Red Sox promote relief prospect Jacob Webb to Double-A Portland

The Red Sox have promoted relief prospect Jacob Webb from High-A Greenville to Double-A Portland, per the team’s minor-league transactions log.

Webb, 23, was originally selected by Boston in the 14th round of last year’s amateur draft out of Miami University in Ohio. The Fairborn native signed with the club for $122,500 and made his professional debut in the Florida Complex League.

To begin his first full pro season, Webb broke camp with Low-A Salem earlier this spring. The right-hander posted a 2.19 ERA and 3.24 FIP to go along with 39 strikeouts to 19 walks over 18 relief appearances (24 2/3 innings) before earning a promotion to Greenville on June 14.

With the Drive, Webb pitched to a 3.72 ERA and 3.24 FIP while recording 45 strikeouts and nine walks across 24 relief outings spanning 29 innings of work. Between the two Class-A levels, he produced a 3.02 ERA (3.24 FIP) in 53 2/3 innings.

Among South Atlantic League pitchers who have thrown at least 20 innings this season, Webb ranks 15th in strikeouts per nine innings (13.97), 15th in strikeout rate (36.9%), 32nd in swinging-strike rate (15.9%), 36th in FIP, and 29th in xFIP (3.28), per FanGraphs.

Listed at a burly 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, Webb throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 94-96 mph fastball that tops out at 98 mph, an 82-84 mph slider, and an 88-90 mph changeup, according to his SoxProspects.com scout report.

Webb, who does not turn 24 until next March, will wear the No. 46 with the Sea Dogs. He becomes the second member of Boston’s 2021 draft class to make the jump to Portland this season, joining first baseman Niko Kavadas.

(Picture of Jacob Webb: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox promote pitching prospect Shane Drohan to Double-A Portland

The Red Sox have promoted pitching prospect Shane Drohan from High-A Greenville to Double-A Portland, per the club’s minor-league transactions log.

Drohan, 23, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 27 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks 10th among pitchers in the organization.

In 22 appearances (20 starts) for the Drive this season, Drohan has posted a 4.00 ERA and 4.19 FIP to go along with 136 strikeouts to 40 walks over 105 2/3 innings of work. That includes a 1.17 ERA in three outings this month.

Among qualified South Atlantic League pitchers, the left-hander ranks first in strikeouts per nine innings (11.58), fifth in walks per nine innings (3.41), first in strikeout rate (30.2%), fifth in walk rate (8.9%), first in swinging strike rate (17.2%), second in batting average against (.225), third in WHIP (1.24), fifth in ERA, sixth in FIP, and fourth in xFIP (3.90), per FanGraphs.

A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Drohan was first taken by the Phillies in the 23rd round of the 2017 draft out of Cardinal Newman High School. But he opted to honor his commitment to Florida State University rather than go pro as a teenager.

After three seasons with the Seminoles and one summer on Cape Cod, Drohan was selected by the Red Sox in the fifth and final round of the pandemic-shortened 2020 amateur draft. He signed with the club for $600,000 and made his professional with Low-A Salem last May.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Drohan throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of an 88-92 mph fastball that tops out at 94 mph, a 75-78 mph curveball, and a 78-81 mph changeup, according to his SoxProspects.com scouting report.

Drohan, who turns 24 in January, has the potential to become a back-end starter at the big-league level. He does not become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft until after the 2023 season.

(Picture of Shane Drohan: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)

Red Sox promote power-hitting prospect Nick Northcut to Double-A Portland

The Red Sox have promoted power-hitting prospect Nick Northcut from High-A Greenville to Double-A Portland, per the team’s minor-league transactions log.

Northcut, 23, has batted .223/.286/.530 with 13 doubles, 26 home runs, 58 RBIs, 43 runs scored, 21 walks, and 118 strikeouts in 77 games (322 plate appearances) with the Drive this season. The right-handed hitting infielder broke Greenville’s single-season home run record earlier this month and currently leads the organization in homers.

Among qualified South Atlantic League hitters coming into play on Tuesday, Northcut ranks first in home runs, third in RBIs, second in slugging percentage, 14th in OPS (.816), first in isolated power (.307), and 26th in wRC+ (111), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder has seen the majority of his playing time on the field this season come at either first or third base. He has logged 361 1/3 innings at the hot corner and 228 innings at first base while also making one appearance at shortstop.

