After claiming right-hander Kyle Tyler of waivers from the Angels on March 22, the Red Sox needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster. They did so by designating infield prospect Hudson Potts for assignment.
Three days later, the Sox announced that Potts had cleared waivers and had been outrighted to the minor-leagues. He was officially reassigned to Double-A Portland this past Tuesday.
Potts, 23, was one two prospects (the other being Jeisson Rosario) the Red Sox acquired from the Padres in the trade that sent Mitch Moreland to San Diego in August 2020.
After closing out the COVID-compressed 2020 season at the alternate training site, Potts was added to Boston’s 40-man roster that November to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft. He came into spring training last year ranked by Baseball America the No. 27 prospect in the Sox’ farm system.
Potts, a former first-round draft pick of the Padres in 2016, broke camp with Portland but missed the first month or so of the 2021 season due to an oblique injury.
Once healthy, Potts debuted for the Sea Dogs in June 10 but could never quite find his footing. The right-handed hitter struggled, particularly against righties, to the tune of a .217/.264/.399 slash line (76 wRC+) to go along with 18 doubles, 11 home runs, 47 RBIs, 33 runs scored, 16 walks, and 100 strikeouts over 78 games and 307 plate appearances. He put up those numbers while playing nothing but third base.
Considering how poorly he fared at the plate in 2021, it was not much of a surprise to see Potts lose his spot on the 40-man roster last month. That being said, the Red Sox are pleased with the fact that the corner infielder remains in the organization after clearing waivers.
Boston’s director of player development Brian Abraham expressed these feelings in a recent conversation with The Athletics’ Chad Jennings while noting that Potts still has plenty of potential.
“I think we’re excited to see what we have here,” Abraham said of Potts. “We see a guy who’s an athletic third baseman, he shows power, (and) we just want to see a little bit more consistency. Obviously, the player wants to be on the 40-man, and there are circumstances that took him off, but we’re excited to get the player back, and excited to maybe take some of the pressure off him.”
Abraham told Jennings that the plan is to give Potts everyday at-bats with Portland. Third base will be his primary position, though he is likely to see some playing time at first base as well for the first time since 2018.
Potts, who does not turn 24 until October, may have lost his status as one of the top 30 or so prospects in the Red Sox farm system in 2022, but there is still plenty to like about his game when you take into account the raw power he offers from the right side of the plate.
On that note, Potts will be batting eighth and starting at first base for the Sea Dogs in their series opener against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Hadlock Field on Friday night.
(Picture of Hudson Potts: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)