Boston Red Sox Prospect Watch: Debut steals the headlines

BOSTON, MA - JULY 6: Brayan Bello #66 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on July 6, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 6: Brayan Bello #66 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on July 6, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /
3 of 5
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 made another rehab start in Double-A this week. While he did have some command issues (five walks), his four innings were great outside of that. The right-handed pitcher gave up one unearned run on just one hit and struck out seven batters. His stuff has looked fantastic in basically every outing so far this season. Mata’s posted a 2.01 ERA, .141 BAA, 1.16 WHIP, and 32 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings over a few levels this season.

Ryan Fernandez was great in High-A towards the end of his run there. In the month of June, the righty reliever didn’t allow a run in 10 1/3 innings pitched, racking up 19 strikeouts (just eight hits and one walk). Now in July in Double-A, Fernandez hasn’t allowed an earned run in 3 2/3 innings. He’s given up just three hits and one walk while striking out eight batters.

Brian Van Belle had been doing really well since his call-up to Double-A before this week. Now he’s looking like an ace though. The right-handed pitcher made two starts this week. The first saw him give up one run on five hits (no walks) over six innings, striking out six.

BVB topped that in his second start though. He allowed three hits (no walks) and struck out five over seven shutout innings. Van Belle now holds a 3.21 ERA, .221 BAA, 0.89 WHIP, and 32 strikeouts (two walks) in 28 Double-A innings this season.

Jay Groome’s been great this season, but walks have been an issue. So the left-hander’s start this week was extremely encouraging. Groome gave up one run over six innings, allowing just five hits and one walk while striking out seven. He’s posted a 3.52 ERA, .207 BAA, 1.25 WHIP, and 81 strikeouts (compared to 38 walks) over 76 2/3 innings this season. That .207 BAA is easily the best of his career.

Ceddanne Rafaela is still having a season that makes you wonder how he isn’t getting national attention at this point. The gold glove utility-man made some more ridiculous plays, including a home run robbery (his second in a few days) that makes you question if he’s human.

Meanwhile, the right-handed hitter is slashing .314/.354/.587 with seven triples and career-highs in doubles (23) and home runs (16). He’s scored 58 runs, stolen 19 bases,  and driven in a career-high 55 runs. Ceddanne Chipper Nicasio Marte Rafaela is your favorite baseball player’s favorite baseball player.

David Hamilton is back up to a .232/.306/.390 slash line with seven doubles, seven triples, and seven home runs on the year. The average and OBP could still use an upgrade but the quick rise has been awesome. And there’s been some added pop in his bat lately too. The left-handed hitting second baseman has driven in 26 runs and scored 40 more.

His elite speed is being shown off more too now that he’s back to getting on-base, with 31 steals. Hamilton’s in the middle of a six-game hitting streak that includes a double, two homers, four walks (only two Ks), and two steals.

This trend of Stephen Scott playing better after getting promoted is pretty wild. The catcher/utility-man did it last season, and he’s doing it again. After struggling in High-A, Scott’s slashing .260/.373/.360 with two doubles and one homer in Double-A. That’s miles better than his High-A slash line.

Scott’s been extremely clutch this year and between the two levels has 10 doubles, one triple, and four home runs. He’s driven in 21 runs, scored 27 more, stolen two bases, and has nearly as many walks (32) and strikeouts (39).

Christian Koss had a great week that included three multi-hit games. The right-handed hitting shortstop is slashing .271/.312/.432 with 10 doubles, four triples, and nine home runs this season. He’s driven in 49 runs, scored 35 more, and stolen seven bases. Koss gives you everything out there.

Kole Cottam clearly wants me to go to weddings more often. I couldn’t post highlights on Twitter (shameless plug, give me a follow @hunter_noll) for the weekend because I was at all the wedding festivities (I’m a nerd so I still watched as much as I could on my phone but I didn’t have my laptop to do all the work).

So what did he do? Launched his second homer of the year. The right-handed hitting catcher is now slashing .257/.346/.350 with 11 doubles and two home runs. He’s driven in 18 runs and scored 22 more. The power numbers are coming.

Alex Binelas had a really slow start in Double-A. But he stayed above water by drawing walks. Now he’s broken out completely. The left-handed hitting third baseman had two multi-hit games this week and hit two homers. He’s slashing .226/.345/.470 with 10 doubles, two triples, and 17 home runs between two levels. Binelas has also driven in 53 runs, scored 47 more, walked 50 times, and stolen eight bases in eight attempts.

Elih Marrero’s been great defensively all year. Now he’s turning it up with the bat too. The switch-hitting catcher is on a six-game hitting streak that has seen his average jump up .022 points. He’s added three doubles and six walks in that time as well. Marrero’s slashing .211/.337/.286 with eight doubles and one home run on the year. He’s driven in seven runs, scored 19 more, and stolen nine bases.

Nick Sogard was flexing the extra-base hit power this week – roping three doubles, one triple, and one home run. The switch-hitting second baseman is slashing .256/.358/.361 with nine doubles, one triple, and four home runs between Double-A and Triple-A this season. He’s driven in 23 runs, scored 35 more, and stolen nine bases.