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Track Record: A two-way player at Arizona who dominated on the mound in the 2016 College World Series, Dalbec has had a pro career of extremes. He had a tremendous pro debut with short-season Lowell in 2016, then struggled severely in his first full season in 2017, which was interrupted by surgery to remove a broken hamate. With health in 2018, Dalbec turned heads with top-of-the-charts power to all fields as well as plus defense at third base. He set a high Class A Salem record with 26 home runs before his promotion to Double-A Portland. Scouting Report: Between his power, glove and arm, Dalbec has a combination of plus or better tools that few others in the system possess. Yet early in 2018, some scouts thought that it was a matter of time before he moved to the mound. Then Dalbec got on a roll in which he not only made more frequent contact but destroyed baseballs with eye-opening consistency. “My God, what power,” exclaimed one scout. To get to that elite power, he will need to control his strikeout rate, which ballooned to 37 percent at Double-A. It’s a challenge made greater by a hand hitch in his swing. But some believe that Dalbec’s hitting intellect will allow him to hit enough to make an impact, particularly given that (A) he handled good fastballs in the zone this year, (B) he may benefit from a more consistent strike zone as he moves up, and (C) he has the ability to stay back on pitches rather than selling out for power. He can hit line drives to right-center field that carry over the fence. Still, some evaluators view his profile as risky given the frequency with which he chases secondary pitches out of the strike zone. Though a 6-foot-4 frame sometimes works against third basemen, Dalbec shows surprising quickness and range, excellent hands and a cannon arm that delivered mid-90s fastballs from the mound. While he has the skills to play third, he also saw time at first base in the Arizona Fall League to open more potential pathways to the big leagues. The Future: If Dalbec can’t control his strikeout rate, his future role would be limited to that of a platoon corner bat with good defensive skills. But his power is so significant that if he can hit .250 while maintaining a high walk rate, he could be an above-average or better third baseman who offers ample run production as a five- or six-hole type of hitter
Track Record: Chavis struggled early in his pro career before a breakout 2017 campaign in which he hit 31 homers to vault near the top of the system. However, an 80-game suspension for a positive PED test in 2018 raised significant questions. Once on the field, Chavis looked like a better prospect than he had in 2017, showing both better defense at third base and a more controlled effort level at the plate. Scouting Report: Early in his career, Chavis would sell out to get to his significant pull power, but he has learned to stay back on pitches and drive the ball from right-center field to the left-field foul line. He generates considerable power from his compact frame even while continuing to live with swing-and-miss in order to get there. Chavis has improved his conditioning and athleticism since turning pro, allowing him to stay at third base, though evaluators express uncertainty about his future position. He could see time in left field, and some in the organization want him to try second base. The Future: Profile remains the big question for Chavis. He appears capable of playing the corners and delivering platoon impact--if not more. He likely will open 2019 at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Track Record: An elbow injury just before the opening of the 2013 signing period scared some teams off Hernandez, but the Red Sox signed him for $7,500. His stuff has improved steadily and he has dominated at times. He struggled badly with his control at high Class A Salem early in 2018, prompting questions about whether he could remain in the rotation. A dominant second half resulted in a promotion to Double-A Portland. Scouting Report: Hernandez works from a low three-quarters arm slot with a mid-to-upper-90s fastball, a slider that shows plus potential and a curveball that is solid when in the strike zone. He loses his delivery and release point at times, resulting in control struggles and pitch inefficiency that have convinced some that he will be a reliever, where he worked in Double-A and the Arizona Fall League. The Red Sox want to see if Hernandez can mix in a few changeups for strikes, which could help him excel for a couple turns through a lineup. The Future: If Hernandez clicks, he could be a potential Jake McGee-type reliever who can blow away opponents with his fastball. Others see a Robbie Ray-type starter--if he can cut down his walk rate. Hernandez will return to Double-A, this time as a starter.
