Red Sox make Adam Duvall signing official, designate Matt Barnes for assignment

The Red Sox have officially signed outfielder Adam Duvall to a one-year contract for the 2023 season, the club announced earlier Tuesday evening. In order to make room for Duvall on the 40-man roster, reliever Matt Barnes was designated for assignment.

Duvall initially agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with Boston last week. As was previously reported by Craig Mish of the Miami Herald and Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com, the 34-year-old can earn an additional $3 million in performance bonuses (based on number of plate appearances), meaning he can receive a maximum of $10 million in 2023.

A veteran of nine major-league seasons between the Giants, Reds, Braves, and Marlins, Duvall projects as the Red Sox’ new primary center fielder with Enrique Hernandez moving to the infield in the wake of Trevor Story undergoing right elbow surgery earlier this month. The right-handed hitter batted .213/.276/.401 with 16 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs, 36 RBIs, 39 runs scored, 21 walks, and 101 strikeouts in 86 games (315 plate appearances) for Atlanta last season before being shut down in July with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist that ultimately required surgery.

Duvall was originally selected by the Giants in the 11th round of the 2010 amateur draft out of the University of Louisville. The Kentucky native broke in with San Francisco during the 2014 season and was then traded to Cincinnati the following July. In his first full season with the Reds (2016), Duvall hit 33 home runs and was named to his first All-Star team. He hit 31 more homers in 2017 and was subsequently dealt to the Braves at the 2018 trade deadline.

After 2 1/2 seasons with the Braves, Duvall became a free agent for the first time and signed with the Marlins in February 2021 only to be traded back to Atlanta five months later. Between the two National League East rivals, he slashed .228/.281/.491 with a career-best 38 home runs and league-leading 113 RBIs in 146 games. He also helped the Braves win a World Series title that fall and took home his first Gold Glove Award for his work in right field.

While 2022 was considered a down year for Duvall, the Red Sox have every reason to believe he will bounce back in 2023. It certainly helps that his swing should play at Fenway Park, where he is a lifetime .333 (6-for-18) hitter with four home runs in four career games. Three of those long balls came in the same contest during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

Defensively, Duvall has past experience at all three outfield spots. When it comes to center field in particular, though, the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder has accrued four defensive runs saved and five outs above average across 593 2/3 career innings at the position. Last year, he ranked in the 88th percentile of all big-league outfielders in outs above average (+5), the 79th percentile in arm strength (averaged 89.1 mph on his throws), the 74th percentile in outfield jump, and the 67th percentile in sprint speed, per Baseball Savant.

Duvall, who does not turn 35 until September, completes a new-look Red Sox outfield mix that already includes Masataka Yoshida, Alex Verdugo, Rob Refsnyder, and Jarren Duran. Hernandez, of course, could man center field on days Duvall sits.

In addition to signing Duvall and designating Barnes for assignment on Tuesday, the Red Sox also acquired infielder Adalberto Mondesi and a player to be named later from the Royals in exchange for lefty reliever Josh Taylor.

(Picture of Adam Duvall: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Red Sox agree to minor-league deal with former Blue Jays outfielder Raimel Tapia

The Red Sox and Raimel Tapia have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract for the 2023 season, as was first reported by the free agent outfielder himself on Instagram. Jon Heyman of the New York Post later confirmed it was a minors pact that presumably comes with an invite to major-league spring training.

Tapia, who turns 29 next month, spent the 2022 season with the Blue Jays. The left-handed hitter batted .265/.292/.380 with 20 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, 52 RBIs, 47 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 16 walks, and 81 strikeouts over 128 games (433 plate appearances) for Toronto. He was projected to earn a $5.2 million salary in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility in 2023, but was instead non-tendered in November.

In six games against the Red Sox at Fenway Park last year, Tapia went 9-for-30 (.300) with one double, one triple, two home runs, and 12 RBIs. He most notably hit an inside-the-park grand slam that center fielder Jarren Duran lost in the lights in the third inning of Boston’s historic 28-5 blowout loss to Toronto on July 22.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Tapia originally signed with the Rockies as an international free agent coming out of San Pedro de Macoris in November 2010. He broke in with Colorado in 2016 and spent the first six years of his big-league career there before being dealt to the Blue Jays in exchange for fellow outfielder Randal Grichuk last March.

