly what he’s doing early on.

Niko Kavadas was taken in the same draft as Mayer, just much later – in the 11th round to be exact. The left-handed power bat is already raking though. Kavadas is slashing .310/.482/.571 with five doubles and two home runs. He’s driven in five runs and scored eight more. Kavadas is a classic power bat. Not great defense or speed, but yikes can he hit the ball.

Brainer Bonaci has been dumb impressive so far. The switch-hitting shortstop is just 19 and already showing an absurd eye. He’s currently 7-for-22 (.318) with no extra-base hits. That’s phenomenal. The extra-base hits need to come along but you can’t complain about .318. He’s also driven in five runs, scored nine more, and stolen two bases. Oh, and he has a .571 OBP because he’s drawn 13 walks. THIRTEEN.

Nathan Hickey is showing that offensive potential. The 22-year-old catcher has a .258/.385/.419 slash line with two doubles and a home run so far. He has driven in nine runs and scored seven more. The left-handed hitter has nearly as many walks (7) as he does strikeouts (8) on the year.

Blaze Jordan is starting off the year a little slow, but we’ve already seen what that power bat can do. So no one should be worried about 53 at-bats. At the moment, the third baseman is slashing .170/.254/.264 with two doubles and a home run. The right-handed hitter has five RBI and six runs scored. A quick reminder that he hit .324 in 28 games last year and that he’s still just 19.

Miguel Ugueto has started off the year hot. The 19-year-old outfielder is slashing .375/.390/.450 with three doubles, eight RBI, and four runs scored. This is his first time above rookie ball and in just nine games the right-handed hitter has already made a strong impression.

Kier Meredith struggled in Rookie ball last year (small sample size though). So you’d be forgiven if you were a little surprised by his blazing start this season in Low-A. The 22-year-old left-handed hitter has a .318/.500/.318 slash line right now. He’s driven in four runs, scored three more, and stolen four bases. The outfielder has yet to pick up an extra-base hit but has plenty of speed to make up for it (singles and walks turn into him standing on second soon enough anyway).

Tyler Miller is slashing .256/.360/.419 with four doubles and one home run. The left-handed hitter has four RBI and seven runs to go with those solid power numbers. Drafted in the ninth round last season, Miller’s been off to a great start to his career. The third baseman has shown it all at the plate so far.

Eddinson Paulino has been an interesting case. If you look at his numbers, a .200/.292/.400 slash line isn’t going to excite anyone. But I swear every time I see the 19-year-old left-handed hitter batting, he’s getting some kind of RBI hit. And to be fair, Paulino does already have 11 RBI, nine runs scored, and one steal. And the shortstop has already racked up the extra-base hits as well, with four doubles to go along with two triples and one home run.

Wikelman Gonzalez (not Wilkelman like everyone thought apparently) is a monster. It makes sense to take an “L” out of his name because he’s not going to get many of those anyway. Friendly reminder that the right-handed pitcher is 20. Okay, now that you’ve been reminded – he has yet to give up an earned run in 11 innings this year. Gonzalez has a .189 BAA and 1.27 WHIP to go with that perfect ERA, oh, and 18 strikeouts.

Jacob Webb was another draft pick from 2021. And the left-handed reliever hasn’t let many batters cross the plate since then. In 7 1/3 innings this season, Webb has a 1.23 ERA to go along with a .185 BAA and 0.95 WHIP. The 23-year-old has 14 strikeouts compared to just two walks.

Tyler Uberstine was a member of, you guessed it, the 2021 draft class. The right-handed pitcher has appeared in two games, starting one. In that time, Uberstine has tossed eight innings. The 22-year-old has a 2.25 ERA, .233 BAA, and 1.38 WHIP with eight strikeouts so far this year.

Adenys Bautista has had one season under a 5.00 ERA so far in his career. That was in 2018 in Rookie Ball when he had a 4.78 ERA in 26 1/3 innings. This year the 22-year-old righty has a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings. He’s posted a .167 BAA and 0.70 WHIP to go along with that. Impressively, he’s only walked one batter while striking out 13.

Joey Stock has already thrown 11 1/3 innings in five outings this season. The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher has a 3.18 ERA in that time. Stock pairs that with a .220 BAA and 1.24 WHIP. He’s walked five batters but already racked up 15 strikeouts as well.

Gabriel Jackson is the perfect example of why bloated numbers for a pitcher early on shouldn’t always concern you. In his first two starts of the year, the 20-year-old combined for seven shutout innings. They weren’t garbage luck innings either. Jackson allowed three hits and one walk in that time, striking out six. Well in his third start, the right-handed pitcher only went 1 1/3 innings. He gave up seven runs on seven hits and a walk in that time. Suddenly he holds a 7.56 ERA, .294 BAA, and 1.44 WHIP in 8 1/3 innings. He was untouchable in two of three starts though.

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