Red Sox Prospects – Stock Up, Stock Down & More

Ceddanne Rafaela, Portland Sea Dogs, July 30, 2022, Dunkin' Donut Park, Hartford, CT.

With only about a month remaining in Minor League Baseball’s regular season, I want to focus on Boston’s farm system and highlight a number of prospects. Some of these players have had standout seasons so far, some earning promotions within the organization, while others have faced challenges and may not be performing up to expectations. For each level I point out Stock Up, Stock Down, Keep Your Eyes On, and Diamond Mine, players less than 5% owned in Fantrax dynasty leagues who you could consider adding to your team(s). Does 0% on Fantrax actually mean NOBODY owns them in ANY league? I’m not so sure about that, but some of the prospects below fall into that category.

Most stats I refer to with all of these players are from July 1st on unless otherwise specified. Numbers in ( ) are each player’s rank in my midseason Red Sox Top 50 prospects (from July).

Worcester Red Sox (Triple-A)

Stock Up: Triston Casas, 1B (2)
Stock up for Boston’s #2 prospect? I say yes. If it wasn’t for his injury which kept him off the field for about 2 months, I believe he’d already be up with the major league squad. Instead, he’s making up for lost time in AAA, hitting .293 since July 1st, with 4 HR, 12 RBI, and some walk-off hits. Come on Red Sox, he’s ready.

Stock Down: Ryan Fitzgerald, IF (33), Durbin Feltman, RHP (NR)
Fitzy was so hot earlier this year, I honestly thought an #MLBCallUp was imminent. That unfortunately hasn’t been the case in the second half. Hitting .149 with 28 strikeouts (26.6%) and only 2 HR isn’t going to earn him a September call-up. I’ll be the first to say I was wrong about Feltman, although I do hope he can get things turned around. I ranked Durbin #7 in the system preseason 2019 after he was drafted in the 3rd round in 2018. Look how off I was 3 years ago.

His 12.15 ERA in 12 games since 7/1 isn’t going to impress many. In 13.1 IP he’s given up 14 hits and 18 earned runs. Let’s hope he can finish this season on a better note and maybe hope for a potential MLB call to the bullpen in 2023.

Keep Your Eyes On: Enmanuel Valdez, 2B/LF (HOU 2), Zack Kelly, RHP (NR)
Valdez came over to Boston in the Christian Vazquez deal. He’s been hitting all season, and that hasn’t stopped since he arrived in Worcester, with 4 HR and 15 RBI in 15 games. The Sox did get two good prospects for Vazqy, and I’ll talk a little about the other one below in AA. Don’t sleep on Kelly. Boston’s bullpen can ALWAYS use arms, and since July 1 he’s thrown 18.1 innings, punched out 27, and posted a 1.96 ERA in 14 RAPP with 2 saves.

Diamond Mine: Brian Keller, RHP, (NR), <1% owned
Somebody has to add Keller in deep dynasty leagues, right? This 28-year-old should get an MLB call, especially if the Sox fall out of Wild Card contention in September. 8 starts since 7/1, with a 1.85 ERA, and 50 K in 39 IP.

Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A)

Stock Up: Ceddanne Rafaela, OF (5), Niko Kavadas, 1B (10)
Rafaela may be one of the biggest pop-up prospects in all of MiLB this season. He killed it in High-A early this season, got named to the Futures Game, and a promotion to AA where he’s continued to hit. I’ve even heard some comparisons to Mookie Betts, although I haven’t personally said that. Stock is definitely up as he’s shot up every prospect rankings list out there. Kavadas, drafted last year out of Notre Dame, has put together a very impressive 2022 campaign. Since July 1, Niko has 6 HR and 21 RBI between Greenville and Portland.

Stock Down: Alex Binelas, 1B/3B (11)
I wasn’t a huge fan of the Hunter Renfroe trade. Boston received JBJ, Binelas, and David Hamilton, but I figured if the prospects turned out to be decent and contribute in Boston, then maybe it’s salvageable. Hamilton’s been just ok in Portland, but Binelas has not been hitting. He does have 8 HR and 25 RBI since July 1, but I need to see a better AVG than .146.

Keep Your Eyes On: Thad Ward, RHP (25)
Could Ward’s comeback from TJS have been any quieter or promoted any less? I honestly haven’t seen any news or highlights and he’s thrown 39 innings since July 1, with a 1.74 ERA across 9 starts in Rookie, Single-A, High-A, and Double-A (not counting his 8/21 start at Reading). I’m expecting to see him start 2023 in Triple-A, with a very good shot at pitching in Fenway next season.

Diamond Mine: Wilyer Abreu, OF (HOU 11), 2% owned
Abreu is the other prospect who came over in the Vazquez trade (with Valdez). Tony Bps got to see him play in Reading recently and wouldn’t stop tweeting me with Wilyer updates. He’s only hitting .248 since 7/1, but I like seeing Portland hitting Abreu in the leadoff spot and his 7 SB during this stretch.

Greenville Drive (High-A)

Stock Up: Blaze Jordan, 3B (6)
One of the darlings of 2021 Bowman, Jordan is known by some for 500-foot HR blasts in high school and for winning the HS HR Derby in Cleveland in 2019. Now in Boston’s farm system, he’s surprising some prospect “experts” and making way more contact than they expected after he was drafted. In 95 games at Single-A Salem this season, he put up a .287 AVG with 8 HR and 57 RBI. Even more impressive is, since his promotion to High-A Greenville (10 games), his 3 HR, .395 AVG, and 1.147 OPS. Keep at it Blaze!

