10 prospects Red Sox could deal at MLB trade deadline
1. Triston Casas (19), 1B, Low-A Greenville
Last year's No. 1 pick played only two games in 2018 after breaking his thumb, but has made his proper debut in 2019 with a bang. Despite being one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League, he has already mashed 17 home runs with an .833 OPS. The 6-foot-4, 238-pounder profiles as a power-hitting first baseman in the big leagues with power to all fields, and he already counts slugger J.D. Martinez as a mentor.
2. Bobby Dalbec (24), 3B, Double-A Portland
Speaking of power, Dalbec boasts plenty of it. He ranked fourth in the minors last year with 32 homers and has 20 this year with the Sea Dogs. His power/patience combination is a highly sought commodity in today's game and though he strikes out a ton (106 Ks in 101 games), he compensates with a high OBP. He's also considered an above-average defender at a position that is very clearly blocked in Boston thanks to Devers, so he could be on the move.
3. Bryan Mata (20), RHP, Double-A Portland
Signed in 2016 out of Venezuela for only $25,000, Mata has rapidly developed both physically and in terms of stuff. Just 160 pounds when he joined the organization, he's now 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. And his fastball, which began in the low 90s, now routinely touches 98 alongside a sharp cutter/slider. He is striking out more than a batter an inning and has cut his walk rate in half. He projects as a big league starter and the Red Sox will be hesitant to move him.
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4. Jarren Duran (22), CF, Double-A Portland
Talk about coming out of nowhere. Drafted in the seventh round last year, the speedy Duran hit .357 in his 2018 debut between Lowell and Greenville before moving up to High-A Salem this year and flirting with .400, which earned him a promotion to Portland, where he has struggled. The left-handed hitter has drawn some comparisons to Jacoby Ellsbury and could be a sell-high candidate after appearing in the Futures Game.
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5. Darwinzon Hernandez (22), LHP, Boston
Hernandez possessed tantalizing pure stuff in the minors, and he has proven it can play in the big leagues. His upper-90s fastball has led to 22 strikeouts in his first 10.1 big league innings, but he won't take the next step until he improves his command (10 walks, too). In a vacuum, he owns the arsenal of a starter, but inconsistent strike throwing suggests that he'll make his impact as a power reliever.
6. Tanner Houck (23), RHP, Triple-A Pawtucket
Drafted as a starter out of Missouri in the first round of the 2017 draft, Houck could be the next young arm to get the call if the Red Sox decide to audition another reliever. The lanky sidewinder with a devastating slider evokes images of former Red Sox right-hander Bronson Arroyo, minus the leg kick, but including a uniform number in the 60s. A team acquiring Houck could view him as a safer starting bet (albeit with a lower ceiling) than Hernandez.
7. Jay Groome (20), LHP, rehabbing
Teams love upside, and Groome oozes it. The big-bodied left-hander was taken 12th overall in 2016 and made three impressive starts to become a consensus top-50 prospect. Then he took a step back in 2017 before blowing out his elbow and undergoing Tommy John last May. He's rehabbing in Fort Myers and beginning to throw off a mound again, but it's hard to say who'd be taking a bigger gamble in a trade -- the Red Sox for giving him up, or another team for acquiring him.
8. Eduard Bazardo (23), RHP, Double-A Portland
Bazardo seems like the ultimate throw-in. The Venezuelan possesses strikeout stuff, thanks to an outstanding curveball, but he's also a minor league reliever who opened the season as a 23-year-old at Single A. If the Red Sox are seriously targeting relievers like New York's Edwin Diaz or San Diego's Kirby Yates, they're probably going to have to surrender two name prospects and an arm worth a flier. Bazardo could fill that spot.
Photo via USA Today Sports
9. Antoni Flores (18), SS, short-season Lowell
Signed for $1.4 million out of Venezuela in 2017, Flores is all about potential. Extremely athletic, he's also inexperienced, which is why he's hitting only .188 with the Spinners. More and more teams are willing to target high-upside teenagers in deals, and Flores' pedigree as a big-bonus international signing with a projectable 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame could prove tantalizing.
10. Durbin Feltman (22), RHP, Double-A Portland
When the Red Sox selected Feltman in the third round of last year's draft out of TCU and gave him a $560,000 bonus, he was considered the college reliever with the best chance of reaching the majors immediately. He hasn't excelled yet, however. His 5.08 ERA at Portland masks much more effective recent work, including a 3.30 ERA since May 8. He throws a mid-90s fastball with a slider and curve and could intrigue an organization that rated him highly entering last year's draft.