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February 22, 2023 at 8:00 AM

2023 Countdown to Spring Training: 40-36

We've made it through the bulk of the offseason and spring training is here! To celebrate the return of baseball, we'll be counting down by posting our scouting reports for the players on our Top 60 three times a week from February 13 until March 15—not coincidentally, the same day the SoxProspects brass arrive in Fort Myers for the start of games in minor league camp. 

2022 Teams: Greenville and Portland
Final Stats: 410 PA, .219/.346/.377, 19 2B, 10 HR, 16.1 BB%, 19 K%
2023 Projected Level: Portland

Scouting Report
Physical Description: Short, sturdy frame. Very strong, stocky build. No remaining projection.

Hit: Starts square and utilizes a short, leg lift timing device. Average bat speed, smooth swing. Direct to the ball, keeps the barrel in the zone a long time. Has swing-and-miss in his game, but also will take a walk. Knows the strike zone and has some feel for recognizing spin. Potential fringe-average hit tool.

Power: Above-average raw power. Average game power. Can lift the ball and drive it with some authority, especially to the pull side.

Run: Well below-average speed. Passable speed for his size.

Field: Long-term, best suited for a utility defensive role. Began catching full-time in 2022. Played catcher, first base, and corner outfield in 2021, and a role in that vein (think Stephen Vogt) may be his best MLB fit. Caught some in college and began working out at the position before games in his 2019 pro debut. First began catching in pro games in 2021. Lacks mobility and clearly looks like someone who just started playing the position behind the plate. Receiving is a work in progress and is still getting comfortable blocking balls in the dirt.

Arm: Fringe-average arm. Pop times around 2.10-2.15 from behind the plate.

Career Notes: Also played football in high school. Was not drafted out of high school. Spent four years at Vanderbilt, winning the College World Series with the Commodores in 2019. Signed for a below-slot bonus, but a solid one for a day two college senior. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2019 and 2020. Lived with teammate Joe Davis in a trailer during the 2021 season and the two, dubbed the "Meatball Gang," held weekly cookouts for teammates on Monday off days. Participated in the Fall Performance Program in 2021. Participated in 2022 Winter Warm-Up. Excelled in the 2022 Arizona Fall League, being selected to the Fall Stars Game and participating in its Home Run Derby. Received a non-roster invitation to MLB spring training in 2023.

Summation: Profiles as a solid organizational player. Ceiling of a bat-first bench bat. Can play first base and corner outfield adequately and is now getting significant run at catcher. Type of player every organization needs. If he can get to even fringe-average defensively, prospects of reaching the major leagues drastically improve.

2022 Teams: Greenville
Final Stats: 409 PA, .268/.306/.366, 23 XBH, 20/29 SBA, 4.4 BB%, 24.4 K%
2023 Projected Level: Portland

Scouting Report
Physical Description: Was extremely loose and athletic earlier in his career, but has lost some of that athleticism as he has physically matured. Is still an above-average athlete. Lower half is filled out. Has transformed his body since signing; once on the skinny side, is now thick and physical.

Hit: High-variance hit tool. Quick hands, but bat drags some. Solid contact skills. Very flat swing. A natural right-handed hitter, started hitting from the left side in the fall of 2017 to take better advantage of his speed. Has made strides with his left-handed swing, but it is still a work in progress. Starts open in a crouch and utilizes a toe tap timing device. Does a much better job now of incorporating his lower half and staying in the box and on the ball longer than he did earlier in his career, but struggles with tendency to slap at the ball to put it in play rather than drive it with authority. Has worked during spring training and fall camps on starting with a wider base and using a more pronounced weight transfer to better incorporate his lower half, but has not successfully implemented these changes during the season. Willing to drop a bunt down for a base hit if the defense will not guard against that. Right-handed swing looks much more natural and is strikingly different visually from his left-handed swing. Starts squarer and more vertical, and swing is more fluid. Barrel stays in the zone longer and can generate more hard contact, or at least did earlier in his career. Showed much stronger ability to drive the ball from that side earlier in his career, but hit tool has backed up on that side as well post-pandemic and he has posted sub-.550 OPSes against left-handers in 2021 and 2022. Approach and pitch recognition are raw, and strikeout rates have increased as he has moved up the system. Potential below-average hit tool from both sides.

Power: Will show average raw power from the right side and below-average raw from the left. Well-below-average in-game power potential. Need to see raw power translate in-game, as his swing is still more designed for hard line drives in the gaps than for over-the-fence power. Generates concerningly low exit velocities.

Run: Plus-plus speed. As he has filled out, speed has decreased a grade. Will run 3.95-4.05-second times to first from the left side and 4.12-4.15 seconds from the right side. In the past, speed graded an 80, timed at under 3.9 seconds to first from the left side. Even with a slight speed downgrade, he will put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses. Always looks to take the extra base. Very aggressive. Base-running instincts, reads, and jumps need improvement. Stolen base numbers are not representative of his true speed.

Field: Plus range and speed make up for lack of instincts. Jumps need work. Needs to improve tracking the ball. Has played more in the outfield corners in recent seasons in deference to teammates who are superior outfield defenders. Overall, has the potential to develop into at least an average defender in the outfield if he improves his instincts.

Arm: Above-average arm strength. Throws show carry and plenty of zip when he lets it fly. Accuracy can be a tad inconsistent. Plenty of arm for any outfield position.

Career Notes: Slipped through the cracks and signed at 17 for a small bonus after impressing during a tryout at the Red Sox Dominican Academy. Started switch-hitting during 2017 Dominican Instructional League to better utilize his elite speed. Led the New York-Penn League and Red Sox minor leaguers in batting average in 2019. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Was invited to major league spring training in 2021 in order to allow him to get to camp sooner when minor league spring training was delayed by a month due to COVID-19 protocols. Participated in the 2021 Fall Performance Program. Participated in 2022 Winter Warm-Up. Prospect status fell significantly in 2022 after continued struggles at the plate and in the field.

