Boston Red Sox prospect watch: New challenges, same results

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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Red Sox prospect Triston Casas
WORCESTER – Triston Casas watches the ball fly before being tagged out running to second during the final home game of the inaugural season at Polar Park on Sunday, September 26, 2021.Spt Woosoxgame 59 /

Red Sox Triple-A (Worcester)

Triston Casas will be in the Majors by this time next week. There’s my big bold prediction. The left-handed hitting first baseman is slashing .249/.355/.463 with 17 doubles and nine home runs in Triple-A this year. He’s driven in 28 runs and scored 33 more despite injuries limiting his playing time. Most importantly, Casas is slashing .314/.442/.600 in the month of August.

Enmanuel Valdez has certainly made a statement in his short time in the Red Sox organization. The left-handed hitting infielder was part of the Christian Vazquez return. He’s slashing .297/.372/.649 with one double and four home runs with Worcester. Valdez has stolen one base and scored nine runs, while driving in 15 runs in just 10 games.

Ronaldo Hernandez could be in he Majors soon as well. The right-handed hitting catcher holds a .276/.304/.452 slash line with 24 doubles and 11 home runs. He’s driven in 50 runs and scored 38 more. Hernandez has been unstoppable after a rocky first month-and-a-half of the year. His only issue has been walks (just 14), but everything else is there.

Connor Wong could also be a catcher in the Majors soon (although he’s already been there). The right-handed hitter is back from injury and has a home run in both games he’s played since then. Wong is slashing .268/.332/.415 with 15 doubles and eight home runs. He’s driven in 25 runs, scored 35 more, and stolen seven bases. Wong’s athleticism has already been on display in his short time back, with a great play behind the plate to get an out at first.

Pedro Castellanos has been phenomenal in Triple-A. The right-handed hitting first baseman/outfielder holds a .319/.344/.474 slash line with seven doubles, one triple, and three homer runs at the level. He’s driven in 15 runs and scored 15 more. His 57 total RBI on the year is the second-most he’s ever had in a season.

Kole Cottam is 2-for-8 with two doubles and a walk since being called-up to Triple-A. Cottam has proven himself defensively and looked good at the plate in the small sample size. Hopefully the right-handed hitting catcher will get more playing time soon, because he’s earned it. When we see some promotions to the Majors, that should clear up a spot for Cottam in the lineup.

Devlin Granberg has been great all year, no matter if he’s been in Double-A or Triple-A. The right-handed hitting outfielder/first baseman is slashing .279/.375/.417 with 21 doubles, five triples, and four home runs between the two levels. He’s driven in 28 runs, scored 45 more, and stolen eight bases.

There was a promotion of a veteran reliever this week and it didn’t make sense to me. A few names felt more deserving. Like Zack Kelly, who has been outstanding over the last two seasons. The right-handed reliever has a 3.00 ERA, .195 BAA, and 1.20 WHIP in 45 innings this year. He’s racked up 66 strikeouts in that time.

Frank German went from having a great year in Double-A to an elite year in Triple-A this season. The right-handed reliever was good in Double-A earlier in the year but has cranked it up in Triple-A. He holds a 2.54 ERA,.158 BAA, and 1.06 WHIP at the level. German has 36 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings pitched.

Andrew Politi continues his breakout year. The right-handed reliever holds a 2.91 ERA, .213 BAA, and 1.10 WHIP between both Double-A and Triple-A this year. He has 65 strikeouts compared to 18 walks in 52 2/3 innings so far.

Brain Keller tossed six innings in his start this week, giving up zero earned runs on just three hits. The righty pitcher continues his domination over the last few months. Keller now has a 3.05 ERA, .211 BAA, and 1.17 WHIP this year. All of those have dropped drastically since the calendar turned to June. He’s struck out 94 batters compared to 32 walks in 79 2/3 innings pitched.

Chris Murphy had a strange start this week. The lefty gave up four runs in the second inning. However, he didn’t allow anything else in the rest of his appearance. Murph finished with those four runs over 6 2/3 innings. It was impressive to see him keep his team in the game and give them such a long outing after the hiccup. He has a 3.14 ERA, .191 BAA, 1.14 WHIP, and 120 strikeouts in 117 2/3 innings this season.