Jeter Downs is in baseball news due to his inclusion in the on-again trade between the Dodgers and the Red Sox. Full deal:
|Red Sox Receive||Dodgers Receive|
|Alex Verdugo||Mookie Betts|
|Jeter Downs||David Price|
|Connor Wong||Cash Considerations|
Just the Basics
|Date of Birth||07/27/1998|
|Height / Weight||5’11” / 180 pounds|
|Entered League||2017 Amateur Draft, 32nd overall pick|
Originally many thought Downs would end up playing baseball at the University of Miami, but improvements his senior year lead to his draft stock greatly increasing. he was selected in the 2017 amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds and signed for $1,822,500 out of Monsignor Pace High School in Miami, Florida.
During his brief career, Downs has been on the move:
First, he moved from the Reds to the Dodgers in the blockbuster that included major league players (Alex Wood, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Homer Bailey), as well as other minor leaguers (Josiah Gray and Buck Farmer). And as noted at the beginning, he was just recently traded to the Red Sox.
Despite constantly changing teams, Downs has consistently performed well and been considered one of the better prospects in each of his team’s system. Several prospect lists in the 2018 pre-season identified him as a top 10 prospect in the Reds system. Even after moving to the Dodgers who had a deeper system, Downs continued improvement led him to be ranked as high as top 5 in this year’s early lists; for example.
|Publication||Ranking||Date Originally Published|
|Prospects1500||#69 Overall Prospect||October 2019|
|Prospects365||#57 Overall Prospect||October 21st, 2019|
|Prospects Live||#60 Overall Prospect||February 3rd, 2020|
|CBS Sports||#67 Overall Prospect||February 12th, 2020|
|Fangraphs||#47 Overall Prospect||February 12th, 2020|
|Prospects Live||#1 Red Sox Prospect||November 14th, 2019 (updated more recently)|
|FanGraphs||#1 Red Sox Prospect||December 5th, 2019 (updated more recently)|
|Prospects1500||#2 Red Sox Prospect||January 17th, 2020 (updated more recently)|
|BoSox Injection||#1 Red Sox Prospect||February 14th, 2020|
|Sox Prospects||#2 Red Sox Prospect||February 2020|
|MLB.com||#2 Red Sox Prospect||Updated Continuously|
Quotes are snippets from the linked articles. Click each publication’s name to read more about their perspective on Jeter Downs.
The hit tool and speed are more developed for Downs [than Casas] and he has performed in the high minors. Our bet is on Downs ending up as a very solid major league 2B who will be a table setter with OBP, speed, and some pop
The eye-opener is the batted ball profile: the 20-year-old’s BABIP is only .285 despite a Hard% that ranks amongst the very best in the minor leagues (Downs’ 42.9 Hard% is tied with Julio Rodriguez and Kevin Cron, for reference). But the infielder has a historical propensity to elevate (52.3 FB% in ’19) and pull (44.3% in ’19) the ball, which traditionally leads to lower batting averages and BABIP than would be expected when analyzing quality of contact.
There’s not much agreement about which side of the bag Downs will play on, but he’s going to hit and play a middle infield spot. He’s a high-probability regular.
None of his tools is especially loud, but he has the instincts to get the most out of them, profiling as a more patient version of Scott Kingery.
If he continues on this trajectory after starting the season at AA Portland (where he’s rostered right now), Downs may make the leap from AA to the majors the same way Andrew Benintendi did in the summer of 2016.
His future home may be on the other side of the keystone [second base], but the bat is absolutely legit.