Despite the impressive power numbers he has put up this year, Northcut is not regarded by any major publication as one of the top 30 or so prospects within Boston’s farm system. That lack of recognition can likely be attributed to his .286 on-base percentage, 35.4% strikeout rate, and 6.5% walk rate.

A Cincinnati-area native, Northcut was originally selected by the Red Sox in the 11th round of the 2018 amateur draft out of William Mason High School in Mason, Ohio. He forwent his commitment to Vanderbilt University by signing with Boston for $565,000.

Since making his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League, Northcut has appeared in a total of 274 minor-league games across four different minor-league levels. He will now join the Sea Dogs, who open a six-game series against the Hartford Yard Goats at Dunkin’ Donuts Park on Tuesday night.

As noted by SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield, it is possible that Northcut’s stay with the Sea Dogs is only temporary since Portland is currently thin on infield depth.

(Picture of Nick Northcut: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox promote pitching prospect Jay Groome to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have promoted pitching prospect Jay Groome from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester, per the team’s minor-league transactions log.

Groome, who turns 24 next month, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 13 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking sixth among pitchers in the organization.

In 16 appearances (14 starts) for the Sea Dogs this season, the 23-year-old left-hander posted a 3.52 ERA and 4.92 FIP to go along with 81 strikeouts to 38 walks over 76 2/3 innings of work.

Among qualified Eastern League pitchers, Groome ranks 11th in strikeout rate (24.9%), fourth in batting average against (.206), and fifth in ERA, per FanGraphs.

Originally selected by Boston with the 12th overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft out of Barnegat High School in New Jersey, Groome has endured plenty of ups-and-downs throughout his professional career. His first full season in pro ball was mired by arm injuries, ultimately resulting in him undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2018.

Upon returning from Tommy John, Groome made a handful of rehab starts to close out the 2019 campaign. Then in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the minor-league season altogether. Limited to working out at the Sox’ alternate training site in Pawtucket, Groome was later added to the club’s 40-man roster that November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

After splitting 2021 between High-A Greenville and Portland, Groome returned to the Sea Dogs’ starting rotation for the start of the 2022 season and now finds himself on the cusp of the major-leagues.

Listed at 6-foot-6 and 257 pounds, Groome throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a low-90s four-seam fastball that has topped out at 95 mph, a 76-80 mph curveball, a 79-82 mph changeup, and an 85-87 mph slider, according to his SoxProspects.com scouting report.

Groome, who will wear the No. 77 with the WooSox, becomes the latest Red Sox starting pitching prospect to make the jump from Portland to Worcester this year. The lefty joins fellow southpaws Brandon Walter and Chris Murphy as well as right-hander Brayan Bello.

(Picture of Jay Groome: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox promote pitching prospect Tyler Uberstine to High-A Greenville

The Red Sox have promoted pitching prospect Tyler Uberstine from Low-A Salem to High-A Greenville, per the team’s minor-league transactions log.

Uberstine, 23, is currently regarded by SoxProspects.com as the No. 38 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking 16th among pitchers in the organization. The Red Sox originally selected the right-hander in the 19th round of last year’s draft out of Northwestern University and signed him for $97,500.

After pitching in the MLB Draft League and rookie-level Florida Complex League last summer, Uberstine began his first full season in pro ball with Salem. In 14 starts (eight appearances) for the Red Sox, the California native posted a 4.63 ERA — but much more respectable 3.87 FIP — to go along with 66 strikeouts to 21 walks over 58 1/3 innings of work.

Among Carolina League pitchers who have thrown at least 50 innings to this point in the season, Ubserstine ranks 18th in strikeouts per nine innings (10.18), 14th in walks per nine innings (3.24), 15th in walk rate (8.4%), 18th in swinging strike rate (14%), 12th in groundball rate (49.1%), 16th in FIP, and eighth in xFIP (3.53), per FanGraphs.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, Uberstine throws from a three-quarters arm slot and works with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 91-93 mph fastball that tops out at 95 mph, a changeup, and a slider, according to his SoxProspects.com scouting report.

Uberstine becomes the latest member of Boston’s 2021 draft class to get called up to Greenville, joining the likes of Wyatt Olds, Jacob Webb, Nathan Hickey, Niko Kavadas, Tyler McDonough, and Phillip Sikes.

