New Podding the Red Sox episode: Red Sox pitching prospect Brandon Walter joins the show

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Red Sox pitching prospect Brandon Walter.

Walter, 25, was originally selected by Boston in the 26th round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of Delaware.

A native of Delaware himself, the left-hander is a few weeks removed from a breakout 2021 season in which he enjoyed much success with Low-A Salem and High-A Greenville.

All told, Walter posted a 2.92 ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio of 132:20 over 25 appearances (14 starts) spanning 81 1/3 innings pitched between the two levels this season.

Among the topics Brandon and I discussed are what he attributes to his stellar 2021 campaign, what he did during the COVID-19 layoff last year, how he has changed as a pitcher since undergoing Tommy John surgery in college, what his draft experience was like coming out of the University of Delaware in 2019, how he has exceeded expectations as a 26th-round selection, what his plans for the offseason look like, where he would like to begin the 2022 season, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thank you to Brandon for taking some time out of his Monday to have a conversation with yours truly. You can follow Brandon on Twitter (@b_walt_) by clicking here and on Instagram (@b_walt_) by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Brandon Walter courtesy of the Greenville Drive)

Red Sox pitching prospect Casey Cobb named to MiLB.com’s organizational All-Star team

Red Sox pitching prospect Casey Cobb was one of several prospects and minor-leaguer’s named to the organization’s All-Star team by MiLB.com on Monday.

Per MiLB.com, the official website of Minor League Baseball, the site “goes position by position across each system and honors the players — regardless of age or prospect status — who had the best seasons in their organization.”

Cobb was selected as the organization’s top reliever this year alongside top right-handed starter Raynel Espinal and top left-handed starter Shane Drohan.

The 25-year-old right-hander originally signed with the Red Sox as a senior out of the University of Alabama with some help from area scout Danny Watkins last June after getting passed over in the pandemic-shortened 2020 MLB Draft.

As noted by SoxProspects.com, Cobb had intended to use his extra year of eligibility to return to Alabama for the 2021 college baseball season, but instead signed with the Sox for $20,000.

With no minor-league season last year on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cobb had to wait until this past spring to make his professional debut, as he began the 2021 campaign at Low-A Salem.

Listed at 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, the Georgia native debuted for Salem on May 4 and established himself as key contributor out of the Red Sox’ bullpen.

In 24 appearances (one start) with Salem, Cobb posted a solid 2.18 ERA and 3.38 FIP to go along with 58 strikeouts to 13 walks over 53 2/3 innings of work before earning a promotion to High-A Greenville in late August.

With the Drive for the last stretch of the minor-league season, Cobb put up a miniscule 1.35 ERA and 3.27 FIP while recording 24 strikeouts and just three walks in 20 innings pitched between Aug. 22 and September 17.

Among the 73 pitchers who threw at least 50 innings in the Low-A East this year, Cobb ranked 30th in strikeouts per nine innings (9.73), ninth in walks per nine innings (2.18), 16th in strikeout rate (28.2%), 14th in walk rate (6.3%), seventh in batting average against (.199), sixth in WHIP (0.95), fourth in ERA, and eighth in xFIP (3.59), per FanGraphs.

Among the 233 pitchers who accrued at least 20 innings in the High-A East this past season, Cobb ranked second in walks per nine innings (1.35), fifth in walk rate (3.9%), 10th in WHIP (0.85), and fifth in ERA, per FanGraphs.

According to his SoxProspects.com scouting report, Cobb — who does not turn 26 until next June — throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 91-93 mph fastball that tops out at 94 mph, an 81-83 mph slider, and an 80-83 mph changeup that “is primarily used against left-handed hitters.”

There was a point in time not too long ago where Cobb was planning on enlisting in the United States Navy once his collegiate career at Alabama came to a close. It now appears as if going pro with the Red Sox was not too bad of an alternative.

