If it weren’t for Orioles prospect Cesar Prieto, Alex Binelas likely would have become the second member of the Greenville Drive to earn South Atlantic League Player of the Week honors in as many weeks.
In the Drive’s last series against the Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox affiliate) at Fluor Field, Binelas went 6-for-17 (.353) with one double, three home runs, five RBIs, five runs scored, five walks, and eight strikeouts while appearing in five of a possible six games.
On the 2022 campaign as a whole, the left-handed hitting infielder is slashing a stout .306/.435/.714 with two doubles, six homers, 14 runs driven, 14 runs scored, two stolen bases, 11 walks, and 19 strikeouts across 13 games spanning 62 trips to the plate.
Nearly three weeks into the minor-league season, Binelas has been among the top hitters in the South Atlantic League thus far. The 21-year-old currently ranks 16th in walk percentage (17.7%), 19th in batting average, ninth in on-base percentage, second in slugging percentage, second in OPS (1.150), first in isolated power (.408), and third in wRC+ (195), per FanGraphs.
Defensively, Binelas has seen an almost equal amount of playing time at first base and third base at the High-A level. The 6-foot-3, 225 pounder has logged 54 innings at the hot corner, 45 innings at first, and has yet to commit an error.
Binelas, who turns 22 next month, is ranked by Baseball America as the No. 17 prospect and by MLB Pipeline as the No. 22 prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system. He is undoubtedly one of the top power hitters in the organization.
This is Binelas’ first full season in pro ball. The Oak Creek, Wis. native was originally selected by his hometown Brewers in the third round of last year’s draft out of the University of Louisville but was traded to the Red Sox with Jackie Bradley Jr. and fellow prospect David Hamilton for Hunter Renfroe in December.
From the outside, one might think transitioning to a new organization may be a tough task for a player still getting his feet wet as a professional. For Binelas, though, going from the Brewers to the Sox over the winter hardly seems to be affecting him.
With that, a mid-to-late-season promotion to Double-A Portland certainly seems within reach for Binelas if he can maintain this kind of production at the plate in Greenville.
(GIF of Alex Binelas via the Greenville Drive)