Stock Down: Nick Decker, OF (49), Chih-Jung Liu, RHP (40)
I think we need to see more of these two players, but their performances since July 1 aren’t opening many eyes. Decker’s slashed .133/.278/.233 with 1 HR, while Liu sports a 7.46 ERA in 7 games (5 GS), giving up 21 ER in 25.1 IP. Both were in the bottom half of my preseason Red Sox Top 50 prospects.

Keep Your Eyes On: Max Ferguson, 2B (SD 12)
I want to get my eyes on Ferguson but just haven’t been able to watch any Drive games recently since the trade with the Padres. The 22-year-old had several nice games early in the year and stole 51 bases with the Lake Elsinore Storm. He’s struggled in High-A and just hasn’t seen as much success with Fort Wayne (pre-trade) and now with Greenville. We all love speed, but you need to hit and get on base consistently to climb the MiLB ladder.

Diamond Mine: Phillip Sikes, OF (NR), <1% owned
I’ll be honest. Finding a diamond in the rough in Boston’s High-A was a bit challenging. I’ve seen Sikes mentioned in some recent game recaps so I checked his stats. Pretty much unowned in dynasty leagues, but is an interesting name to consider. With 6 HR, 20 RBI, 4 SB, and a .254/.341/.500 slash since July 1 between Salem and Greenville, I would say he’s a potential fantasy nugget you can jump on very early.

Salem Red Sox (Single-A)

Stock Up: Eddinson Paulino, SS (20)
Paulino is arguably the Salem Red Sox MVP so far this season. The 19-year-old has played 102 games for Salem (missed only 9), hitting .251 with 9 HR, 51 RBI, and 24 SB. Since July 1 his numbers look even better – .294 AVG, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 20 SB and several Prospects1500 ⭐️worthy performances.

Stock Down: Darel Belen, OF (NR)
Belen has fallen out of my Sox Top 50 in both preseason 2022 and my recent midseason update. He needs to get things turned around for me to consider adding him back to the ranks for preseason 2023. The 22-year-old is hitting only .098 (4-41) since July 1, so this is stock down for me. That doesn’t mean the talented outfielder can’t rebound and finish out this campaign on a high note.

Keep Your Eyes On: Yorberto Mejicano, C (NR)
This is one name I was very surprised to include, but it’s very deserving, and more people need to know about Mejicano. He hit .415 in 18 games in the Florida Complex League last season and the organization assigned him to Single-A Salem for 2022. He’s slashed .270/.335/.384 so far this year but recently had an amazing week, slashing .476/.607/.571 between August 8-14, winning’s Player of the Week honors.

Diamond Mine: Brainer Bonaci, SS (22), 2% owned
I still think this kid could be a sneaky, good MLB player at some point in the next few years. If you’re in a deep dynasty league that rosters 50-100 players per squad, he’s a name you should consider adding. He’s hit a respectable .280 in 39 games since July 1, with 34 BB compared to 31 SO, which is what you want to see at A-ball from a 19-year-old.

FCL and DSL Red Sox (Rookie)

Stock Up: Miguel Bleis, OF (18)
I’ll admit, I’ve been slower than many prospect evaluators to jump on the Bleis bandwagon. He’s proving me wrong this year. Ranked 18th on my recent midseason Red Sox Top 50 update, Boston’s 18-year-old prized international signing from January 2021 is showing all his tools in Florida rookie ball. He hasn’t played since August 11th (reportedly lower back stiffness), but since July 1 he’s slashing .320/.365/.619 in 24 games with 9 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 19 RBI, and 12 SB. The FCL season ends August 23 so that may be what we get from Bleis in 2022, unless he’s promoted to Salem to finish out the season.

Stock Down: Freddy Valdez, OF (NR)
Here’s a young player I was excited to see come over to Boston from the Mets via trade (in the Andrew Benintendi package). Things haven’t panned out yet, but there’s still plenty of time. I’m just stock down for the time being because we’re not seeing the production expected. Many heard about his power, but it just hasn’t shown up yet. 0 HR in 31 games last season, and only 1 HR in his first 22 games this year, posting a .192 AVG.

Keep Your Eyes On: Luis Perales, RHP (NR)
Here’s a prospect who should be on my Top 50 but for some reason fell off in my midseason update. He’s lighting it up in 2022 between the FCL and Salem, and since July 1 has only allowed 7 hits and 2 earned runs in 23 IP. His ERA over that time is 0.78, to go along with a 13.3 K/9.

Diamond Mine: Luis Perales, RHP, 1% owned
Why not? See above. Go get Perales now!

President of Prospects1500. Commissioner of Diamond Duos dynasty fantasy baseball leagues. Founder of MLB Fantasy Playoffs Parlay. Participant in more than a dozen other dynasty/fantasy baseball leagues. Account Manager for Reminder Publishing in real life. Huge Bruce Springsteen and pro wrestling fan. Along with his wife and two boys, lives in Longmeadow, MA. Follow on Twitter at @Scotty_Ballgame.

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