Boston Red Sox prospect watch: The 2023 MiLB season has begun

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Red Sox Double-A (Portland)

Marcelo Mayer saw his 2023 season end prematurely due to injury. He came out swinging in 2024, though. The left-handed hitting shortstop is slashing .357/.387/.500 with a double and a home run. He's driven in five runs, scored seven more, and stolen two bases. Oh, and Mayer's started the year on a seven-game hitting streak.

Roman Anthony picked up right where he left off last year, terrorizing Double-A pitching. I'm pretty sure he broke the Reading press box at one point. On Saturday he hit a home run in both games of a doubleheader. The left-handed hitting outfielder is slashing .333/.385/.708 with three doubles and two home runs. He's driven in four runs, scored six more, and stolen two bases.

Kyle Teel once again already looks bored in Double-A. We saw it last year in High-A, then with Portland for the last two weeks. It looks like that wasn't a fluke. The left-handed hitting catcher is slashing .300/.391/.500 with one double and one home run. He's driven in five runs and scored three more.

Eddinson Paulino joined Anthony in the fun and hit a home run in both games of Saturday's doubleheader. Paulino's added some muscle and it looks like it's benefitting him. The left-handed hitting utility player is slashing .292/.346/.708 with one double and three home runs. He's driven in eight runs, scored four more, and stolen one base.

Nick Yorke is getting some time in the outfield as the Red Sox are trying to add some versatility to his game. It hasn't slowed down Yorke's bat. The right-handed hitting second baseman/left fielder is slashing .269/.296/.462 with two doubles and one home run. He's driven in five runs, scored four more, and stolen one base.

Blaze Jordan is having a competition with Cutter Coffey to see which Boston prospect can have worse luck at the plate. The right-handed hitting corner infielder is 1-for-18 with two RBI and one run scored. He's making contact, though, only striking out one time. Jordan will be fine, he just needs to stop getting robbed.

Nick Decker has struggled at points in his career, but he had some big moments last season. Now, the outfielder is starting 2024 with a bang. The left-handed hitter is 2-for-5 with a walk and a home run. He's driven in three runs, scored one more, and stolen one base.

Max Ferguson is slashing .250/.348/.400 with a home run. The left-handed hitting utility has driven in two runs, scored six more, and stolen five bases (in five attempts).

Matthew Lugo had a scary incident during Friday's game. A collision in the outfield kept him down for a few minutes. However, he walked it off and played two games later. The right-handed hitting utility is 3-for-12 with two home runs. He's driven in two runs and scored two more.

Angel Bastardo was the Opening Day starter for Portland. That should give you an idea of how the organization views him. The right-handed pitcher has made two starts already. Bastardo has allowed four runs on three hits over 9 2/3 innings. He's struck out six batters but walked seven.

Not the most ideal start to the season for Wikelman Gonzalez. The righty allowed three runs over two innings of work in his first start. Gonzalez allowed two hits and walked five batters, while only striking out one. He started 2023 about as rough as possible, though, so there's no reason to be worried.

Zach Penrod made his Double-A debut this week, and it's still hard to imagine that this guy was playing in independent ball last year. The left-handed pitcher surrendered just two hits over five shutout innings. He walked none and struck out eight. Penrod could find himself in Triple-A quickly if this keeps up.

Hunter Dobbins was unusually wild in his first start of the season. The right-handed pitcher allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits over four innings. He struck out one batter compared to five walks. Even with the issues, Dobbins kept his team in the game, and Portland came out with the win. He'll bounce back.

Isaac Coffey allowed four runs (three earned) over 4 2/3 innings. It's not spectacular, but there are a few positives. The right-handed pitcher continued not walking many (one walk compared to six strikeouts). He also didn't give up a home run. After allowing 22 long balls last season, this is a good sign.

Christopher Troye made two appearances out of the bullpen this week. The flamethrowing righty had one "eh" outing and one phenomenal outing. Overall, Troye allowed one run on one hit over three innings. He struck out five batters compared to two walks. CT is nasty and could have a short stay in Portland this year.

Felix Cepeda became must-watch for me last season, and I love that he's getting rewarded for his play. After starting 2023 in Single-A, he's up in Double-A to start 2024. The right-handed reliever has allowed one run over 1 2/3 innings in two appearances out of the bullpen. He's struck out two batters without walking anyone. Cepeda already has a hold and a save.

Ryan Zeferjahn is looking like a nasty early in 2024. The righty reliever has yet to allow a run on just two hits over his first two appearances. He's struck out five batters compared to no walks in four innings and has even picked up a save.