The Red Sox have released minor-league third baseman/right fielder Brandon Howlett, according to the team’s transactions log.
Howlett, who turns 23 next month, was originally selected by Boston in the 21st round of the 2018 amateur draft out George Jenkins High School in Lakeland, Fla. He forwent his commitment to Florida State University by signing with the Sox for $185,000.
After putting together a decent season (117 wRC+ in 96 games) with High-A Greenville in 2021, Howlett broke camp this spring with Double-A Portland. But the right-handed hitter struggled to the tune of a .167/.278/.205 slash line in 27 games (90 plate appearances) with the Sea Dogs before getting demoted back to Greenville in early June.
Following that demotion, Howlett fared better in his return to the Drive by batting .194/.378/.379 with 10 doubles, three home runs, 12 RBIs, and 16 runs scored over 34 games (135 plate appearances). Although he managed to get on base more via ball four, Howlett was still striking out at a near-35 percent clip, which is among the highest marks for South Atlantic League Hitters who have made at least 130 trips to the plate to this point in the season.
Between the strikeout issues and the recent promotions of fellow infielders Marcelo Mayer and Blaze Jordan from Low-A Salem, Howlett’s future with the Red Sox became bleak enough to the point where he was officially cut loose on Wednesday.
In the four-plus years he spent with Boston, Howlett peaked as the organization’s 14th-ranked prospect in 2019, per Baseball America. He was also Baseball America’s 20th-ranked Red Sox prospect in 2020 before being dropped from the list altogether last year.
(Picture of Brandon Howlett: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)