The Red Sox have promoted catching prospect Nathan Hickey and infield prospect Chase Meidroth from High-A Greenville to Double-A Portland, per the club’s minor-league transactions log.
Hickey, 23, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 15 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks first among catchers in the organization. The Red Sox originally selected the Florida product in the fifth round of the 2021 amateur draft and signed him for exactly $1 million.
After closing out his first full professional season with the Drive, Hickey returned to Greenville for the start of the 2023 campaign. Leading up to Monday’s promotion, the left-handed hitter was batting a stout .294/.402/.588 with six doubles, one triple, four home runs, nine RBIs, 13 runs scored, 12 walks, and 20 strikeouts in his first 18 games (82 plate appearances) of the year.
For as impressive as those numbers may be, Hickey has been struggling on the other side of the ball. Defensively, the 5-foot-11, 210-pound backstop logged 146 innings behind the plate for Greenville. He allowed three passed balls and was 0-for-37 when it came to throwing out base stealers, though that might not have been all on him.
To that end, as noted by SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield, Hickey could benefit from this promotion since Sea Dogs manager Chad Epperson previously served as Boston’s catching coordinator for 12 season. With Elih Marrero on the injured list and Matt Donlan on the development list, Hickey will form a catching tandem in Portland with fellow SEC product Stephen Scott for the time being.
Meidroth, meanwhile, is ranked by Baseball America as the No. 27 prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system. The 21-year-old was taken by Boston in the fourth round of last summer’s draft out of San Diego. He signed with the club for $272,500.
After showing signs of promise between the Florida Complex League and Low-A Salem in his pro debut, Meidroth broke camp with Greenville this spring. In 20 games with the Drive, the stocky right-handed hitter batted .338/.495/.459 with three doubles, two home runs, 14 RBIs, 19 runs scored, four stolen bases, 21 walks, and 20 strikeouts across 97 trips to the plate.
Defensively, Meidroth has seen the majority of his playing time come at either second or third base. While in Greenville, the 5-foot-9, 170 pounder logged 92 innings at second and 73 innings at third and committed a total of two errors in 51 chances.
Meidroth, who turns 22 in July, is now slated to join a Sea Dogs infield mix that includes Alex Binelas, Niko Kavadas, Christian Koss, Matthew Lugo, Ceddanne Rafaela, and Nick Yorke. It should be interesting to see how he adjusts to more advanced competition at the Double-A level.
In addition to promoting Hickey and Meidroth to Portland, the Red Sox made several other minor-league roster moves. Infielder Edwin Diaz was promoted from Portland to Triple-A Worcester and catcher Ronaldo Rosario was promoted from Salem to Greenville.
Furthermore, catcher Enderso Lira was added to Salem’s roster from extended spring training while right-hander Ryan Zeferjahn was activated from Portland’s injured list. Like Donlan, left-hander Sylar Arias was transferred to the Sea Dogs’ development list.
(Picture of Nathan Hickey: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)