Former Red Sox prospect Jay Groome named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week; left-hander has posted 3.48 ERA since being traded to Padres

Former Red Sox pitching prospect Jay Groome was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for the week of September 12-18 on Monday.

In his last start for Triple-A El Paso, Groome scattered three hits and zero walks to go along with six strikeouts across six scoreless innings in a 13-0 win over the Round Rock Express.

Since joining the Chihuahuas’ rotation last month, Groome has posted a 3.48 ERA and 4.52 FIP with 36 strikeouts to 18 walks over eight starts spanning 41 1/3 innings of work. Opposing batters are hitting .277 with a .777 OPS off the left-hander.

A former first-round selection of the Red Sox in 2016, Groome was dealt to the Padres in exchange for veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer and fellow prospects Max Ferguson and Corey Rosier at the trade deadline.

At that time, Groome was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 13 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The 24-year-old southpaw is now ranked by the publication as the No. 10 prospect in San Diego’s farm system, which ranks sixth among pitchers in the organization.

Listed at 6-foot-6 and 262 pounds, Groome operates with a 90-94 mph fastball that touches 95-96 mph, a 76-80 mph curveball, a 79-82 mph changeup, and an 85-87 mph slider. The New Jersey native is already on the Padres’ 40-man roster and will have just one minor-league option remaining after this season.

Taking that into account, MLB Pipeline notes that the Padres could elect to use Groome out of the bullpen if they no longer believe he has starter potential.

(Picture of Jay Groome: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Red Sox’ Wikelman Gonzalez named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week

Red Sox pitching prospect Wikelman Gonzalez has been named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for the week of August 8-14, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.

Gonzalez, 20, tossed six scoreless, no-hit innings in his last start for Low-A Salem in their contest against the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers on Saturday. The right-hander issued just one walk and plunked one batter to go along with five strikeouts on 81 pitches (49 strikes).

In 21 starts for Salem this season, Gonzalez has posted a 4.54 ERA — but much more respectable 3.83 FIP — with 98 strikeouts to 48 walks over 81 1/3 innings of work. That includes a 1.69 ERA (2.76 FIP) in the month of August.

Among Carolina League pitchers who have thrown at least 80 innings to this point in the year, Gonzalez ranks third in strikeouts per nine innings (10.84), fourth in strikeout rate (27.4%), second in batting average against (.209), and seventh in FIP, per FanGraphs.

While those numbers are certainly encouraging, Gonzalez has also produced the eighth-highest xFIP (4.49), the second-highest walk rate (13.4%), and the highest line-drive rate (28.3%) in the Carolina League when using those same parameters.

The Red Sox originally signed Gonzalez for $250,000 as an international free-agent coming out of Venezuela in July 2018. The Maracay native is now regarded by Baseball America as the No. 14 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks sixth among pitchers in the organization.

Since making his professional debut in June 2019, Gonzalez has pitched at three different levels. He began the 2021 campaign in the Florida Complex League before earning a promotion to Salem last August.

According to his Baseball America scouting report, the 6-foot, 170-pound hurler “features an easy, compact delivery” and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 93-94 mph fastball that tops out at 97 mph, an 87-89 mph changeup, and a 78-80 mph curveball.

Gonzalez, who does not turn 21 until next March, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this winter. The Red Sox, of course, would need to add the righty to their 40-man roster by the November deadline in order to prevent that from happening.

Given his age and lack of experience in the upper-minors, though, it is no sure thing that another club would scoop up Gonzalez in December’s Rule 5 Draft if he were to be left unprotected by the Sox.

That club would then need to carry Gonzalez on their major-league roster for the entirety of the 2023 season or would otherwise have to offer him back to Boston if he could not stick with them.

In the meantime, one would have to think Gonzalez could be on the verge of a promotion to High-A Greenville when taking into consideration how he has pitched as of late.

(Picture of Wikelman Gonzalez: Gary Streiffer/Flickr)

Red Sox’ Luis De La Rosa named Florida Complex League Pitcher of the Week

Red Sox pitching prospect Luis De La Rosa has been named the Florida Complex League Pitcher of the Week for the week of June 27 – July 3, Minor League Baseball announced on Tuesday.

In two starts against the FCL Braves and FCL Twins at JetBlue Park on June 27 and July 2, De La Rosa did not allow a run over 8 1/3 combined innings of work. The right-hander struck out 15 of the 34 batters he faced while issuing two hits, four walks, and hitting three.

On the 2022 season as a whole, De La Rosa has posted a 1.26 ERA and 3.72 FIP to go along with 20 strikeouts to nine walks across four appearances (three starts) spanning 14 1/3 innings for the Sox’ rookie-level affiliate.

Among 100 FCL pitchers who have accrued at least 10 innings on the mound this year, De La Rosa ranks 20th in strikeouts per nine innings (12.56), 13th in strikeout rate (33.3%), 24th in swinging strike rate (34.6%), fifth in batting average against (.104), 24th in WHIP (0.98), and 12th in ERA, per FanGraphs.

De La Rosa, who turns 20 on Wednesday, was one of three players to be named later the Red Sox acquired from both the Mets and Royals as part of the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City last February.