(Picture of Casey Cobb: Gary Streiffer/Flickr)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: Red Sox outfield prospect Tyler Dearden joins the show

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Red Sox outfield prospect Tyler Dearden.

Dearden, 23, was originally selected by Boston in the 29th round of the 2017 amateur draft out of Rancocas Valley Regional High School (N.J.).

He just put together a 2021 season in which he slashed .261/.368/.523 with a record-setting 24 home runs and 80 RBI over 97 games (418 plate appearances) at High-A Greenville.

Among the topics Tyler and I discussed are what it was like playing against fellow Red Sox prospects Jay Groome and Nick Decker while in high school, what led him to go pro out of high school, how he used the COVID-19 shutdown last year to improve his craft, how not getting invited to fall instructs last year served as motivation for him this season, what he thought about some of his teammates at Greenville (like Nick Yorke), how he plans on spending the offseason, what he has in store for 2022, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

My thanks to Tyler for taking some time out of his schedule to have this conversation with me. You can follow him on Twitter (@tylerdearden) by clicking here and on Instagram (@tylerdearden) by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Tyler Dearden via his Instagram)

Red Sox promote top pitching prospect Jay Groome to Double-A Portland

The Red Sox have promoted top pitching prospect Jay Groome to Double-A Portland, per MiLB.com’s transaction wire.

Groome, 23, is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 9 prospect in the Sox’ farm system, ranking fourth among pitchers in the organization.

Boston originally selected the left-hander with the 12th overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft out of Barnegat High School (N.J.) and later signed him for $3.65 million that July.

After an injury-riddled 2017 season, Groome underwent Tommy John surgery the following spring, resulting in him missing the entirety of 2018 and the majority of the 2019 campaign.

While the COVID-19 pandemic prevented Groome from pitching in any meaningful games last year, the New Jersey native still got work in at the Red Sox’ alternate training site and fall instructional league before being added to the club’s 40-man roster in November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

Invited to his first major-league camp earlier this spring, Groome opened the 2021 season at High-A Greenville and posted a 5.16 ERA and 4.13 FIP to go along with 75 strikeouts to 24 walks over 12 starts spanning 52 1/3 innings pitched through July 7.

At that time, Groome stepped away from the affiliate for the birth of his daughter and did not return until July 30. In six starts with the Drive since then, the lefty put up a 5.52 ERA and 4.76 FIP — as well as a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 33:8 — over 29 1/3 total innings of work.

Among High-A East pitchers with at least 80 innings under their belt this season, Groome ranks first in strikeouts per nine innings (11.9), first in strikeout rate (30.8%), and third in xFIP (3.97), per FanGraphs.

Despite some of those numbers being underwhelming, Groome has still earned himself a promotion to Portland and will make his highly-anticipated Sea Dogs debut as they face off against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays affiliate) in Manchester on Saturday night.

Per his Baseball America scouring report, the 6-foot-6, 251 pound hurler operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 92-95 mph fastball that “has missed a ton of bats” this year, a curveball that “has been more of an average pitch” post-Tommy John, a recently-added slider, and a changeup.

As he prepares to make his first start at the Double-A level on Saturday night, Groome will don the No. 46 with the Sea Dogs.

UPDATE: Groome’s first start with Portland went well, as he scattered just two hits and zero walks to go along with a career-high 10 strikeouts over five innings of work. 53 of the 83 pitches he threw went for strikes.

(Picture of Jay Groome: Billie Weiss/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Red Sox pitching prospects Jeremy Wu-Yelland, Shane Drohan strike out 9 batters in respective starts for High-A Greenville, Low-A Salem

The two pitching prospects the Red Sox selected in last year’s amateur draft certainly showed out for their respective affiliates on Thursday night.

Jeremy Wu-Yelland, taken by the Sox in the fourth round out of the University of Hawaii, and Shane Drohan, taken in the fifth round out of Florida State University, each struck out a season-high of nine batters in their starts — which took place at the same time, but approximately 260 miles away from one another.

