Red Sox promote Pedro Castellanos to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have promoted first baseman/outfielder Pedro Castellanos from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester, per the club’s minor-league transactions log.

Castellanos, 24, originally signed with Boston for just $5,000 as an international free agent coming out of Venezuela in July 2015. So he has been with the organization for quite a while and is eligible to become a minor-league free agent this winter.

In 61 games with Portland this season, the right-handed hitter batted .279/.303/.463 (107 wRC+) with 18 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 42 RBIs, 23 runs scored, seven walks, and 56 strikeouts over 254 plate appearances. He was hitting .358/.369/.519 in 20 games this month before earning a well-deserved promotion on Friday.

Among qualified hitters in the Eastern League, Castellanos ranks fifth in hits (67), fourth in doubles, eighth in RBIs, 12th in batting average, 22nd in slugging percentage, and 28th in OPS (.766), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, the 6-foot-3, 195 pounder received playing time at three different positions with the Sea Dogs in 2022. He logged 257 1/3 innings at first base, 26 innings in left field, and 129 innings in right field.

Castellanos, who turns 25 in December, will be getting his first taste of action at the Triple-A level. He is not in the WooSox’ starting lineup for their contest against the Charlotte Knights Friday night at Polar Park.

(Picture of Pedro Castellanos: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox’ Pedro Castellanos, Niko Kavadas earn Eastern League, Carolina League Player of the Week honors

A pair of Red Sox first-base prospects took home weekly honors from the respective leagues they play in. Earlier Monday afternoon, Minor League Baseball announced that Double-A Portland’s Pedro Castellanos and Low-A Salem’s Niko Kavadas were named Eastern League and Carolina League Players of the Week for the week of June 13-19.

Castellanos appeared in all six games of Portland’s most-recent series against the Reading Fightin Phils. In those six contests at FirstEnergy Stadium, the right-handed hitter went 12-for-28 (.429) at the plate with two doubles, one home run, five RBIs, two runs scored, zero walks, and four strikeouts.

By recording at least one hit in all six of those games, Castellanos extended his hitting streak to 16 consecutive games. On the 2022 campaign as a whole, the 24-year-old is batting .283/.307/.465 (109 wRC+) with 16 doubles, one triple, eight homers, 42 RBIs, 22 runs scored, seven walks, and 52 strikeouts over 58 games (244 plate appearances) for the Sea Dogs.

Among qualified Eastern League hitters this season, Castellanos ranks eighth in doubles, fourth in RBIs, ninth in batting average, 22nd in slugging percentage, 29th in OPS (.773), and 34th in wRC+, per FanGraphs.

Defensively, the 6-foot-3, 195 pounder has seen playing time at first base and both corner outfield positions this season. He has logged 257 1/3 innings at first, 26 innings in left, and 113 innings in right.

The Red Sox originally signed Castellanos for just $5,000 as an international free agent coming out of Venezuela in July 2015. Always known for his ability to hit for average, the Carora native is eligible to become a free agent again this winter.

Castellanos, who turns 25 in December, becomes the first member of the 2022 Portland Sea Dogs to earn Eastern League Player of the Week honors this year.

Kavadas, meanwhile, had a monster week for Salem in its series against the Delmarva Shorebirds at Carillion Clinic Field. Over the course of six games, the left-handed hitting slugger went 9-for-17 (.529) with three doubles, four homers, 11 RBIs, 10 runs scored, nine walks, and just seven punchouts.

Selected by Boston in the 11th round of last year’s draft out of the University of Notre Dame, Kavadas has enjoyed a moderate amount of success in his first full professional season. Following a 2-for-3 performance on Sunday, the 24-year-old is now slashing a stout .279/.456/.570 (182 wRC+) to go along with 17 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, 42 RBIs, 31 runs scored, one stolen base, 54 walks, and 68 strikeouts across 56 games (241 plate appearances) for the Salem Sox.

Among qualified hitters in the Carolina League this season, Kavadas ranks 15th in batting average, first in on-base percentage, second in slugging percentage, second in OPS (1.026), first in isolated power (.291), first in walk rate (22.4%), and first in wRC+, per FanGraphs.

On the other side of the ball, Kavadas has logged 343 innings at first base this year and has otherwise served as Salem’s designated hitter. The 6-foot-1, 235 pounder out of Granger, Ind. is currently regarded by SoxProspects.com as the No. 44 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Given what he has done at the Low-A level this season, it seems like Kavadas could be on the verge of a promotion to High-A Greenville. He becomes the second member of the 2022 Salem Red Sox to earn Carolina League Player of the Week honors and joins fellow infielder Blaze Jordan by doing so.

(Picture of Pedro Castellanos: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox prospect Pedro Castellanos riding 13-game hitting streak as part of recent hot stretch with Double-A Portland

After a rough start to the 2022 season with Double-A Portland, Red Sox prospect Pedro Castellanos has turned a corner offensively during the month of May.

In Portland’s 4-2 win over the Harrisburg Senators at Hadlock Field on Sunday, Castellanos went 2-for-4 with two run-scoring hits and a strikeout out of the cleanup spot. The two-hit showing extended his hitting streak to 13 consecutive games.

