Boston Red Sox prospect watch: Dazzling debuts and statements made
By Hunter Noll
Red Sox Double-A (Portland)
Grant Gambrell was called up to Double-A after great back-to-back starts in High-A. Gambrell wasn't having the best year, but he was looking better. And at 25, he felt too old for High-A. The right-handed pitcher made a statement in his first Double-A game. Gambrell was perfect through the first five innings. He ended up going six innings, allowing one run on two hits and no walks while walking eight batters.
CJ Liu did it again. The righty continues a dominant run of starts. Liu tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up four hits and three walks. Meanwhile, he struck out eight batters. That ties a season-high (he's done it three times now). Liu has a 3.03 ERA, .210 BAA, and 1.21 WHIP in 35 2/3 innings. He's struck out 39 batters compared to 17 walks.
Brian Van Belle gave up four runs on seven hits and one walk over six innings this week. It doesn't sound great, but BVB pitched well around a three-hitter stretch that ended in a three-run home run in the second inning. He also struck out eight batters. The right-handed pitcher has a 3.26 ERA, .237 BAA, and 1.22 WHIP. He's struck out 29 batters and walked 14 in 38 2/3 innings.
Luis Guerrero has a 1.13 ERA, .148 BAA, and 1.25 WHIP in 16 innings. He's struck out 11 batters and walked 12. The righty reliever has already picked up seven saves this season. He only has 16 innings in Double-A and 13 in High-A. Even with that limited work, it feels like if he can lower the walks, Guerrero might be close to a Triple-A promotion.
Ryan Fernandez has a 2.57 ERA, .167 BAA, and 0.86 WHIP in 14 innings between Single-A and Double-A. The right-handed reliever has 20 strikeouts compared to just four walks and has only allowed one home run.
Brendan Nail has thrown 20 2/3 innings this season. He's posted a 0.87 ERA, .192 BAA, and 0.97 WHIP in that time. The lefty has struck out 22 batters and walked six. Four of his 12 appearances have been starts. While he hasn't thrown more than three innings, Nail's tossed at least two innings six times already.
Rio Gomez only made one appearance this week. The left-handed reliever tossed four perfect innings, striking out four batters. Gomez has a 3.00 ERA, .131 BAA, and 0.94 WHIP. He's struck out 23 batters and walked nine in 18 innings.
Nathan Hickey has one of the best bats in the Boston Red Sox system. The left-handed hitting catcher has a .310/.402/.630 slash line with nine doubles, one triple, and seven home runs. Hickey has driven in 18 runs and scored 19 more. He's been locked in since his Double-A promotion.
Chase Meidroth hit his first Double-A home run this week. The right-handed hitting second/third baseman is slashing .321/.472/.440 with four doubles and three triples between High-A and Double-A. He's driven in 20 runs, scored 23 more, and stolen five bases. Meidroth has 28 walks compared to 25 strikeouts.
Nick Yorke is slashing .273/.392/.469 with six doubles, two triples, and five home runs. The right-handed hitting second baseman has driven in 16 runs, scored 31 more, and stolen five bases. Yorke continues to hit. He's fought out of a few slumps, which is something he wasn't doing last year.
Ceddanne Rafaela is slashing .262/.307/.340 with eight doubles and one home run. The right-handed hitting centerfielder has driven in 20 runs, scored 23 more, and stolen 20 bases. Rafaela's been pretty unlucky and had two hits robbed from him on Sunday.
Niko Kavadas was mashing this week. The left-handed hitting first baseman crushed four home runs and drove in 10 runs. Kavadas is slashing .236/.417/.462 with three doubles and seven home runs. He's driven in 22 runs, scored 16 more, and stole one base. All seven of his home runs have come in the month of May.
Corey Rosier quietly continues to be the most consistent hitter on the team. The left-handed hitting outfielder is slashing .316/.380/.439 with four doubles, one triple, and two home runs. He's driven in 11 runs, scored 18 more, and stolen 22 bases.
Matthew Lugo is slashing .258/.282/.423 with 11 doubles, one triple, and one home run. The right-handed hitting third baseman has driven in 17 runs, scored 14 more, and stolen four bases. Lugo has only walked three times, and the power is down. He's still producing runs and isn't getting regular playing time with Meidroth now on the roster.
Phillip Sikes has a .242/.324/.367 with seven doubles, one triple, and two home runs. The right-handed hitting outfielder has driven in 11 runs, scored 21 more, and stolen 17 bases.