Boston Red Sox prospect watch: 2023 season has arrived

Boston Red Sox Spring Training
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Boston Red Sox Ceddanne Rafaela
Miami Marlins v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

Red Sox Double-A (Portland) prospects

Nick Yorke is the big storyline in Double-A right now. The second baseman had a down year in 2022 due to a nagging wrist injury. Some people might be surprised to see him in Portland after such a weak slash line in High-A the year prior. Yorke's primed to remind everyone just how good he is, and the right-handed hitter is off to a hot start in 2023. He's slashing .300/.500/.400 with one double and three runs scored. Yorke's walked more times (4) than he's struck out (2).

Ceddanne Rafaela is slashing .214/.214/.214 with four RBI and one run scored. The right-handed hitter has not walked yet and has five strikeouts. That's something he needs to improve on. The centerfielder's defense is elite, and the speed is there (two steals). If he can work counts, it will all fall into place. It's important to remember we're only three games into the season.

Christian Koss got the short end of the stick thanks to MLB veterans starting the year in Triple-A. The shortstop had to return to Double-A after a fantastic 2022. He's wasted no time showing he belongs at the next level. The right-handed hitter is slashing .444/.545/.667 with two doubles. He's driven in three runs, scored three more, and stolen three bases.

Alex Binelas hit 25 home runs in 2022, but his first year in the Boston Red Sox organization didn't go great. The corner infielder is trying to flip the script in 2023, though. Binelas is 2-for-6 with two doubles this year. The left-handed hitter has driven in three runs, scored two more, and has more walks (2) than strikeouts (1).

Matthew Lugo is 2-for-9 with one double to this point. The right-handed hitter has driven in two runs and scored two more. Lugo had a breakout year in 2022 and has a chance to prove himself at a higher level in the minor leagues. Another storyline to follow is his transition to third base.

Niko Kavadas started the 2022 season in Low-A and finished the year in Double-A. That fast rise left him a little behind the times in Portland. Now with some experience under his belt, it will be interesting to see what Kavadas can do at the level. The left-handed hitter first baseman is 0-for-6 but does have two walks.

Tyler Dearden has appeared in one game this year and made the most of it. The left-handed hitting outfielder is 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI, and one run scored.

Corey Rosier came out firing in 2023. The left-handed hitting outfielder is 4-for-6 with two doubles and a walk. He's driven in three runs, scored one more, and stolen one base.

Phillip Sikes spent time in Low-A and High-A last season, putting up solid numbers. In 2023, the outfielder is getting a shot in Double-A and could sneak onto some radars. The right-handed hitter is 1-for-7 with one home run and two walks. He's driven in one run, scored two more, and stolen one base.

Tyler McDonough has also made the jump to Double-A. The outfielder/middle infielder is 2-for-9 with a home run this year. He's driven in two runs, scored three more, and stolen one base.

Shane Drohan has a chance to take a massive jump in 2023. The left-handed starter has added velocity to his fastball and looked fantastic in his first start. He tossed five shutout innings, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out five.

Theo Denlinger made his first appearance in the Red Sox system this week. The righty tossed two perfect innings in just 23 pitches, striking out three batters.

Brendan Nail struck out the first four batters he faced this season. The left-handed reliever hit the next two batters but didn't give up a run. That's where his season is right now, 1 1/3 innings pitched with four strikeouts.

Skylar Arias threw two shutout innings in his first appearance for the Boston organization. The lefty allowed one hit and two walks while striking out two batters.

Luis Guerrero is seen as someone who can rise through the system at a rapid rate. The right-handed pitcher allowed no runs on no hits and one walk while striking out one batter in one inning. He picked up the save for his effort.

Jacob Webb tossed two shutout innings in his lone appearance this season. The right-handed hitter gave up one hit and one walk while striking out four, earning the win.