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SoxProspects News

March 9, 2021 at 3:30 PM

Fort Report: Duran, Whitlock impress early

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: 

  • SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting, Ian Cundall updated some more scouting reports, highlighting number one prospect Triston Casas, as well as a pair of players Boston acquired for Mitch Moreland last summer, Jeisson Rosario and Hudson Potts
  • Boston signed 30-year-old Danny Santana to a minor league deal. Santana can play almost anywhere, as he has made at least one appearance at every single position other than pitcher and catcher at the major league level. He struggled at the plate last year with the Rangers (albeit in only 15 games), but had a very good 2019 campaign, hitting .283/.324/.534 with 28 long balls and 21 stolen bases with Texas. Santana had his UCL repaired last September, but the Red Sox liked what they saw of him during workouts in the Dominican Republic and Miami, Florida. 
  • Christopher Smith of Masslive.com wrote about Josh Winckowski, a right-hander who Boston acquired from the Mets in the Andrew Benintendi trade, and how he has been impressive so far. Matt Barnes likes his stuff, especially his fastball, which sits in the mid-90s. Winckowski has appeared twice so far in Grapefruit League action, tossing two innings, while allowing one run and striking out a pair. 
  • Garrett Whitlock, who the Red Sox picked up in the Rule 5 draft from the Yankees, has also stood out in game-action in camp. He has tossed four innings so far, allowing just one run with five strikeouts and no walks. Both Alex Cora and Chaim Bloom have been impressed with the right-hander. 
  • A.J. Politi and Eduard Bazardo have also impressed this spring. Politi struck out the side in his debut, including a strikeout of Wander Franco, who is widely regarded as one of the best prospects in the game. Bazardo has touched 95 MPH with his fastball and showed off his curve and slider. 
  • At the dish, SoxProspects.com's fourth-ranked prospect Jarren Duran (pictured) has continued to crush the ball. He went 4 for 8 with two home runs and a double over the past week. Chris Cotillo of Masslive.com wrote about Cora's comparison of Duran to former Major Leaguer Grady Sizemore. Duran took a humble approach, saying he can't compare himself to someone like that because he has not accomplished anything yet. 
  • Some other top prospects have struggled at the plate, as Jeisson Rosario, Jeter Downs, Nick Yorke, and Connor Wong have combined to go 0 for 12 with eight strikeouts over the past week. On the mound, Tanner Houck struggled in his lone appearance, allowing three runs and five walks while getting just two outs. Obviously, with it being so early in spring, it's hardly time to panic about any of these performances. 
  • In much more concerning news, right-handed pitcher Bryan Mata has a slight UCL tear, and according to Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, the Red Sox and Mata are opting for treatment instead of surgery. As Ian Cundall points out, this is part of a concerning pattern for Mata, as the righty will now have missed time in each of the past four seasons. 
  • The Red Sox have added outfielder Gilberto Jimenez to their spring roster. He is ranked fifth at SoxProspects.com. He has yet to appear in a game. 
Photo Credit: Jarren Duran by Kelly O'Connor