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SoxProspects News

May 3, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Minor Notes: Rosters, new rankings announced

Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • The SoxProspects.com crew is back at live games. Our own Director of Scouting Ian Cundall spent some time at the Alternate Training site in Worcester and he discussed that experience and more with Executive Editor Chris Hatfield on Episode No. 208 of the SoxProspects podcast.
  • With the new minor league season beginning, the SoxProspects.com Top-60 rankings have been refreshed. The top three, first baseman Triston Casas (pictured, left), infielder Jeter Downs and outfielder Jarren Duran, stayed the same, while right-handed pitcher Garrett Whitlock jumped 11 spots to reach No. 4. Fellow right-hander Tanner Houck, formerly No. 7, rounds out the Top 5.
  • Whitlock had the second-largest jump in the rankings, beat out by AJ Politi, who lept 14 slots from No. 48 to No. 34. Right-handed pitcher Nathaniel Cruz and Jeremy Wu-Yelland, a left-handed arm, climbed eight and seven spots, respectively.
  • Bobby Dalbec, who made Boston's Opening Day roster and has been playing first base, also officially graduates from prospect status on May 4.

  • The scouting team also updated seven scouting reports, including a pair of players in the back half of the Top 60 in No. 55 Brian Van Belle, a right-handed pitcher, and shortstop Antoni Flores, ranked No. 58. Outfielder Wil Dalton, catcher Jaxx Groshans, right-handed pitcher Jake Thompson, first baseman Stephen Scott and right-handed pitcher Jordan Divalerio also each have refreshed scouting reports.
  • The minor league season is slated to begin on Tuesday and each of the four full-season affiliates have released their Opening Day rosters.
  • First up is Worcester, which will begin its inaugural season in Polar Park after moving from Pawtucket. The team will be led by Downs and Duran, as well as promising arms in Houck and right-hander Conor Seabold, No. 7 in the SoxProspects.com rankings.
  • Double-A Portland's roster is headlined by a pair of top-10 prospects in Casas and No. 8 Thaddeus Ward, a right-handed pitcher. Catcher Ronaldo Hernandez and outfielder Jeisson Rosario, each of whom are on the 40-man roster and ranked in the top 20, will also begin the year in Maine.
  • High-A Greenville has several players that were promoted from Greenville to Greenville, as the Drive are now the Red Sox's High-A affiliate after spending 15 years as the team's Low-A representative. The roster features No. 13 Jay Groome, No. 23 Chris Murphy, No. 24 Brayan Bello and No. 28 Jacob Wallace, all pitchers. Outfielder Danny Santana also will begin with the Drive on a rehab assignment.
  • Meanwhile, Low-A Salem, formerly High-A Salem, will feature some recent draftees. The roster features No. 10 Nick Yorke and No. 15 Matthew Lugo, a pair of middle infielders that were high picks in 2020 and 2019, respectively, as well as No. 6 Gilberto Jimenez, an outfielder. On the mound, No. 9 Aldo Ramirez leads the way, followed by No. 29 Jorge Rodriguez.
  • Duran has been getting work in left field at the Alternate Training Site in Worcester. As Franchy Cordero continues to struggle in the majors, Duran may be an option in Boston sooner rather than later. The Boston Globe's Alex Speier has the story.
  • Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald also discusses Duran, as well as Downs, and how they may be ready to help the big club sooner rather than later.
  • Joe McDonald of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette also had a story on Downs, who is trying to manage his expectations for this season after a lost 2020 for everyone in the minor leagues.
  • The Portland Press-Herald's Kevin Thomas discussed Portland's potential for a strong pitching staff to begin 2021, which includes Ward, Frank German and Josh Winckowski.
  • The Herald's Steve Hewitt profiled Whitlock, the Rule 5 pick that came from the Yankees and has become one of the team's best relievers through April.
  • Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom appeared on WEEI's Greg Hill Show and discussed the long-term plan for Whitlock. Rob Bradford has the write-up on the interview.
  • Boston claimed right-handed reliever Brandon Brennan off of waivers from the Seattle Mariners on Monday. Brennan appeared in 49 games in 2019 and 2020 for Seattle, posting a 4.45 ERA and striking out 54 in 54 2/3 innings. To open a spot on the 40-man roster, the team transferred reliever Ryan Brasier to the 60-man roster. Brennan will begin 2021 with Triple-A Worcester.
  • The Red Sox released five players from its minor league system. The most prominent among them was right-hander Mike Shawaryn, a 2016 fifth-round pick who had strong 2017 and 2018 seasons in the minors but struggled mightily in 14 MLB appearances in 2019. He inked a minor-league deal with Kansas City. Other releases were catcher Austin Rei and outfielders Dylan Hardy, Lane Milligan, and Colin Willis. Rei was a third-round choice in the 2015 draft who maintained a good reputation as a receiver but was inconsistent at the plate. Willis never appeared in a game in the system but was a prominent fixture in the winter league updates. Willis was 44 for 103 (.427) on his way to an Australian League batting crown in 2019.
  • Baseball America released its latest Mock Draft Wednesday. With the Red Sox holding the No. 4 overall pick, it's much easier in typical years to see who might be on the board when Boston is on the clock. In this edition, the publication has the team selecting Kumar Rocker, a right-handed pitcher out of Vanderbilt.
Photo Credit: Triston Casas by Kelly O'Connor