Max Ferguson hit his first home run as a member of the Red Sox organization in High-A Greenville’s 9-4 win over the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Sunday afternoon.
Batting ninth and starting at shortstop for the Drive, Ferguson went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and one run scored. His homer came off right-hander Anthony Molina with two outs in the fifth inning and was good for three runs.
That performance wrapped up a solid weekend for Ferguson, who — over the course of three games — went 3-for-10 with two singles, the three-run home run, and two runs scored. He also drew three walks while not striking out at all.
Since being acquired from the Padres earlier this month, the versatile left-handed hitter has batted .225/.392/.325 (110 wRC+) to go along with one double, one home run, six runs driven in, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, and 11 walks to 11 strikeouts in his first 12 games (51 plate appearances) with the Drive.
Defensively, Ferguson has seen playing time at three different positions while in Greenville. The 6-foot-1, 180 pounder has logged 25 innings at second base, 51 innings at shortstop, and 27 innings in center field.
Ferguson, who turns 23 on Tuesday, was originally selected by the Padres in the fifth round of last year’s amateur draft out of the University of Tennessee. The Jacksonville, Fla. native signed with the club for approximately $324,100.
At that time, Baseball America ranked Ferguson as the No. 168 prospect in the 2021 draft class. The publication noted that The Bolles School product is “a good athlete and a plus runner who has always stolen bases at a high success rate.”
Since making his professional debut in the Arizona Complex League last July, Ferguson has stolen 73 bases in 79 attempts across 140 minor-league games. The speedster began his first full season with Low-A Lake Elsinore before earning a promotion to High-A Fort Wayne in late June. He then proceeded to slash .162/.270/.343 in 27 games with the TinCaps through the end of July.
Shortly after the calendar flipped from July to August, Ferguson and teammate Corey Rosier were traded to the Red Sox along with veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer. In return for those three, the Padres acquired pitching prospect Jay Groome.
So, between Fort Wayne and Greenville, Ferguson has appeared in 39 games at the High-A level this season. Among the 338 hitters who have made at least 170 trips to the plate across the three different High-A leagues, Ferguson ranks 25th in speed score (8.1) and 75th in weighted stolen base runs (0.6), per FanGraphs.
While his speed and athleticism certainly stand out, Ferguson is not yet regarded by Baseball America as one of the top 30 prospects in Boston’s farm system. SoxProspects.com, on the other hand, ranks Ferguson one spot below Rosier at No. 57.
(Picture of Max Ferguson: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)