Track Record: In the two years since the Red Sox jumped when Groome fell to them at No. 12 overall, the lefthander has shown glimpses of why he was viewed as perhaps the most talented high school pitcher in his draft. After a difficult first pro season in 2017, he appeared poised for a leap forward after an offseason spent in Fort Myers, Fla.,working out frequently with Chris Sale. Yet at the end of a dominant spring training he suffered an ulnar collateral ligament tear and had Tommy John surgery in May. Scouting Report: When healthy, Groome showed a strong mix of three average to plus pitches and a tremendous ability to manipulate the ball with an easy delivery that augurs well for the ability to command a complete mix. In spring training, his fastball sat regularly in the mid-90s, and his sharp, two-plane curveball got plenty of swings and misses. He also showed improvement with his changeup. Down the road, his feel for the ball suggests that a cutter could be added to the mix. The Future: If all goes well, Groome will join an affiliate by the middle of the 2019 season. He still has No. 2 starter ceiling, but with concerns throughout the industry about how close he’ll come to reaching it.
Track Record: Area scout Willie Romay started following Casas as a high school freshman, mesmerized by his exceptional ability to drive the ball to all fields--a skill also evident in summer wood-bat leagues, including his time with Team USA. Shortly after Casas signed as the 26th overall pick, he suffered a torn ligament in his thumb while making a diving play in the field; the subsequent surgery ended his pro debut, but he was back on the field by instructional league. Scouting Report: Casas shows light-tower power, a trait made evident in workouts where he deposited balls into the center-field bleachers and the distant bullpen in right-center. Yet his ability to stay inside the ball, cover holes and drive pitches to the opposite field suggests the potential for a strong hit tool. Given Casas’ size, there are likely to be holes in his swing as he adjusts to pro ball in 2019. He split time between first and third base in instructional league, but he most likely profiles at first, where his surprising athleticism and large wingspan could make him stand out. The Future: Casas has upside on par with any other Red Sox prospect, and if he performs at low Class A Greenville in 2019 he could vault to the top of this list.
Track Record: In January 2016, the Red Sox rushed Mata to the mound at a workout organized by Alex Requena to get a one-inning look before the skies opened in a downpour. It was enough to convince the team to sign him for $25,000 that day. Since then he has consistently held his own as one of the youngest players at his levels. Scouting Report: Mata struggled to throw strikes early in 2018 while moving from being chiefly a four-seam fastball pitcher to learning how to use a two-seamer in order to generate more ground balls. He has a starter’s mix, with above-average velocity--he averages roughly 94 mph and tops out at 97--and the ability both to spin a breaking ball and slow bats with a changeup that gets some swings and misses. The key for Mata will be reclaiming his control after struggling at times to maintain his delivery in 2018. His struggles were at least partly a result of his physical growth. The Future: Though Mata’s 2018 season was cut short in July, shortly after the Futures Game, by growth-related back discomfort, he will compete for a spot in the Double-A rotation to remain on an aggressive development track. He has the upside of a No. 3 or No. 4 starter.
Track Record: The Red Sox were thrilled that a pitcher with Houck’s Southeastern Conference and Team USA pedigree remained on the board at No. 24 overall. Yet in his first spring training, Houck raised his arm slot and changed from a two-seam/slider mix to more of a four-seam/curveball combination that he struggled to command. He went back to a more familiar arm slot and mix in the second half of 2018, with strong results down the stretch. Scouting Report: Houck’s flexibility permits him to have excellent extension from a low three-quarters arm slot, though he has a lot of moving parts and sometimes struggles to hold his release point. Moving forward, he has the potential to employ both a sinking two-seamer with armside run and a four-seamer that stays true to his glove side to spread the strike zone for swings and misses at the top of it and grounders at the bottom. He also throws a potential wipeout slider. His changeup needs to make progress for him to stay in the rotation, even if he only lands it for occasional strikes. The Future: Houck is determined to prove he can start, though many feel his future is in the bullpen unless he improves effectiveness against lefthanded hitters. He has No. 4 starter potential if he starts.
