Red Sox promote infield prospect Christian Koss to Triple-A Worcester

To accommodate the addition of shortstop Marcelo Mayer to Double-A Portland’s roster, the Red Sox have promoted fellow infield prospect Christian Koss to Triple-A Worcester, per the club’s minor-league transactions log.

Koss, 25, batted .224/.283/.336 with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs, 10 RBIs, 18 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 10 walks, and 33 strikeouts in 38 games (147 plate appearances) for the Sea Dogs this season.

Considering how much better he did in Portland last year (.739 OPS in 125 games), those numbers may seem underwhelming on a broader scope. Still, Koss has been more productive at the plate as of late. Dating back to May 21, for instance, the right-handed hitter has gone 7-for-23 (.304) with two doubles, one homer, three RBIs, five runs scored, two stolen bases, zero walks, and seven strikeouts over his last seven games. That homer came as part of a two-hit effort in Sunday’s 10-8 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Hadlock Field.

On the other side of the ball, Koss has seen the majority of his playing time this season come at shortstop, where he has committed just one error in 281 1/3 innings. The versatile 6-foot-1, 182-pounder has also made two starts at second base, one start at third base, and one start in left field.

“He loves to play the game,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Koss back in March. “He’s made some great plays at shortstop, very athletic, versatile. He’s a good one.”

A former 12th-round draft selection of the Rockies coming out of UC Irvine in 2019, Koss was dealt to the Red Sox for left-hander Yoan Aybar in December 2020. The Riverside, Calif. native is currently regarded by as the No. 34 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

With the WooSox, Koss is slated to join a crowded infield mix that already includes Bobby Dalbec, Ryan Fitzgerald, Niko Goodrum, David Hamilton, and Nick Sogard. It is worth mentioning that he can once again become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter if he is not added to the Sox’ 40-man roster by the protection deadline in November.

(Picture of Christian Koss: Kelly O’Connor/


Red Sox take Stanford infielder Tommy Troy with top pick in Keith Law’s first 2023 mock draft

In his first mock draft of the year for The Athletic, Keith Law has the Red Sox taking Stanford shortstop Tommy Troy with the 14th overall pick in the 2023 amateur draft.

“I think this is pretty open, with any of the guys I have just ahead of Boston’s pick also possibilities, as well as [Matt] Shaw,” Law wrote on Wednesday. “I could see the Red Sox being in on Kevin McGonigle given their predilection for high school hitters with potential plus hit tools with their first picks in 2020 (Nick Yorke) and 2022 (Mikey Romero).”

Troy came in as the No. 16 draft-eligible prospect in Law’s latest rankings, which were released earlier this month. Baseball America also has the 21-year-old infielder at No. 16 in its rankings while MLB Pipeline places him 20th on its most updated list.

A right-handed hitting junior, Troy batted a stout .404/.485/.720 with 14 doubles, four triples, 13 home runs, 43 RBIs, 61 runs scored, 16 stolen bases, 26 walks, and 29 strikeouts in 45 games (227 plate appearances) for Stanford this season. On the heels of such a productive campaign, the Los Gatos, Calif. native was named the Pac-12 batting champion on Tuesday.

Defensively, Troy has proven to be quite versatile over the course of his amateur career. With the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League last summer, for instance, the 5-foot-10, 197-pounder saw playing time at both shortstop and second base. He also has past experience in the outfield, though he did play a lot of third base for the Cardinal this spring.

“He’s a plus runner who has played all three skill positions on the infield, but I think someone has to send him out as a shortstop and let him prove he can’t stay there,” Law wrote of Troy’s defensive capabilities. “If he’s not a shortstop, he has a harder path to everyday play, so giving him that chance is key to creating some upside.”

Per his MLB Pipeline scouting report, “Troy’s standout tool is his ability to make consistent, hard contact from the right side of the plate. He has impressive bat-to-ball skills and rarely strikes out or chases out of the zone, showing excellent pitch recognition, though there are some moving parts of his swing. There’s enough extra-base pop in there for there not to be concerns about impact at the next level and he could have average power in the future. He’s answered some concerns about his approach and lack of walks by being more selective in 2023.”

Troy, who does not turn 22 until next January, still has some baseball left to play before preparing for the draft. Stanford, which earned the top seed in its conference, opened Pac-12 tournament play against California on Wednesday night. DraftKings Sportsbook currently has the Cardinal with the fifth-best odds to win the 2023 College World Series at +1500.

The Red Sox landed the 14th overall pick in this year’s draft in the first-ever MLB Draft Lottery back in December. Boston has not used a first-round selection on a college position player since taking Andrew Benintendi out of Arkansas in 2015.

Back then, the 14th overall pick came with an attached slot value of $2,482,400. This year, the pick is valued at $4,663,100, which represents approximately 45.3 percent of the Red Sox’ $10,295,100 bonus pool.

The 2023 MLB Draft gets underway in Seattle on July 9, or six weeks from this coming Sunday. It will consist of 20 rounds and run through the final day of All-Star festivities at T-Mobile Park.

(Picture of Tommy Troy: AP Photo/John Hefti)

Red Sox promote prospects Nathan Hickey, Chase Meidroth to Double-A Portland

The Red Sox have promoted catching prospect Nathan Hickey and infield prospect Chase Meidroth from High-A Greenville to Double-A Portland, per the club’s minor-league transactions log.

Hickey, 23, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 15 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks first among catchers in the organization. The Red Sox originally selected the Florida product in the fifth round of the 2021 amateur draft and signed him for exactly $1 million.

