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SoxProspects News

March 23, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Fort Report: Dalbec, Jimenez, Duran, Whitlock continue to impress

Welcome to another week of the SoxProspects.com Fort Report. The Fort Report will run every Tuesday throughout spring training, catching you up on all things prospect-related in Fort Myers.

Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • With a little more than a week left until opening day, the Red Sox have started to make some roster moves this past week. Those moves included optioning righty Tanner Houch and reassigning seven others - corner infielder and top prospect Triston Casas (pictured, right), outfielder Jarren Duran, lefty Stephen Gonsalves, catcher Kole Cottam, righty Daniel Gossett, first basemen Josh Ockimey, and utility player Yairo Munoz.
  • Those moves bring the roster down to 36 players left for the 26 spots on the opening day roster. The expectation is that four pitchers and six hitters will be part of those trims before opening day. Chris Hatfield, SoxProspects.com's executive editor, spoke to a source who detailed the relatively few opt-out clauses the Red Sox handed out this year. As he details, there were only two - Kevin McCarthy and Chris Herrmann.
  • The moves do not hide some of the younger players in the organization who have had outstanding springs. While Casas has only had 11 difficult plate appearances this spring, shortstop Jeter DownsSoxProspects.com's second-ranked prospect, has shined in his 11 plate appearances with four hits and a home run. Downs, who is not on the 40-man roster, may very well make his way to Fenway by season's end writes NESN's Ricky Doyle in a series highlighting some of the Red Sox top prospects with help from SoxProspects.com's director of scouting Ian Cundall. 
  • NESN's Dakota Randall also wrote a feature on Casas with Cundall. While Triston Casas is less likely to be seen in Fenway this summer, though Cundall wouldn't rule it out.
  • Meanwhile, The Boston Globe's Julian McWilliams writes about Casas' "old school approach to hitting" and has quotes to praise his refined approach and patience.
  • Perhaps the best small sample performance this spring has been from corner infielder and sixth-ranked prospect, Bobby Dalbec. The six-foot-four righty has raked this spring, hitting .324/.395/.824 with five home runs over 38 plate appearances. The Athletic's Jim Bowden lists him as one of his 14 spring training standouts, saying he expects him to get most of the at-bats at first base for the Red Sox this year (the SoxProspects.com 2021 projected roster page agrees) and expects him to hit 30 home runs.
  • Two outfielders, Duran (fourth on the SoxProspects.com rankings) and Gilberto Jimenez, have also raised eyebrows this spring with their performance in a small sample. Duran has received the second-most plate appearances out of the system's outfielders. In those 31 plate appearances, Duran has six extra-base hits (three doubles, a triple, and two home runs) with a 1.178 OPS, giving further hope that his swing adjustment will lead to more in-game power. 
  • Duran also was mentioned in the "scouting hat" section of ESPN's Jeff Passan's 2021 MLB preview looking at predictions and breakouts writing that "his swing has looked locked in all spring".
  • 20-year-old Jimenez (pictured, left) has continued to put on weight since he signed, listed originally after signing in 2017 at 160 pounds and now this spring is listed at 221 pounds and SoxProspects.com's director of scouting Ian Cundall described him as looking like a linebacker. Despite the added (good) weight, Jimenez still shows plus-plus speed and has been successful in both stolen base attempts in only nine plate appearances while going 3 for 7. Jimenez was also featured on one of NESN's prospects outlooks written by Randall with lots of insights from Cundall.
  • On the pitching side, a recent addition seems to be a lock to make the bullpen as MassLive's Chris Cotillo writes. Garrett Whitlock has thrown nine innings this spring and allowed only one run. Despite being used almost exclusively as a starter by the Yankees before being taken by the Red Sox in this past winter's Rule 5 draft, it looks as though his first MLB experience will come in the bullpen as he makes the jump from Double-A.
  • One final edition of NESN's prospect outlook series featured a player ranked outside of the SoxProspects.com, newly acquired catcher Ronaldo Hernandez. The 23-year-old was acquired this February along with Nick Sogard in exchange for Chris Mazza and Jeffrey Springs and is ranked 14th on the SoxProspects.com rankings.
  • The Boston Globe's Michael Silverman broke the news this past week that basketball superstar Lebron James has been added as a partner by Fenway Sports Group (FSG), the parent company of the Boston Red Sox. In this same article, it notes that RedBird Capital has also been approved for a $750 million investment in FSG, making it the third-largest partner.

    Photo Credit: Triston Casas and Gilberto Jimenez by Kelly O'Connor

    Will Woodward is a Co-Owner and Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.