In order to make room on the roster for Uberstine, the Drive transferred fellow righty Chih-Jung Liu to the development list.

(Picture of Tyler Uberstine: Gary Streiffer/Flickr)

Red Sox promote top pitching prospect Chris Murphy to Triple-A Worcester

On the heels of being named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week on Monday, Red Sox pitching prospect Chris Murphy has been promoted from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester, per the team’s minor-league transactions log.

Murphy, 24, was originally selected by the Sox in the sixth round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of San Diego. The California-born left-hander is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 9 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks third among pitchers in the organization.

In 15 outings (13 starts) for the Sea Dogs this season, Murphy has posted a 2.58 ERA and 3.34 FIP with 91 strikeouts to 31 walks over 76 2/3 innings of work. Among qualified Eastern League pitchers, he ranks fourth in strikeouts per nine innings (10.68), fourth in strikeout rate (29.8%), first in batting average against (.169), second in WHIP (1.00), third in ERA, and third in FIP, per FanGraphs.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, Murphy operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 92-94 mph fastball that tops out at 96-97 mph, an 80-82 mph changeup, a 73-75 mph curveball, and an 80-84 mph slider. He has proven to be more effective against left-handed hitters compared to right-handed hitters over the course of his professional career and that has once again been the case this season.

Murphy becomes the third starting pitching prospect the Red Sox have promoted from Portland to Worcester so far in 2022, as he joins the likes of fellow southpaw Brandon Walter and hard-throwing righty Brayan Bello.

Like Walter, who is currently on the WooSox’ 7-day injured list because of a neck strain, Murphy can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this winter if he is not added to Boston’s 40-man roster by the November deadline.

With that, this promotion should give the Red Sox an ample opportunity to determine if Murphy — who does not turn 25 until next June — is indeed worthy of a 40-man roster spot. The lefty last pitched on Saturday, so he should be in line to make his Triple-A debut on Thursday or Friday, when the WooSox go up against the Rochester Red Wings on the road.

(Picture of Chris Murphy: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

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 promote hard-throwing relief prospect Franklin German to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have promoted relief prospect Franklin German from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester, per the team’s transaction log.

German, 24, has posted a 3.18 ERA and 2.21 FIP with 18 strikeouts to three walks over 11 relief appearances spanning 11 1/3 innings of work out of Portland’s bullpen this season. The right-hander’s sixth and seventh outings of the year were separated by more than two weeks (April 26 to May 13) due to a non-baseball related issue.

Among Eastern League pitchers who have accrued at least 10 innings on the mound in 2022, German ranks 15th in strikeouts per nine innings (14.29), 11th in strikeout rate (39.1%), 13th in swinging strike rate (18.6%), 21st in batting average against (.154), 11th in WHIP (0.79), and 17th in FIP, per FanGraphs.

Originally selected by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2018 amateur draft out of the University of North Florida, German was dealt to the Red Sox in the same trade that sent veteran reliever Adam Ottavino to Boston last January.

Traditionally a starting pitcher throughout his professional career to that point, German opened the 2021 campaign in Portland’s starting rotation. But he struggled to the tune of a 5.45 ERA across his first 19 appearances (18 starts) of the season before moving to the Sea Dogs’ bullpen on a full-time basis in late August.

Since then, German has found success as a reliever that can mainly be attributed to an uptick in velocity. Last year, the 6-foot-2, 195 pound righty sat in the low-to-mid 90s as a starter. Upon transitioning to the ‘pen, he began reaching 97-98 mph while topping out at 99-102 mph with his fastball.

Because of this, German has caught the attention of Alex Cora and is firmly on the Red Sox manager’s “watchlist,” according to The Athletic’s Peter Gammons.

German, who turns 25 in September, is currently regarded by SoxProspects.com as the No. 30 prospect in Boston’s farm system. In addition to his high-octane fastball, the hard-throwing hurler also works with a changeup and slider.

By being promoted to Triple-A, German will join a WooSox bullpen that includes the likes of Eduard Bazardo, Silvino Bracho, Ryan Brasier, Taylor Cole, Michael Feliz, Durbin Feltman, Geoff Hartlieb, Zack Kelly, Kaleb Ort, A.J. Politi (who was promoted last week), and Phillips Valdez.