Track Record: Shawaryn has moved steadily through the system, offering the sort of consistent performance that has permitted him to deliver solid performances as a starter across four levels in two years. Scouting Report: Shawaryn is a physical strike-thrower who attacks the zone with a low-90s fastball that has natural cut and a swing-and-miss slider whose speed and break he varies, with some evaluators coming away describing it as a cutter. At Triple-A Pawtucket, he showed an increased willingness to employ a changeup that grades as below-average now but has the potential to improve. If it doesn’t, Shawaryn has the potential to be a solid medium-leverage reliever who can be trusted to throw strikes out of the bullpen. He has shown flyball tendencies that suggest home run vulnerability, a trait that would be a concern at Fenway Park. Still, Shawaryn receives high marks for his work ethic, makeup and aptitude, giving evaluators confidence that he has a good chance of emerging as a solid big league contributor. The Future: Shawaryn will open 2019 back in Pawtucket as a depth option, either for the rotation or bullpen. In preparation for the possibility of a relief role, he worked out of the pen in the Arizona Fall League.
Track Record: The Red Sox signed Flores out of Venezuela for $1.4 million in 2017 based on the attraction of his all-around tools as well as his feel for the game. He stood out in the Dominican Summer League enough to convince the Red Sox to promote him to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League after just 13 games, but a conservative course with lower-half injuries limited him to just two games in the GCL. Scouting Report: Flores has shown the Red Sox a consistently strong feel for hitting with advanced plate discipline and a good feel for getting the barrel on the ball, with strength gains allowing him to post higher-than-expected exit velocities. He was wiry at the time he signed, somewhat akin to a young Alcides Escobar, but Flores has already filled out quite a bit. As he continues to do so, there’s a chance he will outgrow shortstop and move to third base. Still, his potential to develop into an above-average shortstop stood out in a system that is light up the middle. At least one rival evaluator viewed Flores as the best prospect in the entire system. The Future: Flores seems like a candidate to join short-season Lowell in June, though he has a chance to push for low Class A Greenville at some point in 2019.
Track Record: After he missed almost all of his first full pro season in 2017 with a recurring hamstring injury, Chatham returned with a strong performance across two levels in 2018, competing for the Carolina League batting title until the final days of the season while showing solid defensive skills. Scouting Report: Chatham showed a knack for getting the bat on the ball, sometimes demonstrating doubles power and sometimes by flipping singles to right field. His feel for hitting suggests a solid hit tool that should allow him--in concert with his defense--to reach the big leagues. Though Chatham hit for power in college, he hasn’t done so as a pro. Now that he has a healthy season to his name, he is spending his offseason in a strengthening program to try to tap into more power. Defensively, Chatham lacks explosive actions but has good footwork and body control. Though he lacks standout tools, he showed a solid all-around game to project as a potential everyday up-the-middle player with the floor of a utility player. The Future: Chatham seems likely to open 2019 at Double-A Portland, and he may not be far from offering the Red Sox a righthanded infield depth option.
Track Record: Feltman split time between pitching and catching in high school, but with a full-time move to the mound at Texas Christian, his velocity exploded. He went from the upper-80s to the upper-90s as a freshman and emerged as TCU’s closer. He punctuated a great college career with a dominant junior campaign (0.74 ERA, 43 strikeouts and 6 walks in 24 innings) and signed with the Red Sox for $559,600 as the 100th overall pick. He continued to dominate in his pro debut, posting a 1.93 ERA with 36 strikeouts and five walks in 23 innings while jumping to high Class A Salem. Scouting Report: Despite a max-effort delivery that creates durability questions, Feltman commands two swing-and-miss pitches. His high-spin, 95-99 mph fastball has two-plane movement, seeming to rise above bats with cut to generate tons of swings and misses. He also features a wipeout mid-80s slider. Those offerings are so sufficiently developed that, entering the draft, there were questions whether Felltman might be in the big leagues in 2018. While the Red Sox decided to tap the brakes on such hype by keeping him in the low minors, there’s a good chance that he will stay on an aggressive path in 2019. The Future: Feltman might open 2019 in Double-A Portland, and there’s a strong likelihood that he will be in the big league bullpen by next year. He could be an important late-innings factor--either as a setup man or closer--in the near future.