Wu-Yelland, who was just promoted to High-A Greenville earlier in the day, made his debut for the Drive a memorable one by tossing five scoreless, no-hit innings against the Asheville Tourists (Astros affiliate) at Fluor Field.

In addition to not allowing a run or hit, the left-hander worked his way around four walks and a hit batsman while striking out those nine batters.

Two of those four walks — and the HBP — issued by Wu-Yelland came in consecutive order to begin things in the top half of the third inning, thus loading the bases with no outs for Asheville.

The 22-year-old southpaw did not buckle under the pressure, however, and instead locked in by punching out Freudis Nova on three pitches before getting Shay Whitcomb to ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

From there, Wu-Yelland struck out the side for the second time in the fourth and followed that up by retiring the final three hitters he faced in the fifth to end his outing on an encouraging note.

Of the 72 pitches Wu-Yelland threw on Thursday, 43 went for strikes. Six of his strikeouts were swinging, two were looking, and one was on a foul tip.

The Greenville bullpen took over for Wu-Yelland in the sixth and ensured that the lefty’s efforts would not go to waste as relievers Jose Espada, Oddanier Mosqueda, and Jacob Wallace saw the combined no-hit bid through to its completion.

In helping the Drive throw their fourth no-hitter in team history, Wu-Yelland was able to earn his first victory at the High-A level in his very first start there.

Prior to getting promoted on Thursday, the Seattle-area native had spent the entirety of the 2021 minor-league season with Low-A Salem, where he had posted a 4.03 ERA and 4.28 FIP to go along with 77 strikeouts to 36 walks over 20 starts spanning 67 innings pitched.

Listed at an imposing 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Wu-Yelland — who was signed as a junior out of Hawaii by J.J. Altobelli — is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 27 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking 12th among pitchers in the organization.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, Wu-Yelland “is one of the most explosive, powerful pitchers in Boston’s system” as he operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a high-octane fastball, a slider, and a changeup.

30 picks after taking Wu-Yelland in the fourth round of last summer’s draft, the Red Sox selected a fellow left-hander in the fifth round in the form of Drohan, who was also sharp for Low-A Salem on Thursday in the first game of their seven-inning doubleheader against the Fredericksburg Nationals at Haley Toyota Field.

Over five quality innings of work, Drohan surrendered just one earned run while scattering just four hits and no walks with a season-high nine strikeouts on the night.

Drohan, also 22, faced all of 14 batters — just two over the minimum — through his first four frames, but ran into some trouble in the top half of the fifth when he yielded back-to-back one out doubles to Jaden Fein and Jose Sanchez, resulting in Fredericksburg plating their first run.

A wild pitch allowed Sanchez to move up to third, though Drohan managed to strand him there by sitting down the final two hitters he faced to retire the side in the fifth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 89 (53 strikes), the Florida State product was able to pick up his sixth winning decision of the season while also lowering his ERA on the year down to 3.89.

Through 20 starts with Salem now, Drohan has pitched to the tune of a 3.89 ERA, a .241 batting average against, and a 1.40 WHIP to go along with 75 strikeouts to 40 walks in 78 2/3 total innings of work.

A former 23-round draft pick of the Phillies out of high school who opted to honor his commitment to Florida State in 2017, Drohan is not regarded by Baseball America as one of the top 30 prospects in Boston’s farm system.

The 6-foot-3, 195 pound Florida native is, however, regarded by SoxProspects.com as the No. 32 prospect in the Red Sox organization, as his pitch arsenal is currently comprised of a 90-92 mph fastball that tops out at 95 mph, a 77-79 mph curveball, and 80-83 mph changeup.

Both Wu-Yelland and Drohan can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft after the 2023 season, so there is no rush for the Red Sox to add either hurler to their 40-man roster at the moment.

