Boston Red Sox Prospect Watch: Big performances mark breakouts

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JULY 08: Blaze Jordan is seen during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Progressive Field on July 08, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JULY 08: Blaze Jordan is seen during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Progressive Field on July 08, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox Bryan Mata
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 27: Bryan Mata #90 of the Boston Red Sox delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies in the second inning of a Grapefruit spring training game at JetBlue Park at Fenway South on February 27, 2020 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Red Sox Double-A (Portland)

Bryan Mata was promoted to Double-A this week and made two really strong starts. His first outing saw the right-handed pitcher give up one run on two hits and one walk (three strikeouts) over 3 1/3 innings. The next time out was four innings of one-run (zero earned) on two hits and one walk (five strikeouts). Mata has looked phenomenal during his return.

Ryan Fernandez was promoted to Double-A this week as well, thanks to a strong stretch in High-A. The righty reliever gave up one hit while striking out two batters in one inning in his Double-A debut. He did give up a run, but it was unearned.

Another pitcher made his Portland debut this week. You might not have heard about the prospect but I think he could have something special, so indulge me for a second. Chris Sale gave up one run on four hits, striking out seven batters in four innings. Give him a chance, he’s got the “it” factor.

Jay Groome continues his strong season with a great game this week. The lefty gave up one run on two hits over five innings. He did walk four batters but struck out seven as well. Groome has a 3.69 ERA, .206 BAA, and 1.27 WHIP in 70 2/3 innings pitched. He’s walked 37 batters but has struck out 74. The walks have never been an issue like this before, so hopefully, it’s something he can work through – because everything else has been fantastic.

Oddanier Mosqueda holds a 2.35 ERA, .173 BAA, and 0.98 WHIP on the year. The left-handed pitcher has 37 strikeouts compared to 12 walks over 30 2/3 innings pitched so far. Mosqueda is enjoying what is easily the best year of his minor league career so far and could climb the ranks.

Rio Gomez continues to impress after that rocky start. The lefty made just one appearance this week but did his job. He pitched a season-high 3 1/3 innings, giving up no runs on two hits and two walks while striking out six. Gomez now has a 7.00 ERA, .306 BAA, 1.89 WHIP, and 13 strikeouts in nine innings.

Ceddanne Rafaela is now slashing .314/.357/.589 with 22 doubles, six triples, and 15 home runs between High-A and Double-A this season. That’s absurd. The right-handed hitter already has career-highs in doubles and homers. He also has a career-high in RBI (54) to go along with 51 runs scored and 17 steals. Give him a top-100 prospect spot at the end of the year or I riot.

David Hamilton was slumping hard for a while. Then he moved to the six-hole this week and wow did that change things. Holding a .206 average, he went 9-for-17 with three walks, one double, one triple, and six steals this week. The left-handed-hitting second baseman is now slashing .229/.301/.371 with six doubles, seven triples, and five home runs. He’s driven in 23 runs, scored 33 more, and stolen 31 bases. Just get on at a decent clip and he’ll steal every base.

Christian Koss had a mammoth game this week and boosted the numbers nicely. The right-handed-hitting shortstop is now slashing .265/.313/.419 with seven doubles, four triples, and eight home runs. He’s driven in 43 runs, scored 27 more, and stolen seven bases.

Tyler Dearden has been steadily getting his numbers up as well. The left-handed-hitting outfielder is now up to a .251/.357/.346 slash line with nine doubles, one triple, and two home runs. He’s driven in 27 runs and scored 19 more. The power that was on display last season hasn’t really shown up yet, but he’s turning it on at the plate so maybe the homers will join the party.

Kole Cottam is quietly having a great season. The numbers aren’t super flashy for the catcher, but he’s produced really well. Maybe that will make people underestimate him, but he brings it all to the table. The right-handed hitter is slashing .259/.349/.337 with 10 doubles and one home run. He’s driven in 14 runs and scored 19 more so far.

Stephen Scott was called up to Double-A last week and has been pretty solid so far. The left-handed-hitting utility-man struggled mightily in High-A but has boosted his numbers in Portland. Scott is slashing .240/.367/.280 with one double over seven Double-A games. He’s yet to drive in a run but has four runs scored and nearly as many walks (5) as strikeouts (7).

It’s been rough for Alex Binelas since getting the promotion to Double-A. The lefty third baseman is 1-for-28 (although that one hit is a home run). He’s driven in three runs and scored three more so far. The good news is, Binelas has drawn eight walks already – so he is finding a way to get on base. He’ll be fine, just needs to adjust.