So, for his career, Tapia is a lifetime .277/.318/.392 hitter with 91 doubles, 15 triples, 26 homers, 188 runs driven in, 233 runs scored, 53 stolen bases, 103 walks, and 343 strikeouts in 567 games (1,858 plate appearances) between the Rockies and Blue Jays over seven major-league seasons. He stole a career-high 20 stolen bases while with Colorado in 2021.

Defensively, Tapia has prior experience at all three outfield positions. Last year in particular, the 6-foot-3, 175-pounder logged 459 innings in left, 249 2/3 innings in center, and 226 2/3 innings in right. He tallied four outfield assists altogether and ranked in the 83rd percentile in arm strength (averaged 90.1 mph on his throws), per Baseball Savant.

Tapia should have the chance to compete for a spot on Boston’s Opening Day roster as a left-handed hitting bench option once spring training begins next month. The Red Sox already have an outfield mix that includes Masataka Yoshida, Alex Verdugo, Rob Refsnyder, and Jarren Duran. With Enrique Hernandez expected to move back to the middle infield to cover for the injured Trevor Story, the newly-signed Adam Duvall is slated to take over in center field. Add in other non-roster invitees such as Narciso Crook and Greg Allen, and the Sox’ outfield picture suddenly becomes quite crowded.

(Picture of Raimel Tapia: Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)

Red Sox agree to one-year, $7 million deal with outfielder Adam Duvall

The Red Sox and free agent outfielder Adam Duvall have agreed to terms on a one-year contract for the 2023 season, as was first reported by Craig Mish of the Miami Herald.

According to Mish, Duvall will receive a base salary of $7 million in 2023 and will have the chance to earn an additional $3 million in performance bonuses. Those bonuses are based on number of plate appearances and could take the total value of the deal up to $10 million, per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Duvall, 34, batted .213/.276/.401 with 16 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs, 36 RBIs, 39 runs scored, 21 walks, and 101 strikeouts in 86 games (315 plate appearances) with the Braves last year. The right-handed hitter was shut down in July due to a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist that ultimately required season-ending surgery.

A native of Kentucky, Duvall was originally selected by the Giants in the 11th round of the 2010 amateur draft out of the University of Louisville. He broke in with San Francisco in 2014 and was then traded to the Reds in a package for veteran starter Mike Leake the following July.

With Cincinnati, Duvall was able to establish himself as a power threat from the right side of the plate. He hit 33 home runs and collected 103 RBIs in the process of being named to his first All-Star team in 2016 and then followed that up by putting together a 31-homer, 99-RBI campaign in 2017.

After a tough start to the 2018 season, the Reds traded Duvall to the Braves that July. He spent the next 2 1/2 years with Atlanta before becoming a free agent for the first time and signing a one-year deal with the Marlins in February 2021. Duvall bounced back in Miami and was then dealt back to Atlanta ahead of the trade deadline that year.

In 146 combined games between the Marlins and Braves in 2021, Duvall slashed .228/.281/.491 with 17 doubles, two triples, a career-high 38 home runs, a National League-best 113 RBIs, 67 runs scored, five stolen bases, 35 walks, and 174 strikeouts across 555 total trips to the plate. He also helped Atlanta win a World Series title that fall and took home his first Gold Glove Award for his defensive work in right field.

All told, Duvall is a lifetime .230/.289/.465 hitter with 163 career homers under his belt in 830 games with the Giants, Reds, Braves, and Marlins. In postseason play, Duvall owns a career line of .200/.247/.400 with five homers and 18 runs driven in across 27 total games. He has the kind of swing that could play well at Fenway Park, where he has gone 6-for-18 (.333) in his career with four home runs in four games. Three of those long balls came in the same contest during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

With Xander Bogaerts opting to sign with the Padres in free agency and Trevor Story slated to miss the start of the 2022 season after undergoing right elbow surgery earlier this month, the Red Sox needed to inject some power back into a lineup that hit the seventh-fewest home runs (155) in the American League last year.

While the absences of both Bogaerts and Story made it seem as though the Red Sox would pursue middle infield help before the start of spring training, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. have instead elected to solidify their outfield mix. With Duvall expected to regularly man center field alongside fellow free agent signee Masataka Yoshida in left and Alex Verdugo in right, Enrique Hernandez seems primed to move back to the infield after serving as Boston’s everyday center fielder for the better part of the last two seasons.