(Picture of Jeremy Wu-Yelland: Gary Streiffer/Flickr)

Red Sox promote top prospect Nick Yorke to High-A Greenville

The Red Sox have promoted top infield prospect Nick Yorke from Low-A Salem to High-A Greenville, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Yorke, who the Sox selected in the first round and with the 17th overall pick in last year’s amateur draft, opened his first full professional season with Salem earlier this spring and got off to a rather slow start.

Through the end of May, the 19-year-old was hitting just .195/.264/.220 (41 wRC+) with two doubles, no home runs, nine RBI, nine runs scored, three stolen bases, eight walks, and 21 strikeouts over his first 21 games and 91 plate appearances of the year.

Once the calendar flipped to June, however, Yorke began to turn a corner offensively, as the young second baseman slashed a sizzling .373/.467/.608 (185 wRC+) to go along with 12 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs, 38 RBI, 50 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 33 walks, and 26 strikeouts over his final 55 games (255 plate appearances) with the Salem Red Sox.

In the month of August alone, Yorke posted an absurd 1.352 OPS, bringing his totals on the season up to .323/.413/.500 (147 wRC+) in addition to 14 doubles, four triples, 10 homers, 47 RBI, 59 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 41 walks, and 47 strikeouts in 76 games (346 plate appearances) at Salem.

Among the top qualified hitters in the Low-A East this season, Yorke ranks in first in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage, second in slugging percentage, second in OPS (.913), third in weighted on-base average (.416), and third in wRC+, per FanGraphs.

The left-handed hitter did all that while drawing a walk 11.8% of the time while also striking out a mere 13.6% of the time.

Yorke, who is listed at 6-foot and 200 pounds, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 8 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

When the Red Sox selected Yorke, then an 18-year-old fresh out of Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, as early as they did in the 2020 draft, that decision was met with much criticism since he was not regarded by those in the industry as one of the top-20 talents in that year’s draft class.

Still, the Sox took Yorke with the feeling that he would not be on the board when they picked again, and that selection has certainly paid off to this point — especially since they were able to sign the California native to an underslot deal at $2.7 million.

Now that he has been promoted, Yorke will get the opportunity to go up against a more advanced level of pitching as a member of the Greenville Drive.

Defensively, Speier notes that “questions remain about whether [Yorke] will be able to stay at second base, but his performance with Salem suggested that he needs to be challenged at a higher level.”

With that being said, it should be interesting to see (a) how Yorke — who does not turn 20 until next April — responds to this new challenge and (b) what kind of start he gets off to in Greenville.

(Picture of Nick Yorke: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox pitching prospect Brandon Walter owns 0.53 ERA in last 3 starts for High-A Greenville

Of the four Red Sox pitching prospects who started for their respective affiliates on Sunday, Brandon Walter is undoubtedly the least-known of the bunch.

Going off SoxProspects.com’s most-recent top 60 rankings, Walter (No. 41) ranks ranks behind the likes of Triple-A Worcester’s Kutter Crawford (No. 27), Double-A Portland’s Brayan Bello (No. 7), and Low-A Salem’s Bradley Blalock (No. 36).

Still, of those four hurlers, Walter put together the most impressive outing in High-A Greenville’s 2-1 victory over the Rome Braves at Fluor Field on Sunday afternoon.

In what was his sixth start of the year for the Drive, the left-hander kept the Braves off the scoreboard while scattering just one hit and two walks to go along with five strikeouts over five dominating innings of work.

Walter, who turns 25 next month, opened the 2021 season with Salem and posted a miniscule 1.45 ERA over 13 appearances (two starts) spanning 31 innings of work, resulting in a promotion to Greenville in early July.

Making his Drive debut on July 6, Walter got off to a shaky start, allowing a total of 12 earned runs to cross the plate over his first three outings and 12 innings pitched with the affiliate. That’s good for an ERA of 9.00.

On July 28, however, Walter seemingly turned a corner, as he struck out a career-high 12 batters while surrendering just two unearned runs on one hit, one walk, and one hit batsman over the course of six strong frames against the Hickory Crawdads.

