Red Sox added to their 2021 draft class with August trades; how did the newcomers perform?

In August, the Red Sox swung two trades that landed them three prospects from the 2021 amateur draft.

On Aug. 2, they acquired infielder Max Ferguson and outfielder Corey Rosier from the Padres in the same trade that sent veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer to Boston and pitching prospect Jay Groome to San Diego.

On Aug. 31, they acquired right-hander Taylor Broadway from the White Sox as the player to be named later from the Aug. 1 trade that sent catcher Reese McGuire to Boston and veteran reliever Jake Diekman to Chicago.

Dating back to last December, the Red Sox have now traded for four different 2o21 draftees when you include former Brewers third-round pick Alex Binelas from the Jackie Bradley Jr.-Hunter Renfroe swap. According to one team official, though, there is no specific reasoning behind this pattern. In other words, it is just a mere coincidence.

As things stand now, Binelas is the highest-rated prospect of the four. For the purposes of this exercise, however, let us focus on the three minor-leaguers who saw their first full professional seasons interrupted by noteworthy — albeit not blockbuster — trades.

Max Ferguson

Ferguson, 23, was originally selected by the Padres in the fifth round of last year’s draft out of The University of Tennessee. He appeared in 37 games between the Arizona Complex League and California League to close out his debut season before returning to Low-A Lake Elsinore this spring.

At the time of the trade, Ferguson had already been promoted to High-A Fort Wayne and was batting .162/.271/.343 in 27 games (125 plate appearances) with the Tin Caps. The left-handed hitter remained at the High-A level upon switching organizations and proceeded to slash .181/.368/.250 in 23 games (95 plate appearances) with the Greenville Drive.

Between the three Class-A affiliates, Ferguson finished with a .214/.366/.339 line (98 wRC+) to go along with 15 doubles, eight triples, seven home runs, 60 RBIs, 95 runs scored, 61 stolen bases, 96 walks, and 127 strikeouts over 114 total games (527 plate appearances). His 61 swiped bags were the ninth-most in all of Minor League Baseball.

Defensively, Ferguson proved to be quite versatile as an amateur and that has continued to be the case in pro ball. With the Drive specifically, the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder logged 83 1/3 innings at shortstop, 53 innings at second base, and 63 innings in center field. He committed just one error at shortstop and recorded one outfield assist in center.

Corey Rosier

Rosier, also 23, was first taken by the Mariners in the 12th round of the 2021 draft out of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He was then dealt to the Padres last November as part of the trade that sent All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier to Seattle.

In similar fashion to Ferguson, Rosier played at both the Arizona Complex League and Low-A level last year. Unlike Ferguson, though, he began his first full season in the Padres organization at Fort Wayne. In his tenure with the Tin Caps, the left-handed hitter batted .263/.381/.396 across 85 games (373 plate appearances) before being traded.

Ferguson and Rosier made their Drive debuts on the same day — Aug. 4. Rosier also struggled at the plate, as he posted a .163/.272/.275 slash line in 23 games (93 plate appearances) with Greenville.

All told, Rosier hit .242/.359/.371 (109 wRC+) with 13 doubles, eight triples, seven homers, 41 runs driven in, 77 runs scored, 40 stolen bases, 65 walks, and 99 strikeouts over 108 total games (466 plate appearances) between the Tin Caps and Drive this season.

On the other side of the ball, Ferguson saw playing time at all three outfield positions in Greenville. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Maryland native accrued 143 innings in left, 44 1/3 innings in right, and eight innings in center while registering one outfield assist.

Both Ferguson and Rosier are projected by SoxProspects.com to make the jump to Double-A Portland next year.

Taylor Broadway

Broadway, 25, was selected by the White Sox in the sixth round out of The University of Mississippi after emerging as one of the top closers in the Southeastern Conference last spring. The native Texan began his pro career in the Arizona Complex League and had already pitched across four different levels when he was officially traded to the Red Sox over the summer.

After compiling a 5.02 ERA in 40 relief appearances between High-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham to kick off the 2022 campaign, Broadway remained at the Double-A level when he switched organizations.

Since the move came towards the end of the minor-league season, Broadway appeared in just five games for the Sea Dogs. Still, the righty allowed just one run on two hits over six innings of work while striking out 10 of the 19 batters he faced.

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds, Broadway throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 92-94 mph four-seam fastball that tops out at 95 mph, an 85-87 mph slider, a 79-82 mph curveball, and a changeup that is still considered a work in progress.

Broadway, who turns 26 in April, is also projected by SoxProspects.com to return to Portland next spring. Considering how fast he has been moved, though, it would not be surprising if he were promoted to Triple-A Worcester at some point in 2023.

(Picture of Max Ferguson: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)

Red Sox prospect Max Ferguson homers for first time since being acquired from Padres

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)