For his part, Duvall has prior experience at all three outfield positions. Last year, the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder logged 237 1/3 innings in left, 382 innings in center, and 90 innings in right. As far as the metrics are concerned, Duvall ranked in the 88th percentile of all big-league outfielders in outs above average (+5). He also ranked in the 79th percentile in arm strength (averaged 89.1 mph on his throws), the 74th percentile in outfield jump, and the 67th percentile in sprint speed, per Baseball Savant.

The Red Sox, per Cotillo, are fully confident in Duvall’s ability to play center field. Depending on what Boston does between now and Opening Day, Hernandez and Verdugo represent possible fallback options down the line. The same can be said for Jarren Duran and Rob Refsnyder as well.

Duvall, who turns 35 in September, becomes the seventh major-league free agent addition the Red Sox have made this winter, joining the likes of starter Corey Kluber, relievers Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin, and Joely Rodriguez, infielder/designated hitter Justin Turner, and Yoshida. Of these seven, only Yoshida received more than two guaranteed years on his deal.

As currently constructed, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster is at full capacity. So they will have to clear a spot for Duvall once he passes his physical and his signing can be made official.

(Picture of Adam Duvall: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Red Sox agree to minor-league deal with outfielder Greg Allen

The Red Sox and veteran outfielder Greg Allen have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract for the 2023 season, per ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel. The deal comes with an invitation to major-league spring training.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Allen will earn a base salary of $1.4 million if he reaches the majors with Boston.

Allen, who turns 30 in March, spent the vast majority of the 2022 season with the Pirates. The speedy switch-hitter batted .186/.260/.721 with four doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs, 17 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 10 walks, and 42 strikeouts over 46 games (134 plate appearances) for Pittsburgh before being designated for assignment in late September. He elected free agency after clearing waivers in early October.

A former sixth-round draft pick of the Guardians out of San Diego State University in 2014, Allen first broke in at the big-league level in September 2017. In parts of four seasons with Cleveland, the California native appeared in a total of 220 games and slashed .239/.295/.344 with eight homers, 57 RBIs, 76 runs scored, and 31 stolen bases.

Prior to the 2020 trade deadline, Allen was dealt to the Padres alongside right-hander Mike Clevinger in exchange for a six-player package that included Gabriel Arias, Austin Hedges, Josh Naylor, Owen Miller, and Cal Quantrill. Allen, however, appeared in just one regular season game for San Diego and was designated for assignment that December.

The Yankees acquired Allen from the Padres in a minor trade shortly thereafter. New York outrighted Allen off its 40-man roster in March 2021 before calling him up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in mid-July. In 14 games with the Bronx Bombers, Allen went 10-for-37 (.270) at the plate with four doubles, one triple, two RBIs, nine runs scored, and five stolen bases. He was claimed off waivers by the Pirates that November.

All told, Allen is a lifetime .232/.299/.336 hitter at the major-league level to go along with 30 doubles, seven triples, 10 home runs, 67 runs driven in, 103 runs scored, 45 stolen bases, 45 walks, and 184 strikeouts over 282 total games (800 plate appearances) between the Guardians, Padres, Yankees, and Pirates.

In 172 career games at the Triple-A level, Allen has hit .301/.403/.442 with 37 doubles, four triples, 13 homers, 62 RBIs, 121 runs scored, 48 stolen bases, 65 walks, and 136 punchouts across 710 total trips to the plate.

Defensively, Allen has past experience at all three outfield positions. In 2022, for instance, the 6-foot, 185-pounder logged 140 innings in left field, 92 1/3 innings in center field, and 61 innings in right field. Historically speaking, left field has proven to be Allen’s best position in terms of Defensive Runs Saved (+9) and Outs Above Average (+4), per FanGraphs.