Track Record: Duran combined solid bat-to-ball skills and a good feel for the strike zone with standout speed at Long Beach State. The Red Sox drafted him in the seventh round and signed him for $189,800 with the hope of seeing how the college second baseman might fare in the outfield. In his pro debut, Duran showed not only those traits but also surprising gap power, hitting .357/.394/.516 with 28 extra-base hits in 67 games--one more than he had in his sophomore and junior years combined. Scouting Report: Duran shows an above-average hit tool, keeping the bat in the zone for a long time and getting the barrel on all pitch types. He also showed the ability to backspin the ball in unexpected fashion in his pro debut to both the pull-side and opposite field. His 70-grade speed allows him to make an impact on the bases and to take advantage of mis-hits, and ultimately should serve him well in center and right field. The Future: While Duran in college looked like a potential role player, the skill set he showed in a dazzling pro debut suggested a player with the ceiling of a Brett Gardner-type.
Track Record: In his DSL pro debut, Diaz--who grew three inches and added roughly 50 pounds in his first year in the Red Sox system--showed the standout power that led the Red Sox to sign him for $1.6 million in 2017. He blasted six homers in 26 games before surgery to remove a broken hamate ended his season. Scouting Report: Diaz has the size and strength of a middle-of-the-order hitter, but with the swing-and-miss and aggressive approach (23.9 percent strikeout rate, 4.4 percent walk rate) to create risk in his profile. Diaz moved from short to third once in pro ball, and he shows soft hands and good arm strength at the position. His size raises long-term questions about whether he’ll move off the position, and the Sox plan to give him time at both third and first. The Future: If everything clicks, Diaz could emerge in several years as a third baseman with top-end power, but with his size and his struggles to make contact, his development track may prove deliberate.
Track Record: The Red Sox believed Howlett possessed an advanced approach and intriguing upside for a 21st-round selection, but didn’t realize those traits would become so quickly apparent in pro ball. After signing for $185,000 to pass up a Florida State commitment, Howlett had a standout debut backed by a new contact lens prescription. Scouting Report: Howlett squared up balls frequently in his debut, showing easy home run power to the pull side and driving doubles to right-center. The ability to use all fields suggests a player who has the ability to post high averages, and Howlett has also shown considerable plate discipline, even with some swing and miss. Evaluators are split on whether he’ll stay at third or move to first base or left field, but he showed well at third in his debut and will continue to get time there. The Future: Howlett has the upside of a middle-of-the-order run-producer, potentially at a premium position, thus making the teenager one of the potential steals of the draft thanks to his improved vision. He will be in the conversation to open 2019 at low Class A Greenville.
Track Record: The Red Sox are Brewer’s fourth organization in as many years, as he’s gone from the Pirates to the Yankees to the Padres to Boston after being traded for Esteban Quiroz in November. The big righthander had a 3.75 ERA with 11.8 strikeouts and 2.8 walks per nine inning and strong groundball rates in Triple A in 2018. Scouting Report: Brewer relies heavily on one of the hardest cutters in the game. His 92.4 mph average cutter velocity was the sixth-highest in MLB in 2018 by a pitcher who threw at least 50 cutters. He complements that pitch with a low-80s curve and high-80s slider, both of which demonstrate a strong ability to spin the ball. The Red Sox believe that between his velocity and spin, that there are a lot of raw materials that can yield a solid middle-innings option, although his command and control need work. The Future: Brewer should represent one of the Red Sox’s top bullpen depth options in 2019. He has two options remaining and will get plenty of chances.
Track Record: Decker dominated his New Jersey high school peers while also impressing the Red Sox with his makeup--an impression formed in no small part by the opportunity for scout Ray Fagnant to coach Decker at East Coast Pro. The Red Sox selected Decker with the 64th overall pick and signed him for $1.25 million to forgo a Maryland commitment. Decker got into just two games in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League before a non-displaced wrist fracture forced him to miss the rest of the season. Scouting Report: Decker has the hand strength and bat speed to generate all-fields power. There’s the potential for a fair amount of swing-and-miss in his game, though during instructional league he showed a hit tool that was more advanced than expected. For now, he’ll likely develop in center and right field. While he has the arm for right, it remains to be seen whether he maintains the range to stay out of left. The Future: As a player who contended with the abbreviated high school schedules of the Northeast, Decker may take some time to develop. There are likely to be periods of struggle in his game, interspersed with some prodigious shows of power that suggest the upside of a power-hitting corner outfielder.
