Red Sox announce winners of 2023 Minor League awards

Recipients to be Recognized in Pre-Game Ceremony Tomorrow

September 25th, 2023

BOSTON, MA—The Boston Red Sox today announced the winners of the organization’s 2023 Minor League Awards:

  • Offensive Player of the Year: OF Roman Anthony
  • Defensive Player of the Year: INF David Hamilton
  • Starting Pitcher of the Year: RHP Wikelman Gonzalez
  • Relief Pitcher of the Year: RHP Luis Guerrero
  • Baserunner of the Year: INF/OF Ceddanne Rafaela
  • Latin Program Position Player of the Year: INF Yoeilin Cespedes
  • Latin Program Pitcher of the Year: RHP Gilberto Batista

Additionally, left-handed pitcher Brandon Walter has been recognized as the 2023 recipient of the Lou Gorman Award. Created in 2011, the award is given annually to a Red Sox minor league player who has demonstrated dedication and perseverance in overcoming obstacles while working his way to the Major League team.

The 2023 Minor League Awards are selected by the Red Sox baseball operations department and minor league roving instructors. The recipients will be honored during a pre-game, on-field ceremony at Fenway Park tomorrow prior to Boston’s 7:10 p.m. game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Anthony, 19, is ranked as one of baseball’s top 100 prospects by both Baseball America (No. 19) and (No. 35), as well as the Red Sox’ No. 2 prospect by both outlets. Selected by Boston with a second-round compensation pick in the 2022 First-Year Player Draft, the left-handed hitter batted .272 (108-for-397) with a .403 on-base percentage, .466 slugging percentage, .869 OPS, 78 runs scored, 27 doubles, four triples, 14 home runs, 64 RBI, 86 walks, and 16 stolen bases (23 attempts) in his first full professional season. Splitting the year between Single-A Salem (42 games), High-A Greenville (54 games), and Double-A Portland (10 games), the Florida native made 68 starts in center field, 18 in right field, one in left field, and 19 as the designated hitter. He was signed by Willie Romay.

Hamilton, 25, is ranked as a Red Sox top prospect by Baseball America (No. 22) and (No. 19). The left-handed hitter has batted .247 (97-for-393) with 16 doubles, four triples, and 17 home runs in 103 games for Triple-A Worcester this season, leading Triple-A in stolen bases (57-for-71). Hamilton appeared in 85 games at shortstop, 14 at second base, six in center field, and four as the designated hitter. Acquired in a four-player trade from the Milwaukee Brewers in December 2021, the Texas native made his Major League debut on June 21 and has played in 15 games for Boston this season, making 10 starts at shortstop and one at second base.

Gonzalez, 21, is ranked among the Red Sox’ top 10 prospects by Baseball America (No. 8) and (No. 9). The right-hander began the season with High-A Greenville, going 6-3 with a 5.14 ERA (36 ER/63.0 IP) over 15 starts, leading High-A players with 105 strikeouts at the time of his promotion to Double-A Portland on July 14. With the Sea Dogs, he went 3-1 in 10 starts, posting a 2.42 ERA (13 ER/48.1 IP) and striking out 63 batters. The Venezuela native’s 168 strikeouts are tied for fifth-most among all minor leaguers. Gonzalez was signed by Wilder Lobo and Rolando Pino as an international free agent in July 2018.

Guerrero, 23, posted a 2.32 ERA (14 ER/54.1 IP) with a .157 opponent batting average, 1.23 WHIP, and 68 strikeouts over 49 appearances between Double-A Portland (43 games) and Triple-A Worcester (six games). In his 43 outings with Portland, the right-hander recorded a 1.81 ERA (10 ER/49.2 IP) with 59 strikeouts, while converting 18 of his 22 save opportunities. Selected by Boston in the 17th round of the 2020 First-Year Player Draft, the Dominican Republic native represented the Red Sox in the 2023 All-Star Futures Game on July 8, striking out the only batter he faced. He was signed by Dante Ricciardi.

Rafaela, 23, is ranked among the Red Sox’ top 10 prospects by (No. 3) and Baseball America (No. 6), as well as baseball’s No. 72 overall prospect by The right-handed hitter split the season between Double-A Portland (60 games), Triple-A Worcester (48 games), and Boston (19 games). Prior to being recalled to the Majors on August 28, he hit .302 (134-for-144) with an .896 OPS, 31 doubles, three triples, 20 home runs, 80 runs scored and 36 stolen bases (49 attempts), leading Red Sox minor leaguers in runs, hits, doubles, extra-base hits, and total bases at the time of his promotion. The Curaçao native was signed by Dennis Neuman, Todd Claus, and Rolando Pino as an international free agent in July 2017.

Cespedes, 18, finished third in the Dominican Summer League in hits (66) and total bases (107), and led the DSL Red Sox Blue in batting average (.346), home runs (six), RBI (38), OPS (.952), doubles (15), triples (four), extra-base hits (25), and runs scored (37). Named a DSL All-Star, the right-handed hitter made 36 starts at shortstop and 10 as the designated hitter. The Dominican Republic native is ranked as a Red Sox top prospect by (No. 13) and Baseball America (No. 12). He was signed by Manny Nanita.

Batista, 18, made 11 starts for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox Red, going 1-3 with a 3.54 ERA (16 ER/40.2 IP) and .228 opponent batting average (34-for-149). The right-hander led the team in strikeouts (54) and led starters in WHIP (1.03) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.75). From July 14 through August 10, the Dominican Republic native did not allow a run across five appearances (three starts), going 1-0 with 22 strikeouts, one walk, and nine hits allowed in 18.0 innings pitched during that span. He was signed by Manny Nanita.

Walter, 27, has made nine appearances for the Red Sox in 2023, his Major League debut, posting a 6.26 ERA (16 ER/23.0 IP). He made his debut on June 22 against the Minnesota Twins, allowing three runs in 6.2 innings of relief. The left-hander has also recorded a 4.60 ERA (48 ER/94.0 IP) in 21 games (18 starts) with Triple-A Worcester this season. Selected by Boston in the 26th round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft, the Delaware native is ranked among the Red Sox’ top 30 prospects by Baseball America (No. 20) and (No. 24). He was signed by Reed Gragnani.