Dating back to the third of May, Castellanos has slashed a stout .323/.338/.597 with five doubles, four home runs, 21 RBIs, six runs scored, two walks, and 15 strikeouts over his last 16 games and 65 trips to the plate. This comes after the left-handed hitter posted a dismal .388 OPS across 18 games in April.

Among qualified Eastern League hitters this month, Castellanos ranks 10th in hits (20), 11th in doubles, 10th in home runs, tied for first in RBIs, 11th in batting average, eighth in slugging percentage, 13th in OPS (.935), 14th in isolated power (.274), per MiLB.com’s leaderboards.

If there is one thing Castellanos could be doing more of at the plate, it would be taking ball four. The 24-year-old has walked in just 3.5% of his plate appearances this season, which is among the worst marks in the Eastern League and the primary reason why his on-base percentage has remained relatively low despite the recent hot streak.

Defensively, Castellanos has seen the majority of his playing time with the Sea Dogs this year come at first base, though he has played both corner outfield positions as well. The 6-foot-3, 224 pounder may have a limited defensive profile, but has thus far only committed two errors over 222 innings between his three positions in 2022.

Originally signed by the Red Sox for just $5,000 as an international free agent coming out of Venezuela in July 2015, Castellanos came into the season ranked by SoxProspects.com as the No. 57 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Castellanos is repeating Double-A this year, meaning he could be in line for a promotion to Triple-A Worcester before long. With that being said, Castellanos — who turns 25 in December — is in line to become a minor-league free-agent this winter, so getting the opportunity to play at the next level could prove beneficial for him in regards to his future.

In the meantime, Castellanos will look to extend his hitting streak to 14 straight games when the Sea Dogs open a six-game series against the Somerset Patriots in Portland on Tuesday morning.

(Picture of Pedro Castellanos: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Don’t forget about Red Sox prospect Pedro Castellanos

The Red Sox first base prospect who gets all these attention these days is undoubtedly Triston Casas, who some believe is the top overall prospect in Boston’s farm system.

That being said, there is another minor-league first baseman within the Sox’ ranks who is coming off an impressive season at the plate in 2021 and his name is Pedro Castellanos.

Castellanos, 24, was originally signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent out of Venezuela in 2016. He received a mere $5,000 signing bonus and debuted in the Dominican Summer League that same year.

After making it as far as High-A in 2019, Castellanos had his 2020 season taken out from under him as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There was no invite to the alternate training site to be had that summer, though he was able to make up for some lost time by taking part in fall instructs.

On the heels of that limited development window, Castellanos reported to minor-league camp the following spring and opened the 2021 campaign with Double-A Portland.

As a member of the Sea Dogs, Castellanos missed some time due to two separate stints on the injured list in June and August-September. When healthy, though, the right-handed hitter batted a stout .289/.364/.471 (128 wRC+) to go along with 14 doubles, three triples, a career-high 13 home runs, 44 RBIs, 66 runs scored, two stolen bases, 32 walks, and 63 strikeouts over 87 games and 325 plate appearances.

Upon returning from the injured list for a second time in September, Castellanos closed out his year by slashing a red-hot .375/.432/.688 (194 wRC+) over his final eight games and 37 trips to the plate.

Against left-handed pitchers, Castellanos posted an OPS of .885. Against right-handed pitchers, that OPS only dropped down to a still-respectable .822.

Among hitters in the Double-A Northeast who accrued at least 350 plate appearances last year, Castellanos ranked sixth in runs scored, fifth in batting average, sixth in on-base percentage, ninth in OPS (.835), ninth in wRC+, and fifth in strikeout rate (17.1%), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Castellanos has primarily been a first baseman throughout his pro career. With Casas needing playing time in Portland last season, though, Castellanos was moved off first base entirely.

Instead, the 6-foot-3, 244 pounder logged 509 2/3 innings in left field, eight innings in center field, and 154 innings in right field with the Sea Dogs. He recorded a total of seven outfield assists, helped turn two double plays, and registered three errors between those three spots.

Earlier in the off-season, Castellanos headed back to his home country to suit up for Cardenales de Lara of the Venezuelan Winter League. While seeing playing time at first base and both corner outfield positions, the Carora native hit .313/.361/.550 with eight homers and 21 RBIs across 38 games and 144 plate appearances.

Coming into the 2022 season, Castellanos is not regarded by publications such as Baseball America or The Athletics as one of the top prospects in the Red Sox farm system. He is, however, ranked by SoxProspects.com as the No. 57 prospect in the organization.

Per his SoxProspects.com scouting report, Castellanos is limited by his defensive profile. It states that he is a “potential average defender at first base and below-average defender in the outfield” who has “fringe to average arm strength.”

While his defense may be weighing him down at the moment, Castellanos is still relatively young and has hit at every level he’s played at in the minors — as evidenced by his .300 career batting average.

Despite being Rule 5 eligible this winter, Castellanos — who turns 25 in December — is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the 2022 season with Portland, though an early promotion to Triple-A Worcester certainly seams plausible.

2022 marks Castellanos’ seventh year with the Red Sox organization, so he is slated to become a minor-league free agent in November if he is not retained by the club in some capacity beforehand.

(Picture of Pedro Castellanos: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)