August 26, 2014 at 5:00 PM
were announced today, and the Red Sox will be sending six prospects to play for the Surprise Saguaros. The list is headlined by infielders Deven Marrero (pictured) and Sean Coyle, while pitchers Keith Couch, Aaron Kurcz, Robby Scott, and Madison Younginer will join them. The Red Sox also have an outfielder listed as TBD, and as Alex Speier of WEEI.com notes, that spot could go to Rusney Castillo. When Jose Iglesias was signed in September of 2009, the Red Sox sent him to get at-bats in the AFL that fall, and this situation with Castillo is quite similar.
Marrero saw his stock soar in the first half of the season, and he was promoted to Pawtucket after posting a .291/.371/.433 line in 68 games with the Sea Dogs, while playing excellent defense at shortstop. The 23-year-old has struggled since being promoted, and his current .215/.267/.288 line in 44 games with the PawSox is far off the pace he set early in the season. The Red Sox hope he can progress offensively, as his defense is close to major league ready. Marrero should be comfortable in Arizona, as he spent three years at Arizona State before being drafted in the first round in 2012.
It has been a great year for Coyle, who is currently hitting .299/.376/.506 in 90 games, all with the Sea Dogs. He missed a lot of time last season with injuries, and he has made two trips to the disabled list this season, so this is a great chance for him to get more at-bats against good competition. He was playing third base early in the season when Mookie Betts was manning second base, but recently he has played second base almost exclusively, and that is the position he figures to play in Arizona as well. Coyle is also eligible for the Rule 5 draft this season if he is not added to the 40-man, so this is likely to be a very important time for him.
All four pitchers are eligible for the Rule 5 draft this winter, and while none of them are likely to be added to the 40-man by the November 20 deadline, it is a good chance to get them more exposure, and in the case of Couch and Kurcz, get them more innings as they have both missed time this season on the disabled list.
The Red Sox will likely add one or two additional players before the AFL starts, and while that outfielder mentioned before could be Castillo, Bryce Brentz our Henry Ramos would also make sense.
Photo Credit: Deven Marrero by Kelly O'Connor