Track Record: Though Lakins showed some of the best stuff of any Red Sox starting pitching prospect, both of his first two pro seasons ended with stress fractures in his right elbow tip, prompting the team to move him to the bullpen in 2018. Scouting Report: Lakins still uses the entire four-pitch repertoire that he employed as a starter, though he relies chiefly on his fastball that reaches 96 mph and a plus cutter. Even so, the breadth of pitches gives him a chance to be more than a single-inning reliever. Lakins’ fastball is straight, so velocity and location are essential for its effectiveness. His the ability to shape his cutter played off his fastball well and showed the ability to generate swings and misses. The Future: Lakins likely will open the year in Triple-A. He should be a big league depth option in 2019 with a middle-innings future.
Track Record: Reyes converted to the pitching from shortstop after signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. While he lacks big stuff, his superb command and pitchability have allowed him to dominate the lower levels. Reyes posted a miniscule 1.97 ERA at the Class A levels in 2018, with 145 strikeouts and 19 walks in 155.2 innings. Scouting Report: Taken on their own, none of Reyes’ four pitches grades average, but he embodies the art of pitching. Reyes has plus command and creative sequencing along with some deception to his 89-92 mph fastball, a combination of traits that has befuddled low-level hitters. He’ll mix in a slider, curveball and changeup, with the slider he can backdoor his best secondary. While some note that the big-bodied righthander could add velocity, his present ability to sequence and mix gives him back-end starter potential. His lack of stuff may make it hard for him to turn over a lineup more than once or twice, but he can pitch to a game plan. The Future: Some evaluators believe Reyes’ sophistication on the mound could allow him to serve as a big league depth option relatively soon, with a chance to emerge as more than that.
Track Record: Though the Red Sox didn’t prioritize the addition of power-hitting corners in the 2018 draft, Northcut represented the continuation of a run on such players when the Red Sox took him in the 11th round and signed him away from a Vanderbilt commitment for $565,500. In his pro debut, the 19-year-old hit .223/.303/.319 between Rookie ball and short-season Lowell. Scouting Report: Northcut showed the flashes of plus power in his pro debut that drew the Red Sox to him, though he also endured some periods of swings and misses that are typical of righthanded hitters out of high school. Defensively, he has the hands and arm for third. Both his instincts and makeup are considered strong. He has a thick, high-maintenance body that will need to be maintained. The Future: Northcut has the upside of a power-hitting everyday third baseman. He’ll enter a crowded mix in the lower levels of the Red Sox system at that position.
Track Record: Jimenez slipped through the cracks in the 2017-18 interantional signing period, permitting the Red Sox to sign him for just $10,000. He stood out as a dynamic top-of-the-order hitter with a balanced skill set while hitting .319/.384/.420 in the Dominican Summer League in 2018. Scouting Report: A natural righthanded hitter, Jimenez posted much better numbers batting lefthanded (.350/.416/.478) than righthanded (.204/.259/.204) in his first year as a switch-hitter. He showed the speed to impact the game both as a true center fielder and on the bases, though his 16 steals came with 14 times getting thrown out. He shows an across-the-board tool set that grades as average or better except for his power, though it’s possible that he could grow into the ability to drive the ball. The Future: Jimenez has as much upside as nearly any outfielder in the system, though years remain to show whether that promise takes shape as eventual big league production.
Track Record: In five pro seasons since signing for $450,000, Ockimey has shown an ability to drive balls out of the park from line to line, work counts en route to a high volume of walks, and pulverize righties, whom he tagged at a .273/.393/.531 clip in 2018. However, his swings and misses have grown at every level he’s climbed, culminating in a concerning 31-percent strikeout rate at Double-A and Triple-A. Scouting Report: Ockimey possesses raw power and the ability to drive the ball in the air to all fields, favorable traits for a potential resident of Fenway Park. Yet while he does a good job with pitch recognition, his lack of rhythm at the plate contributes to a high-volume of swings and misses, especially against lefties. He’s also defensively limited. Despite a tremendous work ethic, most view him as a future DH with the ability to spend time at first base rather than an ideal everyday first base option. The Future: While Ockimey concluded 2018 in Triple-A, his profile--lefthanded platoon DH/first baseman--creates a challenging path to the big leagues. Even so, some believe that he still has the ability to emerge as a more consistent hitter with significant power, with a best-case scenario of an Adam Lind-like role.