Known for his speed, Allen should provide Boston with some experienced outfield depth at Triple-A Worcester this season if he does not break camp with the big-league club in March. As currently constructed, Masataka Yoshida, Enrique Hernandez, and Alex Verdugo project to be the Red Sox’ primary outfield group in 2023. Hernandez, of course, may be forced to play more infield this year with Trevor Story slated to miss a significant amount of time after undergoing right elbow surgery earlier this week. Behind them, Rob Refsnyder and Jarren Duran — as well as prospects Ceddanne Rafaela, Enmanuel Valdez, Wilyer Abreu — are also on the 40-man roster

Allen, who is out of minor-league options, becomes the seventh player the Red Sox have invited to major-league spring training this winter. He joins the likes of right-hander Norwith Gudino, left-hander Oddanier Mosqueda, catchers Caleb Hamilton and Ronaldo Hernandez, utility man Niko Goodrum, and outfielder Narciso Crook.

(Picture of Greg Allen: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

How did Red Sox outfield prospect Phillip Sikes fare in first full pro season?

Red Sox outfield prospect Phillip Sikes enjoyed a productive first full season of pro ball in 2022.

Selected by Boston in the 18th round of the 2021 amateur draft out of Texas Christian University, Sikes played strictly in the Florida Complex League last summer after signing for just $97,500 as a college senior. He broke minor-league camp this spring with Low-A Salem.

In 50 games with the Carolina League affiliate, the right-handed hitting Sikes batted .258/.390/.516 (148 wRC+) with 18 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 28 RBIs, 36 runs scored, 12 stolen bases, 28 walks, and 55 strikeouts over 195 plate appearances before earning a promotion to High-A Greenville in early July.

With the Drive, Sikes’ production took a dip but he still managed a .248/.351/.446 slash line (118 wRC+) to go along with 11 doubles, one triple, six homers, 20 runs driven in, 21 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 25 walks, and 44 strikeouts across 44 games spanning 95 trips to the plate.

When taking these numbers from the second half of the season into consideration, it is worth mentioning that Sikes posted a .931 OPS in his first 17 games in Greenville before struggling to the tune of a .181/.302/.347 clip in the month of August. The 23-year-old did end his year on a solid note, though, as he went 8-for-23 (.348) in September with a pair of doubles, five walks, and five swiped bags.

All told, Sikes was one of 26 Red Sox minor-leaguers who accrued at least 350 total plate appearances this year. Among that group, he ranked sixth in walk rate (13.9 percent), fifth in on-base percentage (.371), seventh in slugging percentage (.481), fourth in OPS (.852), fifth in isolated power (.228), third in speed score (8.3), second in line-drive rate (29.5 percent), and fourth in wRC+ (132), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, saw playing time at all three outfield positions in his stints with Salem and Greenville. Between the two affiliates, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound speedster logged 136 2/3 innings in left, 315 innings in center, and 324 innings in right. He registered a total of 10 outfield assists and also displayed his arm strength on the mound by making two relief appearances in mop-up duty for the Salem Sox.

Sikes, who turns 24 in April, is not currently regarded by any major publication as one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system. The native Texan is projected by SoxProspects.com to return to Greenville for the start of the 2023 campaign. That being said, one would have to imagine an early-season promotion to Double-A Portland could be in play for Sikes next spring if he picks up where he left off for the Drive.

(Picture of Phillip Sikes: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)

Red Sox agree to five-year, $90 million deal with Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida, per report

On the final day of the Winter Meetings, the Red Sox made a significant free agent splash.

Boston has agreed to terms on a five-year, $90 million contract with Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan and The New York Post’s Jon Heyman. Alex Speier of The Boston Globe relays that the deal does not contain any opt-out clauses or team options.

Yoshida, 29, was considered to be the top position player free agent from Japan this winter and he will be getting paid as such. His $90 million pact is the largest ever for a player making the jump from Nippon Professional Baseball to the major-leagues, as it beats out the five-year, $85 million deal fellow outfielder Seiya Suzuki received from the Cubs earlier this year.

The Orix Buffaloes had just posted Yoshida on Wednesday morning, so it is apparent the Red Sox wasted no time in pursuing the recently-signed Boras Corp. client. Boston will now pay Yoshida’s NPB team a $15.375 million posting fee, taking the total value of the investment up to $105.375 million. That will surpass the $103.1 million ($52 million contract and $51.1 million posting fee) the Sox committed to starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka in December 2006, as noted by Speier.

