Boston Red Sox prospect watch: Shaking off the rust
By Hunter Noll
Red Sox Triple-A (Worcester)
The David Hamilton hype train has gained an insane amount of traction recently. While the Red Sox are struggling with their middle infield, Hamilton is thriving in Triple-A. The left-handed hitter holds a .370/.420/.674 slash line with three doubles, one triple, and three home runs this season. He's driven in six runs, scored nine more, and already has seven steals. Hamilton's gaining a lot of traction as the next potential second base/shortstop.
Nick Sogard needs some love too. The switch-hitter is slashing .375/.516/.542 with four doubles this year. He's driven in two runs and scored seven more, while stealing four bases on four attempts. Sogard can play multiple positions around the infield and showed off his arm strength at third base on Sunday.
Enmanuel Valdez's numbers are still rough, but he had a major breakout game on Saturday that can hopefully get things going. The left-handed hitter is slashing .179/.289/.333 with three doubles and one home run. He's driven in six runs, scored three more, and stolen one base. The second baseman picked up three hits on Saturday. That game saw him hit a homer, a double, and a walk-off single.
Wilyer Abreu returned from the IL to make his Triple-A debut this week. The left-handed hitting outfielder is 1-for-14 with three walks and one run scored. Far too early to worry, especially for someone coming off the IL and starting at a new level.
Worcester's pitching staff has to be thrilled to get away from the Columbus Clippers. It was rough. Chris Murphy now has a 20.77 ERA, .542 BAA, and 4.38 WHIP through two starts (4 1/3 innings). The left-handed has had some insanely bad BABIP luck, but the six walks haven't helped either. He'll be fine. It's just not a fun hole to have to climb out of.
Bryan Mata's command continues to be an issue this year. He walked five batters in his first start and three more in his second. Three walks doesn't sound too bad, but Mata somehow managed to plunk four batters in that game as well. The right-handed pitcher has a 6.43 ERA, .240 BAA, and 2.00 WHIP with eight strikeouts over seven innings.
Brandon Walter was one of the few pitchers on the roster to survive Columbus. The lefty allowed two runs on four hits and three walks over five innings, striking out five batters. Walter has a 4.40 ERA, .268 BAA, and 1.47 WHIP in 14 1/3 innings this season.
Chase Shugart gave up a run in his first relief appearance of the season, but has been clean since then. The right-handed pitcher has a 1.93 ERA, .316 BAA, and 1.50 WHIP over 4 2/3 innings this season. As you can tell by the BAA, he's given up some hits (six). Only one has been for extra bases (a double), though, and he's only walked one batter.
Taylor Broadway has already shown some flashes of his nasty stuff. The righty reliever has a 6.75 ERA, .292 BAA, and 1.50 WHIP in 5 1/3 innings. He's allowed two home runs already. Broadway has also walked just one batter and struck out eight, though.