Since then, the 6-foot-2, 200 pound southpaw really has not looked back and has emerged as one of the sharpest starters in the High-A East as a result.

That being the case because, going back to July 28, Walter has pitched to the tune of a dazzling 0.53 ERA and 1.67 FIP while striking out more than 39% of the batters he has faced over his last three starts (17 innings).

On the 2021 campaign as a whole, the Delaware native has produced a 4.03 ERA, a 3.62 FIP, and 2.09 xFIP to go along with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 46:6 in his six starts and 29 innings of work put in with Greenville.

Among the top hurlers in the High-A East who have pitched at least 29 innings so far this season, Walter ranks fifth in strikeouts per nine innings (14.28), 16th in walks per nine innings (1.86), eighth in strikeout percentage (37.7%), 15th in walk percentage (4.9%), 29th in WHIP (1.10), 30th in FIP, and first in xFIP, per FanGraphs.

The Red Sox originally selected Walter in the 26th round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of Delaware. In his time with the Blue Hens, the southpaw was forced to miss the majority of the 2017 season and the entirety of the 2018 season on account of undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Per his SoxProspects.com scouting report, Walter lowered his arm slot during the COVID-19 shutdown last year, which in turn added more velocity and life to his two-seam fastball. He also works with a mid-80s changeup and a slider that has “major-league potential.”

On top of that, the 24-year-old recently drew a comparison to Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough from FanGraphs‘ Eric Longenhagen earlier this month as well.

“Walter had a huge velo bump from 2019-21, climbing from the upper-80s into the mid-90s,” Longenhagen wrote last week. “He’s also lowered his release a little bit, and works largely off a two-seamer (he can occasionally climb the ladder, living off angle) and changeup, as well as a tertiary slider that has more lateral movement now than it did in 2019 (probably due to the release change). He has an atypical delivery for a starter but definitely has a backend starter’s repertoire and command. In many ways, he’s similar to Ryan Yarbrough. I have Walter projected in a multi-inning relief role.”

Given how well he has performed in Greenville as of late, one has to wonder if Walter could be on the fast track to yet another promotion to Portland in the not so distant future — especially if the Red Sox project him to be more of a multi-inning reliever as Longenhagen suggests.

Regardless of that, though, Walter is lined up to make his next start for the Drive sometime next weekend during their series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays affiliate) in Southern Kentucky.

(Picture of Brandon Walter: Bryan Green)

Red Sox top prospect Nick Yorke extends hitting streak to 18 games with first career multi-homer performance for Low-A Salem

Yairo Munoz is not the only minor-leaguer in the Red Sox organization putting together an impressive hitting streak at the moment.

While Munoz has now recorded at least one hit in a record-setting 30 straight games with a 1-for-4 showing for Triple-A Worcester on Sunday, top Red Sox prospect Nick Yorke extended his hitting streak to 18 consecutive games for Low-A Salem.

Starting at second base and batting leadoff for the Salem Red Sox as he typically does in Sunday’s series finale against the Lynchburg Hillcats at Haley Toyota Field, Yorke took the pressure off himself right away by ripping a leadoff single off right-hander Josh Wolf to begin things in the first inning.

After being stranded at first in the first, Yorke came up to the plate again with one out in the bottom of the third inning and things knotted at one run apiece.

Matched up against newly-inserted reliever Randy Labaut, Yorke — moments after his manager Luke Montz had been ejected from the game — drilled a solo home run to left-center field on the fourth pitch he saw to put his side up 2-1.

Fast forward all the way to the eighth, after the Hillcats and Red Sox had exchanged blows and were deadlocked in a 4-4 stalemate, Yorke delivered in the clutch big time, and he did so while leading off the inning.

On the seventh and final pitch he saw from righty Jacob Forrester, the right-handed hitter tattooed a towering, go-ahead homer over everything in left field to give Salem the lead again at 5-4.

