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SoxProspects News

March 28, 2023 at 4:00 PM

Fort Report: Opening Day on the doorstep

Opening Day for the big league club is on Thursday, which means the season for the affiliates isn't far behind! Welcome to the final Fort Report before camp breaks and the full-season affiliates head north to start 2023.

Bobby Dalbec optioned
The first baseman will begin 2023 about 40 miles west from where he would have liked, as the Red Sox optioned him to Worcester on Monday. Dalbec has struggled with inconsistency at the plate since arriving in Boston in 2020, with heavy doses of swing-and-miss in his game blunting his potential to hit 30 home runs in a season at his peak. The 27-year old had a .959 OPS in 80 at-bats in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but has still struck out at a clip of greater than 34 percent in his major league career. At-bats may be difficult to come by with the presence of Triston Casas and Justin Turner in the middle of the lineup.

Springtime cuts
Four players were released from the organization on Wednesday, as Osvaldo De La Rosa, Blake Loubier, Bryan Lucas and BJ Vela each were cut. Three of them, in De La Rosa, Loubier and Lucas, were pitchers, while Lucas was the only one of the bunch to reach Greenville. Vela, who was a 16th-round pick in 2021 out of Reedley College, repeated the FCL in 2022 but had a .927 OPS in 38 at-bats. De La Rosa and Lucas both got their first taste of pro ball in 2018 as international free agents out of the Dominican Republic. Lucas struggled to strike hitters out in Salem and had just one appearance for Greenville, while De La Rosa was hit hard during his stint in Virginia.

Major league roster coming into focus
There were a few more cuts from major league camp on Friday, as Daniel Palka, Caleb Hamilton and Ronaldo Hernandez were reassigned from minor league camp. Palka, who finished fifth in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2018, had a .733 OPS over 39 at-bats this spring and figures to stick in Worcester. Meanwhile, Hamilton and Hernadez were in camp partially as backstops to catch bullpens, though Hamilton was 6 for 17 with a trio of extra-base hits in Grapefruit League Action.

Jorge Alfaro, Niko Goodrum, Greg Allen and Raimel Tapia are the final non-roster invitees remaining on the big league side of Fort Myers.

Politi to return?
AJ Politi, who was selected in the Rule 5 Draft by Baltimore, has been designated for assignment by the Orioles. Should be clear waivers, he would be offered back to Boston. Drafted in 2018 out of Seton Hall, Politi has performed well in each spot on the minor league ladder, with 1.02 WHIP in 56 innings for Worcester in 2022. Meanwhile, the draft's first overall pick, Thaddeus Ward, is reported to have made Washington's Opening Day bullpen.

Yoshida arrives in Fort Myers
One day after helping lead Japan to a World Baseball Classic championship, Masataka Yoshida joined his Boston teammates in Fort Myers to prepare for the 2023 season. The outfielder had 13 RBIs in the tournament and surely could have used a little shuteye after making the 147-mile journey.

Key Links
Ian Cundall has a treasure trove of video from Spring Training and is still tweeting out plenty of content, including Alex Hoppe, Theo Denlinger, Chase Meidroth, Juan Daniel Encarnacion, Nick Yorke, Miguel Bleis and Roman Anthony.

MLBPipeline.com ranked MLB's farm systems, releasing their list on Tuesday. The Red Sox are at No. 16 out of the 30 teams, anchored by No. 9 overall prospect Marcelo Mayer.

Minor-leaguers in major league games
We will continue tracking the players who are not in major league camp but get looks in MLB games. The full list, with current ranking in parentheses: Pitchers: Oddanier Mosqueda (48), Chase Shugart, Ryan Miller (58), Edwin Diaz, Max Ferguson, Ryan Sherriff, Luis Guerrero (29), Joe Jacques, Skylar Arias, Cam Booser, Durbin Feltman, Jake Faria, Jordan DiValerio; Catchers: Stpehen Scott (40), Elih Marrero; Infielders: Nick Yorke (5), Matthew Lugo (14), Alex Binelas (35), Eddinson Paulino (11), Chase Meidroth (36), Niko Kavadas (20), Marcelo Mayer (1), Nick Sogard, Christian Koss (33); Outfielders: Phillip Sikes, Allan Castro (44), Miguel Ugueto, Tyler McDonough (30), Narciso Crook, Marcus Wilson, Tyler Dearden, Greg Allen
Photo credit: Bobby Dalbec by Kelly O'Connor