Red Sox's system brimming with high-end talent

April 4th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Ian Browne’s Red Sox Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

OAKLAND -- The Red Sox's farm system is brimming with high-end talent, particularly on the position-player side.

And the club has decided not to downplay it anymore.

“The conversation is loud,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “And last year, I didn’t agree with [hyping] it. But, you know what, we might as well embrace it. They’re going to be part of the future. Toronto wasn’t shy about talking about Vladdy [Guerrero Jr.], [Cavan] Biggio and [Bo] Bichette. Baltimore hasn’t been shy about talking about their prospects. Our guys are good.”

Here is a look at where you can find the most notable Red Sox prospects to start the Minor League season.

Triple-A Worcester Red Sox

Player to watch: INF (No. 22 Red Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline)

The 26-year-old middle infielder has a clear calling card, and that’s speed. Hamilton stole 70 bases at Double-A Portland two years ago and another 57 for Worcester last season. However, Hamilton had a tough time offensively in a short stint with Red Sox last year, batting .121 with a .438 OPS in 39 plate appearances.

Pitcher to watch: RHP Richard Fitts (No. 12)

Boston is already getting payoff from the Alex Verdugo trade with the Yankees in righty Greg Weissert, who made the Opening Day roster and has swiftly turned into an important reliever for Cora. The trade can really be a good one if Fitts develops into a Major League starter. He was the Eastern League Player of the Year for Double-A Somerset last season.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: C Nathan Hickey (No. 18), INF Chase Meidroth (No. 19)

Double-A Portland Sea Dogs

Opening Day: Friday, 6 p.m., vs. Hartford

Player(s) to watch: SS Marcelo Mayer (Red Sox's No. 1, MLB No. 15), OF Roman Anthony (Red Sox's No. 2, MLB No. 23) and C Kyle Teel (Red Sox's No. 3, MLB No. 39)

You can’t pick one player above the rest here. It isn’t often that a team’s top three prospects all start the season at the same affiliate. Portland is going to be buzzing as long as the big three are teaming up there. It will be interesting to see which player from this highly-anticipated trio gets to Boston first.

Pitcher to watch: RHP Wikelman Gonzalez (No. 7)

Given that Gonzalez made 10 starts (3-1, 2.42 ERA) for Portland to close out last season, it shouldn’t be long before he gets promoted to Triple-A. The 22-year-old righty from Venezuela has an impressive fastball/curve/changeup combo.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: 2B Nick Yorke (No. 8), 1B/3B Blaze Jordan (No. 21), INF Eddinson Paulino (No. 24), RHP Hunter Dobbins (No. 27) and RHP Angel Bastardo (No. 28)

High-A Greenville Drive

Opening Day: Friday, 6:30 p.m., Greensboro

Player to watch: OF Allan Castro (No. 14)

Though he doesn’t get the same hype as some of the other positional prospects in the system, the switch-hitter from the Dominican Republic shouldn’t be discounted. Some scouts think he can develop into a power hitter. For now, the 20-year-old has a solid approach that should lead to frequent contact and a good on-base percentage.

Pitcher to watch: RHP Luis Perales (No. 11)

The hard-throwing 20-year-old righty from the Dominican Republic could turn into a special pitcher if he can develop his secondary offerings.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: SS/2B Mikey Romero (No. 13, injured), RHP David Sandlin (No. 16) and RHP Yordanny Monegro RHP (No. 17, injured)

Single-A Salem Red Sox

Opening Day: Friday, 7:05 p.m., Carolina

Player to watch: OF Miguel Bleis (No. 5)

A left shoulder subluxation limited the highly gifted Bleis to 126 at-bats last season, all at Salem. Bleis has all the tools to be a star. This season, the 20-year-old hopes to have the health to prove it.

Pitcher to watch: RHP Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz

The 20-year-old throws in the low 90s, for now. He could easily add more velocity as he develops. His curveball has a big break and is currently his best pitch. The righty hopes to improve his changeup.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: SS Nazzan Zanetello (No. 10), 3B Antonio Anderson (No. 20), C Brooks Brannon (No. 23) and C Johanfran Garcia (No. 25)