Yorke’s sixth big fly of the season proved to be the game-winner for Salem, as they held on to take Sunday’s series finale over Lynchburg by that narrow one-run margin.

In completing the first multi-homer game of his young career, Yorke finished the day having gone 3-for-3 at the plate with those two home runs, two RBI, two runs scored, one walk, and one stolen base while lengthening his eye-catching hitting streak to a modest 18 games.

Dating back to July 15, when his streak began, the 19-year-old has posted a gaudy .366/.459/.592 (180 wRC+) slash line to go along with three doubles, two triples, three home runs, 13 RBI, 15 runs scored, nine walks, six strikeouts, and two stolen bases over his last 18 games and 85 trips to the plate.

On the 2021 campaign — his first full professional season — as a whole, the 2020 first-round pick has batted .312/.405/.456 (138 wRC+) in addition to hitting 12 doubles, three triples, and six home runs while collecting 34 RBI, scoring 44 runs, walking 34 times, striking out 43 times, and swiping 11 bags over 65 total games (294 plate appearances) with Salem.

Among the top hitters in the Low-A East to date, Yorke ranks seventh in hits (78), 22nd in runs scored, 28th in RBI, second in batting average, fifth in on-base percentage, 14th in slugging percentage, ninth in OPS (.861), seventh in weighted on-base average (.398), and seventh in wRC+, per FanGraphs.

For Yorke, the recent run of success he has enjoyed over the last three weeks or so comes after his inaugural season as a pro got off to a rough start.

After receiving in invite to major-league spring training and breaking minor-league camp with the Salem Sox, the California native hit a measly .195/.264/.220 in the month of May.

Since the calendar flipped to June, however, Yorke flipped the switch offensively and has batted a whopping .369/.471/.571 dating back to June 1.

Yorke, who does not turn 20 until next April, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 8 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking fifth among position players in the organization.

Given how well the 6-foot, 200 pound infielder has performed with Salem as of late, one has to wonder how much longer it will be until the Red Sox feel as though Yorke is ready for a promotion to High-A Greenville.

That being said, Cameron Cannon, who has been regularly patrolling second base for the Drive this season, was promoted to Double-A Portland on Monday morning, so that seemingly opens up a spot for Yorke to take over at second base with Greenville. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Nick Yorke: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox prospect Devlin Granberg lighting it up at the plate since promotion to Double-A Portland

Chris Sale understandably stole the headlines in Portland on Sunday afternoon, but it was Devlin Granberg who ultimately played the hero for the Sea Dogs in their 6-5 walk-off victory over the Harrisburg Senators at Hadlock Field.

As part of a 3-for-5 day at the plate, Granberg reached base on a fielding error in the third inning and ultimately came into score on a two-run home run off the bat of Tyreque Reed, laced an RBI single in the fifth that at the time gave the Sea Dogs a 5-3 lead, and came through with the hit of the game in the bottom of the 10th.

There, with no outs and the automatic runner at second base to begin each extra inning in a 5-5 contest, Granberg wasted no time in sending that runner home.

Matched up against Senators reliever Jhon Romero, the right-handed hitter ripped the game-winning single to right-center field that drove in Pedro Castellanos and sealed a 6-5 win for the Sea Dogs to mark their third straight walk-off victory.

In racking up three more hits on Sunday, Granberg bumped his batting line on the season with Portland up to an impressive .345/.363/.564.

Granberg, 25, was originally selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2018 amateur draft as a senior out of Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, Texas.

The 6-foot-2, 225 pound first baseman/outfielder opened the 2021 minor-league season with High-A Greenville and tore the cover off the ball, slashing .326/.416/.642 (178 wRC+) to go along with seven doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 21 runs scored, 29 RBI, one stolen base, 12 walks, and 16 strikeouts over 27 games (113 plate appearances) for the Drive before earning a promotion to Double-A Portland on June 16.

