The Red Sox have released minor-league infielder Brett Netzer, according to The Athletic’s Chad Jennings.
Per Jennings, the Sox elected to release Netzer “following a series of racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic posts on Twitter.”
Netzer, 25, was originally selected by Boston in the third round of the 2017 amateur draft out of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The South Carolina native signed with the club for $475,000.
After debuting with the Lowell Spinners and closing out the 2017 season with the Greenville Drive, Netzer spent the entirety of the 2018 campaign with the Salem Red Sox and the entirety of the 2019 campaign with the Portland Sea Dogs.
In 130 games for Double-A Portland, the left-handed hitting second baseman batted .247/.320/.357 with eight home runs and 50 RBIs over 512 plate appearances. He also played for the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League in 2019.
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down Minor League Baseball in 2020, Netzer did not appear in any sort of organized action that summer, nor was he invited to participate in the Sox’ fall instructional league in Fort Myers.
Shortly before the 2021 minor-league season was set to begin last May, the Red Sox placed Netzer on the restricted list for an undisclosed reason. He spent the entire year there despite being listed on Portland’s roster.
Now that he has been released, Netzer has subsequently become a free agent. The 6-foot, 195 pounder topped out as the No. 18 prospect in Boston’s farm system in 2018, per Baseball America’s rankings.
In response to what went down with Netzer on Saturday, Red Sox pitching prospect Brendan Cellucci took to Twitter to express his feelings on the matter.
“It’s safe to say Red Sox fans have been shocked by the comments of a former player,” Cellucci tweeted. “I don’t speak for the organization, however I will say that player’s comments don’t reflect the reputation and standard we uphold. Our organization promotes respect and love for all, period.”
(Picture of Brett Netzer: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)