No. 8: Red Sox shortstop prospect Brainer Bonaci
There’s no hiding the fact that Brainer Bonaci is one of my favorite prospects in the Boston Red Sox organization. He has a combination of elite defense and a phenomenal eye at the plate. Two of my favorite attributes.
Bones spent the 2022 season in Low-A. He slashed .262/.397/.385 with 19 doubles, six triples, and six home runs. The switch-hitter drove in 50 runs, scored 86 more, and stole 28 bases as well. His most impressive stat was the 89 walks compared to 89 strikeouts on the year.
Bonaci didn’t rack up the extra-base hits all year long, but he did show flashes of potential in that area. It’s something the 20-year-old could take a step forward with next season.
Even if that’s never a part of his game though, there’s still so much to love. He has gold glove potential at shortstop and has the ability to play third base and second base as well. Bonaci made a number of circus plays in 2022 but makes the routine ones as well. A strong arm, good footwork, and an insanely soft glove.
He’ll hit for contact, won’t strike out much, and will get on-base thanks to his top-tier eye. And an eye isn’t something that’s just going to go away. He can read pitches very well and rarely swings at something out of the zone. His good bat-to-ball skills help him to fight off tough pitches and limit the strikeouts as well.
When Bones gets on, he has plenty of speed to help him score. He can sprint around the bases when a teammate gets a hit, or he can just steal a few times to get himself into scoring position without any help. Great OBP and plenty of speed? That could lead to Bonaci being a run factory, even if he’s never an elite hitter.
A high-.300s OBP with 25 steals and around 100 runs scored could be obtainable for Bonaci in the future. And he’ll do that while winning a gold glove at shortstop.
Bones will have detractors because of his lack of power, but anyone that’s watched him play likely loves him as much as I do (okay, almost as much as I do).