A native of Fukui, Yoshida has spent the last seven seasons playing for Orix after first breaking in at Japan’s top level in 2016. For his professional career, the left-handed hitter owns a lifetime .327/.421/.539 slash line with 133 home runs in 762 games. This past season, he batted a stout .335/.447/.561 to go along with 28 doubles, one triple, 21 homers, 88 RBIs, 56 runs scored, four stolen bases, 80 walks, and 41 strikeouts over 119 games (508 plate appearances) for the Buffaloes.

Dating back to the start of the 2020 season, Yoshida has posted a 14.5 percent walk rate (213 in 1,467 plate appearances and just a 6.6 strikeout rate (97 in 1,467 plate appearances). His plate discipline and ability to get on base at a high clip are just a few attributes that make him stick out.

“He’s someone that we really like and we’ve spent a lot of time on,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) shortly before news of the agreement broke on Wednesday. “Really, really good hitter, quality at-bat and a great talent.”

While the Red Sox as a team had the sixth-highest on-base percentage in baseball this year (.321), they also ranked 18th in walk rate (7.9 percent) and 20th in chase rate (33.6 percent), per FanGraphs. Yoshida could help alleviate some of these issues, and he could do so out of the leadoff spot or in the middle of the lineup on account of his power potential.

“First and foremost, when you’re looking at a player like him, the quality of the at-bat stands out and that can come from either side of the plate,” said Bloom. “We’re going to need to do some things this offseason to lengthen our lineup and improve the quality of at-bats in our lineup.”

Defensively, Yoshida projects as a left fielder at the big-league level. The 5-foot-8, 176-pounder played that position primarily in Japan, though both his range and arm strength are considered to be below average. That being said, he is likely to start alongside Enrique Hernandez and Alex Verdugo in the Red Sox outfield next season. Rob Refsnyder and Jarren Duran also figure to be in the mix for playing time.

Yoshida, who does not turn 30 until July, becomes the first position player free agent the Red Sox have agreed to sign this winter. Boston has already signed left-hander Joely Rodriguez to a one-year deal and agreed to two-year contracts with right-handed relievers Chris Martin and Kenley Jansen.

The Red Sox had been pursuing a reunion with Xander Bogaerts, but the All-Star shortstop has since agreed to an 11-year mega-deal with the Padres, according to multiple reports.

(Picture of Masataka Yoshida: Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Red Sox among ‘most serious suitors’ for Mitch Haniger, per report

The Red Sox are among the most serious suitors for free agent outfielder Mitch Haniger, Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported on Thursday.

Haniger, who turns 32 later this month, hit the open market for the first time earlier this winter after spending the last six years with the Mariners. The right-handed hitter was limited to just 57 games this past season due to a high right ankle sprain he sustained in late April. All told, he batted .246/.308/.429 with eight doubles, 11 home runs, 34 RBIs, 31 runs scored, 20 walks, and 65 strikeouts across 247 trips to the plate in 2022.

The Mariners did not extend a qualifying offer to Haniger in November, meaning the Red Sox could sign him without forfeiting their second- and fifth-highest picks in next year’s draft. The California native is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to receive a three-year deal in the range of $39 million this offseason.

A former first-round pick of the Brewers out of Cal Poly in 2012, Haniger was dealt to the Diamondbacks as part of a package for fellow outfielder Gerardo Parra at the 2014 trade deadline. Haniger broke in with Arizona in August 2016, but was then traded to Seattle with left-hander Zac Curtis and infielder Jean Segura for Ketel Marte and Taijuan Walker three months later.

Haniger’s time with the Mariners was marred by injuries. He appeared in just 96 games in 2017 due to a strained right oblique and facial laceration. In 2019, he was limited to 63 games because of a ruptured testicle. He missed the entirety of the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign after undergoing lumbar microdiscectomy surgery on his lower back that February.

When healthy, though, Haniger has proven to be a capable big-league outfielder. He was named an All-Star for the first time and finished 11th in American League MVP voting in 2018 after clubbing 26 homers and collecting 93 RBIs over a career-high 157 games. Last year, he matched that total while mashing 39 home runs and reaching the century mark in runs driven in.

Per Baseball Savant, balls left Haniger’s bat at an average exit velocity of 91.9 mph in 2022. His 47.2 percent hard-hit rate would have ranked 38th among qualified hitters this year while his 11.8 percent barrel rate would have ranked 42nd.

