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SoxProspects News

April 20, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Minor Notes: Bazardo debuts; Mata has surgery

Here are this week's minor league notes: 

  • The 207th episode of the SoxProspects Podcast came out on Friday, with Chris and Ian covering some early season news, including Eduard Bazardo's debut with the Red Sox. They also discussed the streaming from the Alternate Site in Worcester and some of the notable performances thus far.
  • Some of the bad news that was covered in the podcast was Bryan Mata (pictured, right) undergoing Tommy John surgery on April 13. Mata entered the year as the top pitching prospect in the system but will drop in the rankings as he is out until some point in 2022. The Red Sox have historically taken a conservative approach with young pitchers coming back from this surgery. 
  • While he wasn't a Red Sox prospect when he went under the knife, Garrett Whitlock is a best-case scenario for Mata as he looks to begin his rehab. Whitlock has had a meteoric rise in the last two months, going from a player the Yankees did not add to the 40-man roster to one of the best pitchers on the Red Sox. Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe noted that the Red Sox want to begin stretching Whitlock out, and they did just that on Patriots' Day as he recorded the final eight outs of their win over the White Sox. 
  • One of the main reasons for Whitlock's improved outlook is his increased fastball velocity. Another prospect in the same boat is Connor Seabold, who has added 2-3 mph to his fastball since he was acquired from the Phillies last summer. Christopher Smith of Masslive.com spoke with Worcester manager Billy McMillon, who called Seabold one of his impact picks for the major league ballclub
  • 2020 first-rounder Nick Yorke was interviewed by David Laurila of Fangraphs where they talked about his approach to hitting. Yorke had some interesting notes about training with Seattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger in the offseason. 
  • Boston's early-season success has quieted calls for his promotion, but Jarren Duran is doing his best to keep himself on the radar at the Alternate Site. On Monday he hit two home runs and he has looked very comfortable at the plate so far in Worcester. 
  • With the 2021 MLB Draft less than three months away, the consensus top prospects are looking to be Vanderbilt right-hander Jack Leiter and high school shortstop Jordan Lawlar. Both Keith Law of the Athletic and Kiley McDaniel of ESPN.com released updated draft rankings with those two at the top. After that, Kumar Rocker is the third prospect for Law and the fourth for McDaniel, but his recent velocity drop is causing some concerns.
  • One player who is shooting up draft boards is Louisville catcher Henry Davis, who Law ranks fourth and McDaniel ranks sixth. Davis is hitting .403/.529/.664 with eight home runs in 33 games.
Photo Credit: Bryan Mata by Kelly O'Connor