Sunday marked Granberg’s 28th game with the Sea Dogs, and the level of production the soon-to-be 26-year-old put up while in Greenville has hardly dropped off at all since he moved up the minor-league ladder.

As previously mentioned, the Hudson, Colo. native is now hitting .345/.363/.564 with seven doubles, one triple, five homers, 21 runs scored, 22 RBI, three stolen bases, three walks, and 22 strikeouts as a member of the Sea Dogs. In the month of July alone, he has posted a slash line of .370/.395/.616 and has hit four of his five home runs within the last 25 days.

To put it simply, Granberg is enjoying a breakout season of sorts in his second full year of pro ball. He may not be regarded as one of the top 30 or so prospects in Boston’s farm system, but he has caught the attention of some within the industry, such as FanGraphs‘ David Laurila.

In a conversation with Laurila earlier this month, Granberg delved into several aspects of his approach at the plate, including his unique swing that SoxProspects.com describes as short and compact as well as very direct to the ball.

“I’ve got one of the more interesting swings out there,” Granberg said. “It’s not very conventional. I would say it’s pretty rotational, yet not totally rotational. It’s kind of like those combo swings — not too crouched, maybe a little bit open, and then I stride into it. I’m trying to hit the ball middle/opposite field most of the time.”

Granberg, who turns 26 in early September, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this winter if he is not added to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster by the November 20 deadline.

(Picture of Devlin Granberg: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Danny Santana will join Red Sox in Philadelphia on Friday for series against Phillies, per report

The Red Sox are expected to activate veteran utility man Danny Santana ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Phillies in Philadelphia, according to ESPN’s Enrique Rojas.

MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo confirmed the report.

Santana, who has been rehabbing with Triple-A Worcester since May 12, was not in the WooSox’ starting lineup for their game against the Buffalo Bisons at Polar Park on Thursday.

When asked by reporters if Santana was going to be activated by the club on Friday, Red Sox manager Alex Cora couldn’t offer a comment on the report.

“He’s still in Worcester,” Cora said. “I don’t think he’s in the lineup tonight but he’s working out down there. So that’s all I can give you.”

Boston originally signed the 30-year-old switch-hitter to a minor-league deal back in March, but he wound up missing a significant amount of time in the spring after sustaining a right foot infection that required a stay in the hospital.

Since then, Santana has returned to full health, as he began a rehab assignment with High-A Greenville earlier this month.

Between Greenville and Worcester, the Dominican native posted a .433/.471/.833 slash line to go along with three home runs and six RBI over eight total games played dating back to May 5.

Prior to inking a minor-league pact with the Sox two months ago, Santana had spent the previous two seasons with the Texas Rangers, where he played every defensive position besides pitcher and catcher, enjoyed great success his first year there, and dealt with injury trouble his second.

In 2019, Santana clubbed 28 home runs, collected 81 RBI, and swiped 21 bases over 130 games (511 plate appearances) in the process of being named the Rangers’ Player of the Year.

In 2020, Santana was limited to just 15 games before suffering a season-ending elbow injury in late August that would later require a modified version of Tommy John surgery the following month.

Having played in 15 of Texas’ 60 games last year, the 5-foot-11, 203 pounder was non-tendered by the Rangers in December, making him a free-agent.

According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Santana’s initial agreement with the Sox included a prorated $1.75 million big-league salary as well as an April 30 opt-out date if he were not added to Boston’s major-league roster.

Because of him being hospitalized in March, though, the two sides agreed to push back that opt-out date until this coming Sunday, per Cotillo.

Now that Santana is on the verge of joining the Red Sox in Philadelphia, the club will have some moves to make since Santana is not yet on Boston’s 40-man (or 26-man) roster.

In other words, expect the Sox to be busy on Friday afternoon. One player will need to be removed from the 40-man, while another will need to be optioned to clear a spot on the 26-man.

(Picture of Danny Santana: Katie Morrison/MassLive)