Defensively, Haniger was used exclusively as a right fielder by the Mariners this season. The 6-foot-2, 214-pounder logged 396 innings at the position and posted three defensive runs saved and two outs above average. He also has past experience in left and center field and could almost certainly be used as designated hitter when needed.

After trading Hunter Renfroe to the Brewers last December, the Red Sox received minimal power production from their outfield group in 2022. Boston outfielders this year ranked 13th in the American League in home runs (44), 10th in isolated power (.135), and ninth in slugging percentage (.381), according to FanGraphs.

Haniger would provide the Sox with a power threat from the right side of the plate who could play both corner outfield spots and DH. That role — for the most part — belonged to J.D. Martinez (also a free agent) in recent years, but it does not appear as though chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. are all that interested in a reunion with the veteran slugger.

That being said, the Red Sox are not alone in their apparent pursuit of Haniger. Morosi reports that the Rangers have also been linked with the one-time All-Star while the Angels, Dodgers, and Giants have already checked in with his representatives from Apex Baseball. As the Winter Meetings get underway in San Diego on Sunday, Haniger’s market could heat up.

(Picture of Mitch Haniger: Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Red Sox outfield prospect Eduardo Vaughan could burst onto the scene in 2022

Red Sox outfield prospect Eduardo Vaughan has a chance to fly up the team’s prospect rankings board this year, according to SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall.

“If you’re looking for a prospect who could fly up the Red Sox prospect rankings this year, Vaughan is a great candidate,” Cundall tweeted on Friday. “He checks a lot of boxes, but has a wide variance with his hit-tool. How that develops will go a long way to determining his future potential.”

Vaughan, who turned 20 last month, comes into 2022 ranked by SoxProspects.com as the No. 44 prospect in Boston’s farm system. He originally signed with the Red Sox for $550,000 as an international free agent coming out of Panama in July 2018.

After spending the 2019 season in the Dominican Summer League, Vaughan was unable to play any sort of minor-league ball in 2020 on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 20-year-old did, however, participate in fall instructs and took what he learned there into minor-league spring training last year.

Once minor-league camp broke and extended spring training concluded in June, Vaughan remained in Fort Myers as he wound up spending the entirety of the 2021 campaign with the rookie-level Florida Complex League Red Sox.

In 28 games with the FCL Red Sox, the right-handed hitter batted .226/.362/.405 (108 wRC+) with six doubles, three home runs, 18 RBIs, 16 runs scored, five stolen bases, 18 walks, and 24 strikeouts over 105 plate appearances. He surprisingly fared better against righties (.840 OPS in 74 PAs) as opposed to lefties (.572 OPS in 31 PAs).

Among FCL hitters who made at least 100 trips to the plate in 2021, Vaughan ranked 39th in on-base percentage, 29th in isolated power (.179), and eighth in walk rate (17.1%), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Vaughan saw playing time at all three outfield positions last year after only playing the corners in 2019. The 6-foot-4, 185 pounder logged 139 1/3 innings in center field, 59 2/3 innings in right field, and six innings in left field while recording a total of five outfield assists.

Shortly before the FCL season ended in September, Cundall wrote that Vaughan “has one of the system’s most projectable frames in the low minors” since he still has room to fill out physically.

“Vaughan already shows plus raw power, his best tool at present,” added Cundall. “His hit tool and approach are still works in progress, and his swing is on the long side, but his hands are quick. … He is a fringe-average runner right now and will likely get slower as he matures, but he has a good arm and a typical right field profile.”

While Cundall noted that Vaughan still has a ways to go developmentally, he also identified the San Miguelito native as a “high-risk, high-reward prospect” with “a wide gap between what he is now and what he could be in the future.”

This winter, Vaughan returned to his home country to suit up for Aguilas Metropolitanas of the Panamanian Professional Baseball League. He posted a .681 OPS across 18 games for the Panama City-based club.

As he prepares for the upcoming minor-league season, Vaughan is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the year with Low-A Salem. These next few months could prove to be pivotal for Vaughan, who can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this December.

If the Red Sox would prefer not to expose Vaughan to the Rule 5 Draft, they would need to add him to their 40-man roster by late November.

