The Red Sox added five players to their major league roster on Wednesday night.
Infielders C.J. Chatham and Bobby Dalbec, outfielder Marcus Wilson, and left-handed pitchers Yoan Aybar and Kyle Hart were all added to Boston’s 40-man roster ahead of the 8 PM ET deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place during the Winter Meetings in December.
Since they only added five players on Wednesday, the Red Sox’ active roster stands at 39, meaning they still have one available spot to work with for the time being.
Out of the five minor-leaguers added, Hart would have to be the surprise of the bunch, or at least that’s how I view it.
The former 19th-round pick out of Indiana University in 2016 is set to turn 27 on Saturday.
In 27 appearances (24 starts) between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket this past season, Hart posted a 3.52 ERA and .233 batting average against over 156 total innings pitched.
Ranked as the Sox’ No. 28 prospect on MLB.com, the left-handed Hart offers a pitch mix that includes an 87-92 MPH fastball, an 85-86 MPH cutter, a 76-79 MPH curveball, and an 81-82 MPH changeup, per SoxProspects.
As for the other four, both Dalbec and Chatham are ranked within Boston’s top 10 prospects, with the former coming in at No. 2 and the latter coming in at No. 9. The pair of infielders were also both part of Team USA’s fourth-place finish in this year’s Premier12 tournament.
Wilson, meanwhile, is ranked as Boston’s No. 18 prospect in his first offseason with the Sox after coming over in the deal that sent Blake Swihart to the Arizona Diamondbacks this past April.
The 23-year-old outfielder out of Los Angeles played in just eight Arizona Fall League games this year, but slashed an impressive .333/.412/.467 with one home run, eight RBI, and two stolen bases while doing so.
With the possibilities of Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr., and even to an extent Andrew Benintendi, getting dealt this winter, Wilson could be someone to watch during the early stages of spring training in February.
Aybar also played in the Arizona Fall League this year, posting a 6.75 ERA and 1.38 WHIP across seven relief appearances and eight innings of work.
Initially signed as an outfielder out of the Dominican Republic in 2014, the 22-year-old has since converted to a left-handed reliever with a fastball that can top out at 97 MPH. He worked his way up to High-A Salem in 2019, so perhaps Double-A Portland is in the cards for the club’s No. 30 prospect in 2020.
Of course, just because these moves were made now does not mean that the Sox’ 2020 roster is set in stone. Changes will still come, and they will probably start once the Winter Meetings get underway in San Diego next month.