Summation: Potential mid-minors depth option. Ceiling of an organizational outfielder. Showed more potential when he was younger, but development has stagnated. At one point, you could dream on him becoming an everyday center fielder who adds value at the plate and in the field, but now does not even look like a future major leaguer. Needs work to refine his defensive game, but has the athletic ability and arm strength you look for in a center fielder.

2022 Teams: Worcester and Boston
Final Stats: 439 PA, .261/.297/.451, 17 HR, 4.8 BB%, 21 K%
2023 Projected Level: Worcester

Scouting Report
Physical Description: Thick, mature frame. Sturdy catcher build. No remaining projection.

Hit: Starts open and utilizes a leg kick timing device. Loads high and keeps his hands up throughout. Long swing. Makes poor swing decisions. Rarely walks and approach needs a lot of work. Overly aggressive and has trouble recognizing spin. Swing gets out of sync easily, especially with his timing. Gets himself out too often by expanding the strike zone and making weak contact. Potential below-average hit tool.

Power: Plus raw power. Can really impact the baseball, especially up in the zone. Records high max exit velocities. Power is mainly to the pull side; every home run in his career prior to being acquired by the Red Sox was to left or left-center. Ability to tap into raw power will depend on how his hit tool develops. Potential average in-game power, but unclear if it will actualize due to his hit tool projection.

Run: Well-below-average speed. Not a part of his game.

Field: Does not look comfortable behind the plate. Does not move well and really struggles with framing and receiving. Not a natural catcher, struggles with his glove position and getting down quickly to block balls in the dirt. Lack of mobility limits potential for improvement in the future. Potential below-average defensive profile.

Arm: Plus-plus arm. Does a good job controlling the running game. Arm is a weapon.

Career Notes: Was an infielder before signing with the Rays, moving behind the plate after signing. Was added to the Rays 40-man roster in November 2019. Spent much of the 2020 season traveling with the Rays on the taxi squad. Acquired from the Rays in February 2021 with Nick Sogard for Jeffrey Springs and Chris Mazza. Was recalled to Boston twice in 2022 for emergency one-game stints, but did not play in either instance. Reportedly qualifies for a fourth option year in 2023. Outrighted to Worcester in December 2022. Received an invitation to 2023 Major League Spring Training.

Summation: Potential up-and-down, bat-first catcher who is the third or fourth catcher on the 40-man roster. Ceiling of a regular catcher in a timeshare if he improves his defense and approach, but the likelihood of that happening is low. Given the barrier at catcher right now, could be used there in limited opportunities if his bat warrants it. Type of defensive profile that could really benefit from the automated strike zone. Questions about his approach, hit tool, and defensive profile cloud his future projection. Needs to improve hit profile to project as a major leaguer if defense stays as-is.

2022 Teams: FCL and Salem
Final Stats: 205 PA, .297/.386/.394, 14 XBH, 10.7 BB%, 12.7 K%
2023 Projected Level: Salem

Scouting Report
Physical Description: Tall, projectable frame. Very thin at present, needs to add significant strength.

Hit: Starts square and in a slight crouch. Short, leg lift timing device. Rhythmic swing. Smooth, direct to the ball. Keeps the bat in the zone a long time and rarely misses pitches in the zone. Needs to improve his pitch recognition and quality of contact. Gets caught out in front too easily by secondary pitches and because he makes so much contact on pitches in the zone, has the tendency to get himself out.

Power: Minimal power at present. Produces below-average exit velocities. Needs to add strength to his frame.

Run: Below-average speed, not a major part of his game.

Field: Played all three infield spots in 2022. Would have worked out catcher at the 2022 Fall Performance Program had it not been cancelled and may see time there in 2023. Smart player with solid defensive instincts that the Red Sox think is capable of fielding multiple positions.

Arm: Plus arm.

Career Notes: Brother, Kleyver, signed with the Red Sox in January 2023. Reportedly referred to as "El Capitán" by teammates for his leadership. Participated in the 2021 Fall Performance Program. Was set to participate in the 2022 Fall Performance Program that was cancelled due to Hurricane Ian.

Summation: Intriguing player with some solid characteristics at the plate and in the field. Needs to physically mature in order to be able to handle more advanced pitching, but defensive profile gives him a higher-than-usual floor for someone his age.

Note: This page will be updated with a complete scouting report after the scouting team has seen the player in regular season game action.

2022 Teams: FCL and Salem
Final Stats: 96 PA, .316/.438/.540, 14.6 BB%, 11.5 K%
2023 Projected Level: Greenville

Scouting Report
Physical Description: Smaller, undersized frame. Minimal remaining projection.

Hit: Starts slightly open with his hands high. Very brief leg lift and short stride. Simple swing mechanics. Short swing that is fluid and direct to the ball. Makes a lot of contact and has an advanced approach. Walked more than he struck out in college.

Power: Below-average power potential. Not a major part of his game. Swing is designed for line drives in the gap.

Run: Fringe-average speed.

Field: Soft hands, fluid actions. Profiles best at second base.

Arm: Average arm strength.

Career Notes: Young for a college junior. All-WCC First Team in 2022. Played in the Cape Cod League in 2022 for Yarmouth-Dennis. Missed most of the 2021 season with an injury.

Summation: Will have to hit, but has shown strong contact skills and advanced approach. Young for the college draft class and combination of age, contact skills and approach grade out really well on models.

Note: This page will be updated with a complete scouting report after the scouting team has seen the player in person.

Photo Credit: Stephen Scott, Ronaldo Hernandez and Chase Meidroth by Kelly O'Connor.

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.