(Picture of Eduardo Vaughan: Bryan Green/Flickr)

Red Sox’ Hunter Renfroe crushes seventh home run of season to put finishing touches on strong month of May; ‘When he’s locked in, it’s fun to watch,’ Alex Cora says

While the Red Sox found themselves on the wrong side of an 11-2 blowout against the Astros to close out their month of May, Hunter Renfroe at least ended his month on a solid note at Minute Maid Park on Monday evening.

Batting out of the nine-hole, Renfroe went 2-for-3 with a double (his 10th of the year), a home run (his seventh of the year) and one RBI (his 23rd of the year) while scoring his side’s only two runs of the contest.

The homer the 29-year-old hit came when this ballgame was already out of reach in the eighth inning, but it was still one that traveled 419 feet to deep left-center field and had an exit velocity of 108.4 mph off the bat on a hanging slider from Astros reliever Nivaldo Rodriguez.

It’s fitting that Renfroe would end his month the same way he began it: by going deep at a Texas ballpark. He mashed his second big fly of the year against the Rangers at Globe Life Field back on May 1.

Prior to the calendar flipping to May, the right-handed slugger was carrying with him a .167/.235/.250 slash line over his first 19 games with the Red Sox.

Since May 1, however, Renfroe has flipped the switch and completely turned things around for himself in regards to offensive production. The defensive production was already there.

Including Monday’s 2-for-3-showing in Houston, Renfroe posted an impressive .319/.333/.604 slash line to go along with eight doubles, six homers, and 15 RBI over 24 games (93 plate appearances) in May.

As noted by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, the Mississippi native is currently riding a four-game hitting streak in which he is batting .692 (9-for-13) with two homers and five doubles.

“It started in Texas, right? When he hit that big home run and hit some balls the other way,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said when reflecting on Renfroe’s solid month of work. “He’s made some adjustments. He’s actually been more disciplined, although he’s not walking that much, but he’s controlling the at-bat.

“This guy, he’s a gamer,” added Cora. “We know what he brings to the equation defensively. But when he’s locked in, it’s fun to watch. He crushed that ball. Besides the home run, he’s controlling his at-bats. We’re very pleased with where he’s at offensively right now.

With what he did in May in his back pocket, Renfroe will come into the month of June having raised his line on the season to a more respectable .258/.292/.464. He currently ranks fourth on the team in doubles and home runs and fifth in RBI.

Defensively, Renfroe has been just as advertised and then some. The 6-foot-1, 228 pound outfielder came into play Monday tied for the second-most outfield assists in the majors (5) while putting up +4 defensive runs saved and an UZR/150 (ultimate zone rating per 150 games) of 22.9.

(Picture of Hunter Renfroe: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox demote struggling outfielder Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox optioned outfielder Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Worcester following Wednesday’s 9-5 win over the Braves, the team announced earlier Thursday afternoon.

Cordero, one of five players the Red Sox acquired as part of the trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals back in February, has gotten his Red Sox career off to a slow start.

Through 34 games played with Boston this season, the 26-year-old is slashing a measly .179/.228/.274 with just one home run, nine RBI, six walks, and 37 strikeouts over 102 plate appearances thus far.

With the emergence of the versatile, switch-hitting Danny Santana, Cordero began to see his playing time decrease prior to his demotion. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the left-handed hitter has only started four of his club’s last 11 games.

With that in mind, it would appear that the Red Sox would like Cordero to get more regular at-bats with the WooSox, who are currently taking on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Allentown, Pa.

For his minor-league career, the Dominican native owns a lifetime .305/.357/.567 slash line to go along with 21 homers and 73 RBI in 115 games at the Triple-A level, so perhaps some time in Worcester will do him good.

In Cordero’s place, the Red Sox will need to make a corresponding roster move and call someone up from the minors to get back to a 26-man major-league roster.

It’s unlikely that top outfield prospect Jarren Duran — who is currently playing for Team USA in an Olympic qualifying event in Florida — will take Cordero’s place on the active roster, per Cotillo.

Instead, Cotillo suggests that the Sox will likely call up a reliever ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Marlins at Fenway Park.

More specifically, one of Brandon Brennan or Colten Brewer — both of whom are on Boston’s 40-man roster — appear to be the most likely to get promoted since that would allow the Red Sox to go back to carrying 14 pitchers and 12 position players. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)