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SoxProspects News

October 4, 2021 at 1:00 PM

2021 SoxProspects.com All-Stars: Position Players


With the minor league season in the books, we have reached the SoxProspects.com Awards season. Over the next five days, we will be presenting our annual awards on the news page. The schedule will be as follows:

Monday: All-Star position players
Tuesday: All-Star pitchers
Wednesday: Graduate of the Year; Homegrown Player of the Year; Ex-Prospect of the Year
Thursday: Rookie of the Year; Breakout Player of the Year; Comeback Player of the Year
Friday: Player of the Year; Pitcher of the Year

We kick things off with the position players selected by the SoxProspects.com staff for their All-Star performances in 2021. While we do consider factors such as age advancement and opponent quality, these awards are in recognition of the players' in-game performances rather than a commentary on any status as a prospect. However, the Red Sox also got notable production from its most highly rated prospects, as the first, third, and fourth-ranked prospects were all unanimous selections by the staff. 

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Catcher: Kole Cottam
It was the second all-star appearance for Cottam as well as the second time he was honored in a year he was promoted out of Greenville. The former Kentucky Wildcat was an on-base machine with the Drive, now Boston's High-A affiliate, hitting .276/.386/.487 over 46 games. He forced the issue of a promotion by going 16 for 40 (.400) with eight extra-base hits in his final 12 games before getting the call to Portland. He did not miss a beat with the Sea Dogs, posting a .282/.337/.526 line in 25 contests. He is currently ranked 59th in the system. 

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First Base: Triston Casas
The top-ranked player in the system was a unanimous selection to make his second SoxProspects.com All-Star appearance. When the towering first baseman wasn't abusing Double-A and Triple-A pitching to the tune of .278/.395/.483, he was making a name for himself at the Tokyo Olympics. Casas led the tournament in home runs (three) and RBI (eight) while helping the United States earn the Silver Medal. Back stateside, he was a model of consistency, with the exception of an absurd two-day, three-game power surge in early September when he went 7 for 11 with five homers and 11 RBI. 

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Second Base: Nick Yorke
Major spoiler alert: you'll be seeing Yorke's name again as awards week continues. A surprise pick at 17th overall in the 2020 draft, Yorke got off to a brutal start to his first pro season, hitting just .195/.264/.220 with two doubles and no homers in 21 games in May. That miserable first month just makes his final line more impressive. Yorke led the system with 123 hits, 76 runs scored, and a .325 batting average. From June 1 on, the California native hit .361/.450/.598, finishing the season by reaching base in 68 of his last 69 games. He is currently the third ranked prospect in the system.

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Third Base: Blaze Jordan
The selection and underslot signing of Yorke in the 2020 draft allowed the Red Sox to meet Jordan's bonus demands in the third round, and the two are linked as SoxProspects.com All-Stars in their rookie seasons. It was power that made Jordan a prospect and an internet sensation as an amateur, but his hit tool was a revelation and the main reason for his success in 2021. He dominated in his early placement to the Florida Complex League, hitting .362/.408/.667 with 12 extra-base hits in 19 games, forcing a promotion. Unfortunately, the 18-year-old was only able to appear in nine contests with Salem, going 9 for 36 with a pair of homers.

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Shortstop: Ryan Fitzgerald
Known for his defense when Boston signed him in 2018 from the Gary SouthShore RailCats of the independent American Association, Fitzgerald has been a consistent threat at the plate who put up his best season with the bat in 2021. Splitting the season between Portland and Worcester, Fitzgerald slashed .270/.350/.512, leading the organization in doubles (32) on his way to besting his previous career best in slugging by over 100 points. While he is primarily a shortstop, the versatile veteran appeared at every position on the field except for pitcher and catcher on his way to a second SoxProspects.com All-Star selection.

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Outfield: Jarren Duran
Despite a disappointing finish to the 2021 season that included struggles at the major league level and missing most of September with a case of COVID-19, Duran was sensational with Worcester before his promotion. When he got the call on July 16, Duran was hitting .270/.365/.561 with 15 home runs in 46 games. The Long Beach State product was particularly a force at Polar Park, helping christen the new stadium with a home line of .273/.342/.570. It is the third time Duran has been honored as an All-Star, having been previously recognized in 2018 and 2019.

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Outfield: Tyler Dearden
Dearden may be the most unlikely of the 2021 All-Stars, having been limited to 135 games as a professional since being drafted in 2017 due to various injures and the 2020 season cancellation. A two-homer effort in the season's third contest propelled the 23-year-old outfielder to an impressive year. He led the organization with 24 homers and 80 RBI as part of a .261/.368/.523 line and he was twice honored as Player of the Week. Consistently solid all season long, Dearden finished strong, going 12 for 31 with six home runs during one mid-September stretch. 

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Outfield: Devlin Granberg
Despite a reputation as a polished college draftee who reached High-A in 2019 before the lost 2020 season, Granberg was given a conservative placement with Greenville to start 2021. He the spent six weeks hitting like someone playing a level too low. Splitting time between first base and the outfield, Granberg dominated High-A East pitching with a .326/.416/.642 line and seven homers in 27 games. He continued his solid production with the Sea Dogs, hitting .286/.331/.469 the rest of the way. Interestingly, this year's All-Stars feature two members of the 2015 Creighton baseball squad. Granberg was a teammate of Ryan Fitzgerald before transferring to Dallas Baptist the following season. 

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Utility: Stephen Scott
Scott, a star on the 2019 Vanderbilt NCAA baseball champions, quickly became a fan favorite with Salem and Greenville. He and roommate Joe Davis gained notoriety as the Meatball Gang, hosting teammates on the off-day Mondays at their barbeque pit and spending the rest of the week abusing opposing pitching. Scott hit .291/.400/.514 across the two levels, leading the organization in walks and finishing second in hits. Scott did this while adding great versatility, catching 19 games in between appearances at first base and the corner outfield slots. 

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Photo Credit: Blaze Jordan by Bryan Green; All others by Kelly O'Connor