Red Sox infield prospect Brainer Bonaci has been named the Carolina League Player of the Week for the week of July 25-31, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.
In Low-A Salem’s last series against the Fredericksburg Nationals at Virginia Credit Union Stadium, Bonaci went 8-for-18 (.444) with two doubles, one triple, two home runs, 11 RBIs, two runs scored, three walks, and four strikeouts over five games. Seven of those 11 runs driven in came in a career day at the plate last Tuesday.
On the 2022 season as a whole, the switch-hitter is batting a solid .265/.395/.378 with 17 doubles, five triples, those two homers, 36 RBIs, 59 runs scored, 18 stolen bases, 64 walks, and 68 strikeouts across 80 games (365 plate appearances) with the Salem Sox.
Among qualified Carolina League hitters, Bonaci ranks fourth in walk rate (17.5%), 15th in strikeout rate (18.6%), eighth in swinging strike rate (8.2%), 22nd in batting average, fifth in on-base percentage, 22nd in OPS (.772), 18th in speed score (7.6), ninth in line-drive rate (25.3%), and 17th in wRC+ (124), per FanGraphs.
Defensively, Bonaci has seen playing time at four different positions so far this season. The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder has logged 425 1/3 innings at second base, 134 innings at shortstop, 34 innings at third base, and even one inning in right field back on April 17.
Bonaci, who celebrated his 20th birthday last month, originally signed with the Red Sox for $290,000 as an international free-agent coming out of Venezuela in July 2018. The Catia La Mar native is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 19 prospect in Boston’s farm system.
Given that he has stepped it up with Salem as of late (1.029 OPS in July), one has to wonder if Bonaci could be working his way towards a promotion to High-A Greenville sooner rather than later. Bonaci can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this winter, so the Red Sox may want to see him go up against a stiffer level of competition before determining if he is worthy of a 40-man roster spot come late November.
(Picture of Brainer Bonaci: Gary Streiffer/Flickr)