Boston Red Sox prospect watch: Shaking off the rust

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Boston Red Sox Nick Yorke
Boston Red Sox Spring Training / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

Red Sox Double-A (Portland)

Nick Yorke is quietly having a strong start to the 2023 season. The right-handed hitter is slashing .231/.444/.385 with one double and one home run. He's driven in one run and scored nine more while stealing one base. The second baseman has more walks (9) than strikeouts (8) on the year.

Ceddanne Rafaela took some promising steps after not drawing a walk last week. His stat line improved nicely because of those improvements. The right-handed hitter is now slashing .242/.306/.273 with one double. He's driven in five runs and scored five more while stealing four bases and walking three times. The centerfielder's defense continues to be elite.

Tyler Dearden's coming out of the gates firing. The left-handed hitting outfielder is slashing .438/.438/.500 with one double. In only four games, Dearden has driven in seven runs and scored one more. The RBI production won't keep up this pace, but he could be in for a big year in this Portland lineup.

Phillip Sikes holds a .269/.387/.500 slash line with one double, one triple, and one home run. The left-handed hitting outfielder has driven in three runs, scored six runs, and stolen four bases this season.

Corey Rosier is slashing a balmy .400/.455/.500 with two doubles this year. The left-handed hitting outfielder has three RBI and two runs scored. He's also a perfect 5-for-5 on stolen base attempts and has reached base in all six games he's appeared in.

Niko Kavadas is slashing .208/.412/.208 but has shown signs of getting on track. The left-handed hitting first baseman has three RBI and two runs. He's surprisingly even stolen a base. Kavadas has walked nine times and is working on a three-game hitting streak that includes six walks.

Christian Koss has cooled down, but his .250/.344/.321 slash line certainly isn't bad to start the year. The right-handed hitter has two doubles, four RBI, three runs scored, and three steals. Koss adds extra value with his ability to play multiple positions in the field.

Alex Binelas has run into a bit of a strikeout problem. The left-handed hitting third baseman is 3-for-15 on the year. All three hits have been doubles, but he's also struck out in over half of his at-bats. Eight strikeouts compared to two walks isn't a promising ratio for someone who had some K issues last year. He does have four RBI and has flashed the leather, though.

Tyler McDonough is slashing .148/.303/.259 with one home run. The switch-hitter has driven in two runs, scored four more, and stolen four bases. McDonough has brought a lot of value by appearing at multiple positions, and has already provided some defensive highlights in the outfield.

Matthew Lugo is slashing .194/.194/.290 with three doubles this season. The right-handed hitting third baseman hasn't had any issues with run production despite the low average. He's driven in eight runs, scored five more, and stolen one base.

Shane Drohan followed his great first start with another phenomenal outing this week. The left-handed pitcher tossed six shutout innings, striking out six batters. Drohan now has a 0.00 ERA, .158 BAA, 0.64 WHIP, and 11 strikeouts compared to one walk in 11 innings.

Brian Van Belle made his first start of the year and absolutely dominated. The righty gave up zero runs on three hits in six innings. He struck out four batters and walked none, needing 59 pitches to do the job.

Chih-Jung Liu bounced back this week. The right-handed pitcher tossed five scoreless innings, allowing only five hits and three walks while striking out eight batters. He's down to a 3.00 ERA, .353 BAA, and 1.89 WHIP.

Sterling Sharp allowed one run on three hits and no walks in his first start of the year. The righty went six strong innings, striking out four batters along the way.

Theo Denlinger's strong start to the year continues. The right-handed reliever has not thrown four innings out of the bullpen. He's allowed no runs on one hit and one walk, picking up six strikeouts.

Brendan Nail has thrown 3 2/3 scoreless innings so far. In fact, he's yet to even allow a hit. Nail has walked two batters but struck out seven. The lefty even has a save early on.

Luis Guerrero has made three appearances this year. The right-hander has a save in all three. He holds a 3.00 ERA, .182 BAA, and 1.67 WHIP with three strikeouts.

Rio Gomez is absolutely dominating to start the season. The left-handed pitcher has a 1.80 ERA, .063 BAA, and 0.40 WHIP over five innings. Gomez has a save to go along with eight strikeouts compared to just one walk on the year.

Skylar Arias has a 3.38 ERA, .167 BAA, and 1.50 WHIP this year. The left-handed pitcher has walked five batters compared to four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings on the season.

Ryan Miller has a 2.08 ERA in 4 1/3 innings pitched this season. The right-handed pitcher has dominated with a .071 BAA and 0.23 WHIP. He's allowed just one hit and zero walks while striking out six batters.