Originally signed by the Royals as an international free agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2018, De La Rosa did not make his Red Sox organizational debut until June 29 of last season. Since then, the Santo Domingo native owns a 2.41 ERA in 12 outings (eight starts) in the Florida Complex League.

While not regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in Boston’s farm system, De La Rosa does operate with a four-pitch mix that consists of an 89-91 mph fastball that tops out in the low-90s, a 77-79 mph curveball, an 83-86 mph changeup, and a slider, per his scouting report.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds with more room to grow, De La Rosa can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career later this winter. The odds of him being left unprotected and scooped up by another team are likely slim, but it should be interesting to see if the righty can work his way to Low-A Salem before season’s end.

(Picture of Luis De La Rosa: Kelly O’Connor/

Red Sox’ Josh Winckowski named International League Pitcher of the Week

Red Sox pitching prospect Josh Winckowski has been named International League Pitcher of the Week for the week of June 6-12, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.

Winckowski’s latest start for Triple-A Worcester came in the nightcap of a day-night doubleheader against the Buffalo Bisons at Sahlen Field last Wednesday. The right-hander scattered just three hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over seven scoreless and dominant innings to lead the WooSox to a 9-0 win.

Since doubleheaders in the minor-leagues consist of two seven-inning contests, it is considered to be Winckowski’s first complete game of the season. The 23-year-old needed all of 74 pitches (51 strikes) to retire 19 of the 23 batters he faced.

In nine starts with Worcester this year, Winckowski has posted a 3.37 ERA and 2.68 FIP with 43 strikeouts to eight walks over 42 2/3 innings of work. Among International League pitchers who have already surpassed the 40-inning plateau, the righty ranks 14th in strikeouts per nine innings (9.07), sixth in walks per nine innings (1.69), 11th in strikeout rate (25.7%), seventh in walk rate (4.8%), 11th in swinging strike rate (12.7%), eighth in batting average against (.209), fourth in WHIP (0.96), 10th in ERA, second in FIP, and third in xFIP (3.25), per FanGraphs.

Winckowski, who turns 24 in a little over two weeks, made his major-league debut for the Red Sox at Fenway Park last month against the Orioles. While serving as the 27th man in a doubleheader, he gave up four runs in three innings in the second game of the twin bill on May 28. He was optioned back to Worcester shortly thereafter.

The Red Sox are currently down two starters after placing both Garrett Whitlock (right hip inflammation) and Nathan Eovaldi (low back inflammation) on the injured list over the weekend.

Nick Pivetta is slated to start Tuesday’s series opener against the Athletics back in Boston. But the Sox have yet to announce who will start the final two games of the three-game set.

As noted by’s Chris Hatfield, Winckowski appears to be a prime candidate to come up for one of those two games since the WooSox pushed his next start back to Thursday.

Winckowski would be on extended rest if he were to pitch for the Red Sox at some point this week, so he should probably be viewed as the top choice right now.

(Picture of Josh Winckowski: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

Red Sox’ Kyle Hart, Brayan Bello earn International League, Eastern League Pitcher of the Week honors

A pair of Red Sox minor-league pitchers have received weekly honors from the respective leagues they pitch in. On Monday, Triple-A Worcester left-hander Kyle Hart was named the International League’s Pitcher of the Week while Double-A Portland right-hander Brayan Bello was named the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Week.

Hart made his second start and seventh overall appearance of the season for Worcester on the road against the Toledo Mud Hens on Saturday. The lefty did not give up a hit and scattered three walks to go along with a season-high eight strikeouts over six scoreless innings of work. 53 of the 81 pitches he threw went for strikes.

With the WooSox this year, Hart — who pitched in the majors in 2020 — has posted a 5.88 ERA and 5.83 FIP with 26 strikeouts to 15 walks across his seven outings that span a total of 26 innings pitched. The 29-year-old southpaw has put up these numbers while holding opposing left-handed hitters to a .237/.268/.500 slash line and opposing right-handed hitters to a .258/.390/.436 slash line against.

Bello, on the other hand, is four days removed from tossing a seven-inning no hitter against the Reading Fightin Phils in the night cap of a doubleheader at Hadlock Field on May 5.

Making his fifth start of the season for the Sea Dogs this past Thursday, Bello allowed one unearned run to score on three walks and five strikeouts in the process of recording the fifth no-hitter in team history. He finished the night having thrown 96 pitches — 55 of which went for strikes.

Through his first five starts of 2022, Bello has produced a 1.95 ERA and 3.37 FIP with 37 strikeouts to 11 walks over 27 2/3 innings pitched. Among qualified Eastern League pitchers, the Dominican-born righty ranks sixth in strikeout rate (34.3%), second in swinging strike rate (20.3%), 24th in walk rate (10.2%), third in batting average against (.134), fifth in WHIP (0.87), fifth in ERA, 10th in FIP, and fourth in xFIP (2.62), per FanGraphs.

Bello, who turns 23 next week, is the reigning Red Sox Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Equipped with a high-octane fastball, the 6-foot-1, 170 pound hurler is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks first among pitchers in the organization.

(Picture of Kyle Hart: Kelly O’Connor/