German’s promotion comes at an interesting time when you consider the fact that he can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter. The Red Sox would need to add him to their 40-man roster by the November deadline in order to proect him, so they could be using this as an opportunity to give German an extended look at the next level before making a decision regarding his future.

(Picture of Franklin German: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox promote relief prospect A.J. Politi to Triple-A Worcester

In addition to Brayan Bello, the Red Sox are also promoting relief prospect A.J. Politi from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Politi, who turns 26 next month, began the 2022 season in Portland’s bullpen and posted a 2.03 ERA and 3.54 FIP to go along with 20 strikeouts to just three walks over 12 relief appearances spanning 13 1/3 innings of work for the Sea Dogs. The right-hander also went a perfect 4-for-4 in save opportunities.

Among Eastern League pitchers who have accrued at least 10 innings on the mound this year, Politi ranks 14th in strikeouts per nine innings (13.5), 23rd in walks per nine innings (2.03), 11th in strikeout rate (38.5%), 15th in swinging strike rate (17.9%), 25th in walk rate (5.8%), 19th in batting average against (.149), sixth in WHIP (0.75), 30th in ERA, and fifth in xFIP (2.29), per FanGraphs.

The Red Sox originally selected Politi in the 15th round of the 2018 amateur draft out of Seton Hall University. The New Jersey native signed with Boston for a modest $25,000 and has been used as both a starter and reliever throughout his professional career.

Last season, for instance, Politi made 15 starts for Portland and yielded a 7.01 ERA before moving to the bullpen on a full-time basis in September. He impressed in four outings there, made 11 appearances for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League, and really has not looked back since then.

Listed at 6-feet and 195 pounds, the 25-year-old works with four different pitches in a mid-90s fastball (his best offering), a high-80s slider, a lower-80s curveball, and a changeup. He is currently regarded by FanGraphs as the No. 46 prospect in Boston’s farm system and can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft later this winter.

If the Red Sox would like to prevent that from happening, they would need to add Politi to their 40-man roster by the November deadline. Giving the righty an extended look at the Triple-A level will surely play a role in the club’s decision when that time comes.

With the WooSox, Politi will be joining a bullpen that includes the likes of Eduard Bazardo, Silvino Bracho, Michael Feliz, Durbin Feltman, Zack Kelly, Kaleb Ort, and Phillips Valdez, among others.

In order to call up both Bello and Politi to Worcester, the Red Sox will be sending left-hander Kyle Hart and right-hander Darin Gillies down to Portland.

(Picture of A.J. Politi: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox promote top pitching prospect Brayan Bello to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have promoted top pitching prospect Brayan Bello to Triple-A Worcester, as confirmed by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. Per his Instagram story, Bello spent part of his Monday at Polar Park and will wear the No. 64 with the WooSox.

According to Boston Strong on Twitter, who first took note of Bello’s social media activity, Bello will make his Triple-A debut against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Wednesday night.

Bello, who turns 23 on Tuesday, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 1 pitching prospect (fourth overall) in Boston’s farm system and the 86th-ranked prospect in all of baseball.

In six starts for Double-A Portland this season, the hard-throwing right-hander has posted a 1.60 ERA and 3.20 FIP to go along with 42 strikeouts to 12 walks over 33 2/3 innings of work. He tossed a seven-inning no-hitter against the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field earlier this month.

Among qualified Eastern League pitchers, Bello ranks seventh in strikeout rate (32.6%), second in swinging strike rate (19.3%) first in batting average against (.137), second in WHIP (0.83), second in ERA, eighth in FIP, and fifth in xFIP (2.68), per FanGraphs.

The reigning Red Sox Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year, Bello was originally signed by Boston for a modest $28,000 coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2017. It has been quite the ascent for the Samana native since then.

Listed at a lanky 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Bello operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a high-90s fastball that tops out at 99-100 mph, an 85-89 mph changeup, and an 84-88 mph slider.

Since he is already on the Boston’s 40-man roster, Bello could very well make his big-league debut later this season. For the time being, though, the 22-year-old will join a talented WooSox rotation that consists of other high-caliber prospects like Connor Seabold, Josh Winckowski, and Kutter Crawford.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)