Red Sox

5 reasons to be excited about the Red Sox’ pipeline (as MLB team struggles)

The Red Sox have reasons for optimism, even as their big-league team struggles.

Red Sox pipeline
Mikey Romero was selected by the Boston Red Sox with the 24th pick of the 2022 MLB baseball draft. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The Red Sox’ pipeline is a little more interesting than the big-league club on a night when they gave up a grand slam and lost their third consecutive game 10-5 against the Twins, which dropped them nine games out of the final wild card slot.

So here’s a closer look at some positives from the minor league system, which has shown some interesting flashes recently.

1. Triston Casas isn’t slowing down. He extended a hit streak to 13 on Tuesday despite the Worcester Red Sox’ ugly 14-3 loss, and he continues to show plenty of power.

Chaim Bloom offered a murky quote about Casas’s future last week, saying that a call-up now would have been for “reasons besides what serves Triston Casas best.”

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“I’ve been asked a couple of times, is it out of the question we could see him here this year,” Bloom said. “I’ve said, ‘Absolutely not,’ and that’s still the case. We just didn’t feel that right now was the right time.”

Still, Casas — who is 28th in Baseball America’s top prospects — is promising.

2. Marcelo Mayer looks increasingly like a bona fide star prospect. SoxProspects.com wrote that Mayer’s talent was undeniable “even in just a short look” and that the young shortstop had “a very high floor and plenty of upside to dream on.” Baseball America wrote that while Mayer has a long way to go, his explosive swing and grace at shortstop could help him contend for multiple batting titles and gold gloves.

Mayer’s ETA isn’t until 2024, but his progress is noteworthy.

3. Connor Wong has hit eight homers in his last 15 games and is slashing .359/.406/.813 in his last 69 plate appearances.

4. Ceddanne Rafaela — the No. 4 prospect on Baseball America’s Red Sox top 30 and the No. 81 prospect overall in MiLB — made this sparkling play last week.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, committed one deeply costly outfield error in their loss to the Twins.

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5. Bryan Mata made his Worcester debut on Wednesday, while this year’s draftees Mikey Romero and Roman Anthony moved up to Salem after the FCL season came to a close.

The trio of debuts weren’t particularly impressive. Anthony went 1-for-3 with a single as Salem fell to the Augusta Green Jackets 11-6, while Romero went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. Mata labored through his first three innings at Polar Park, allowing two hits, a run and four walks.

Still, Mata boasted a 1.85 ERA in 48.2 innings pitching for Portland. He struck out 58 and gave up 23 walks. Anthony hit .421 with two doubles and seven RBIs in nine FCL games. Romero has earned rave reviews for his swing in his short time in the Red Sox’ farm system.

The debuts may not have been stellar, but the progress is intriguing.

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