Track Record: After transferring from Indian River (Fla.) to Florida Gulf Coast as a junior, Crawford posted a 1.71 ERA that ranked eighth in NCAA in 2017. But the fact that he did it in the mid-tier Atlantic Sun Conference and the absence of a clear plus offering left him on the board on day three of the draft, when the Red Sox picked him in the 16th round. In 2018, Crawford’s performance became harder to overlook. He had a 3.26 ERA, 9.8 strikeouts and 3.0 walks per nine in 27 starts at the Class A levels. Scouting Report: Yes, he has a cutter, and it’s the best offering in Crawford’s four-pitch mix, projecting as a potential average to above-average big league pitch. He also features a fastball that averaged 92 mph early in the year but ticked down a bit later. He mixes in a curveball and changeup, with everything seemingly coming out of the same tunnel. Crawford helps his stuff play up by being a competitor who has an aggressive tempo and mixes his pitches. The Future: Crawford’s four-pitch mix suggests a potential depth starter. It remains to be seen if he can develop another pitch to the point of surpassing that outlook.
Track Record: Schellenger showed overpowering late-inning stuff at Seton Hall and especially in the 2016 Cape Cod League but health and durability issues have persisted in pro ball. He forged a 1.65 ERA with big strikeout (38 percent) and groundball (71 percent) rates in 2018, but it came in just 16 innings against Rookie-level and low Class A opponents due to a shoulder impingement and back soreness. Scouting Report: Though Schellenger lacks fluidity in his delivery, he repeats from a low three-quarters arm slot that’s uncomfortable for hitters, particularly righties. While he touched the upper 90s in college, he’s worked more in the mid 90s as a pro with his two-seamer, a pitch that features both sink and armside run, and a wipeout slider. Both pitches show plus potential. The Future: Schellenger is hard to forecast. He’s got the stuff to fly to the big leagues in a late-innings role, but he hasn’t been on the mound enough. Though he’s spent little time in Greenville, his stuff may allow the Red Sox to push him to high Class A Salem if he’s healthy to start 2019.
Track Record: After Shugart spent two years pitching out of Texas’ bullpen, the Longhorns moved him into the rotation as a junior. He showed the ability to mix four pitches while working to a 4.36 ERA in 84 innings, but then showed surprisingly impressive stuff in his pro debut after the Red Sox took him in the 12th round and signed him for $125,000. Scouting Report: In bursts, Shugart has shown arm strength with a fastball up to 97 mph and an athletic delivery that allows him to work to both sides of the plate with a four-pitch mix. His diminutive stature raises questions about whether he will have the durability to sustain mid-90s velocity as a starter or if he’s more likely to work in the low 90s as he did at Texas. He mixes in a changeup, slider and curveball to round out his arsenal, though none stand out as plus. The Future: Shugart’s mix permits him to project as a multi-inning reliever if not a starter. He’ll get a chance in spring training to compete for a rotation spot at high Class A Salem in 2019.
Track Record: Lopez emerged as one of the top hitters in the 2018 international class despite lacking huge tools. The Red Sox committed $1.15 million to him based on the combination of his up-the-middle athleticism and advanced instincts and polish in games throughout the scouting process. Scouting Report: The switch-hitting Lopez features a swing that is similar from both sides, one with which he consistently squares the ball while laying off pitches outside of the strike zone. He projects to be an above-average to plus hitter with the potential for power as he gains strength. Though an average runner, his instincts are strong enough that the Red Sox project him to stay in center field. The Future: Lopez will make his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2019, but there’s a chance he could move fast given the unusual advancement of his game.
Track Record: Scherff, the 2017 Gatorade High School Player of the Year in Texas, got off to a dreadful start at low Class A Greenville in 2018 while attempting to make some delivery adjustments. But after forging a 9.35 ERA with more walks than strikeouts through four starts, he recovered to post a 3.25 ERA with 7.3 strikeouts and 1.9 walks per nine the rest of the way while showing improved stuff and command. He missed two months in the middle of the year with an intercostal strain. Scouting Report: Once Scherff restored his mechanics, he frequently worked at 93-95 mph on his fastball with a good feel for a solid changeup that misses barrels. His fastball lacks deception, but he should have the velocity and command to compensate. His third pitch is a work in progress. In high school he threw a curveball, but he worked during instructional league to shift to a slider, and it’s possible that he’ll refine that to more of a cutter. The Future: If Scherff finds an average or better third pitch, he has the makings of a starter. If not, his future is in the bullpen. His spring training performance will determine whether he opens 2019 at high Class A Salem or back in Greenville.
Track Record: Castellanos has done nothing but hit since entering the Red Sox’s system, posting a .319/.365/.437 slash line in three seasons and batting over .300 every year. That line was held down by back injuries that limited him in the first half at low Class A Greenville in 2018. Once healthy, he posted a .330/.360/.427 line in the second half. Scouting Report: Castellanos defies expectations. He’s a big man who looks like he should feature plenty of power while having holes in his swing. Instead, he has miniscule strikeout rates (13.2 percent in 2018) and sprays the ball to all fields. For now, he features an atypical corner profile of a potential plus hit tool with well below-average in-game power. Castellanos does have the size and strength to suggest an uptick in doubles and homers if he starts lofting the ball. He’s hit .370 in his career with more power against lefties. The Future: Castellanos has a track record that suggests he can hit, and if he continues to post huge averages against lefties, he’ll keep moving up as a potential platoon bat. If he taps into his reservoir of raw power without severely compromising his sound offensive approach, he has a chance to emerge as a regular. He will open 2019 at high Class A Salem.
Track Record: For years Travis looked like one of the best pure hitters in Boston’s system, but his performance has gotten progressively worse over three seasons in Triple-A. He hit .258/.317/.360 with Pawtucket in 2018, posting his highest strikeout rate (22.4 percent) and lowest isolated power (.102) at any minor league level of his career. Scouting Report: Travis tried to overhaul his direct-to-the-ball approach with an eye toward turning his considerable strength into more extra-base impact. The opposite occurred, with Travis seeing his groundball and strikeout rates go up, particularly against righties. Down the stretch he got back to a more contact-oriented, all-fields approach, slashing his strikeout rate roughly in half (from 27.8 percent to 14.8 percent) and hitting .299/.345/.383. He’s made significant defensive strides at first, while delivering below-average defense in left. The Future: It’s become increasingly difficult to see Travis as an everyday first baseman, but even in his difficult 2018, he hit well enough against lefties (.284/.367/.432) to suggest a decent shot at a platoon role. He’ll likely open 2019 back in Pawtucket.
Track Record: Netzer played his first full pro season in 2018 under challenging circumstances after his father passed away from colon cancer in the spring. By the end of the year at high Class A Salem, Netzer seemed understandably drained while posting a .235/.292/.329 line down the stretch. But some evaluators believed a strong first half in which he hit .308/.361/.396 while showing good strike-zone judgment, may be more representative of his skill set. Scouting Report: Netzer swings at strikes and shoots line drives to all fields. The approach serves him well against righties (.288/.344/.377 in 2018) but he struggles against lefties (.229/.278/.319) and has little power present or projectable. Defensively, he projects as average or a tick below at second. The Future: Netzer’s contact ability from the left side is a good starting point, but he needs to make more impact and improve his defense. He stands to open 2019 at Double-A Portland.
Track Record: Signed as a potential five-tool outfielder out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, Aybar didn’t hit enough in four pro seasons to progress beyond A-ball, and so the decision was made to see how his rocket of an arm would translate to the mound. Despite modest numbers (4.13 ERA, 8.6 strikeouts and 4.4 walks per nine), he showed standout flashes in Rookie ball and short-season Lowell in his pitching debut. Scouting Report: Aybar has shown the ability to work at 96-98 mph with his fastball, and both his changeup and slider have gotten swings and misses. His mechanics remain inconsistent, which isn’t a surprise given his long limbs and lack of prior pitching experience, but in flashes he shows the makings of a lefthanded power arm out of the bullpen. The Future: Though raw, Aybar showed plenty of promise in his initial work off a mound. His inexperience suggests a slow progression would be beneficial.