After closing out his first full professional season with the Drive, Hickey returned to Greenville for the start of the 2023 campaign. Leading up to Monday’s promotion, the left-handed hitter was batting a stout .294/.402/.588 with six doubles, one triple, four home runs, nine RBIs, 13 runs scored, 12 walks, and 20 strikeouts in his first 18 games (82 plate appearances) of the year.

For as impressive as those numbers may be, Hickey has been struggling on the other side of the ball. Defensively, the 5-foot-11, 210-pound backstop logged 146 innings behind the plate for Greenville. He allowed three passed balls and was 0-for-37 when it came to throwing out base stealers, though that might not have been all on him.

To that end, as noted by’s Chris Hatfield, Hickey could benefit from this promotion since Sea Dogs manager Chad Epperson previously served as Boston’s catching coordinator for 12 season. With Elih Marrero on the injured list and Matt Donlan on the development list, Hickey will form a catching tandem in Portland with fellow SEC product Stephen Scott for the time being.

Meidroth, meanwhile, is ranked by Baseball America as the No. 27 prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system. The 21-year-old was taken by Boston in the fourth round of last summer’s draft out of San Diego. He signed with the club for $272,500.

After showing signs of promise between the Florida Complex League and Low-A Salem in his pro debut, Meidroth broke camp with Greenville this spring. In 20 games with the Drive, the stocky right-handed hitter batted .338/.495/.459 with three doubles, two home runs, 14 RBIs, 19 runs scored, four stolen bases, 21 walks, and 20 strikeouts across 97 trips to the plate.

Defensively, Meidroth has seen the majority of his playing time come at either second or third base. While in Greenville, the 5-foot-9, 170 pounder logged 92 innings at second and 73 innings at third and committed a total of two errors in 51 chances.

Meidroth, who turns 22 in July, is now slated to join a Sea Dogs infield mix that includes Alex Binelas, Niko Kavadas, Christian Koss, Matthew Lugo, Ceddanne Rafaela, and Nick Yorke. It should be interesting to see how he adjusts to more advanced competition at the Double-A level.

Other moves:

In addition to promoting Hickey and Meidroth to Portland, the Red Sox made several other minor-league roster moves. Infielder Edwin Diaz was promoted from Portland to Triple-A Worcester and catcher Ronaldo Rosario was promoted from Salem to Greenville.

Furthermore, catcher Enderso Lira was added to Salem’s roster from extended spring training while right-hander Ryan Zeferjahn was activated from Portland’s injured list. Like Donlan, left-hander Sylar Arias was transferred to the Sea Dogs’ development list.

(Picture of Nathan Hickey: Kelly O’Connor/

Top Red Sox prospect Marcelo Mayer earns South Atlantic League Player of the Week honors

Top Red Sox prospect Marcelo Mayer has been named the South Atlantic League Player of the Week for the week of May 1-7, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.

Mayer went 16-for-31 (.516) at the plate with six doubles, three home runs, 12 RBIs, eight runs scored, one stolen base, zero walks, and four strikeouts in all six of High-A Greenville’s games on the road against the Asheville Tourists last week.

After going 2-for-5 with a pair of singles in Tuesday’s series opener at McCormick Field, Mayer finished a triple shy of the cycle as part of a four-hit effort on Wednesday. The left-handed hitting shortstop then had one hit on Thursday, two hits on Friday and three hits on Saturday before closing out the weekend with another four-hit performance on Sunday afternoon.

As noted by’s Chris Hatfield, McCormick Field is considered to be one of the more hitter-friendly ballparks in all of Minor League Baseball given its favorable dimensions. That being said, it was nonetheless an impressive week of work for Mayer.

Though his first full season in Greenville got off to a slow start, Mayer has picked things up as of late. He is now batting a stout .337/.414/.582 (161 wRC+) with 10 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 23 RBIs, 17 runs scored, four stolen bases, 13 walks, and 24 strikeouts over 23 games (111 plate appearances) with the Drive in 2023.

Among qualified South Atlantic League hitters, Mayer ranks eighth in batting average, 14th in on-base percentage, 10th in slugging percentage, ninth in OPS (.996), 17th in isolated power (.245), 23rd in strikeout rate (21.6 percent), and ninth in wRC+ (161), per FanGraphs.

On the other side of the ball, Mayer has unsurprisingly seen all of his playing time on the field to this point in the season come at shortstop. The 6-foot-2, 188-pounder has logged 193 innings at short thus far and has committed six errors in 72 defensive chances.

Mayer, 20, is regarded by most publications as the No. 1 prospect in Boston’s farm system. As far as top-100 rankings are concerned, Baseball America has him at No. 13 while MLB Pipeline pegs him as the seventh-best prospect in the sport.

A native of Chula Vista, Calif., Mayer was originally selected by the Red Sox with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 amateur draft out of Eastlake High School. Though he grew up a Yankees fan, Mayer forwent his commitment to Southern California and signed with Boston for a lucrative $6.664 million that July

As the Sox’ highest-selected player since 1967, Mayer entered the professional ranks with plenty of hype surrounding him. In a relatively small sample size of 140 minor-league games between the Florida Complex League, Low-A Salem, and Greenville, Mayer has shown why he is worthy of such attention.

Mayer, who does not turn 21 until December, is bilingual and has shown leadership qualities in the clubhouse. He has the ability to connect with both English- and Spanish-speaking teammates on and off the field, which only adds to his value within the organization.

As the Drive prepare to open a 12-game homestand at Fluor Field on Tuesday, more people have begun to wonder when Mayer will make the jump from Greenville to Double-A Portland. For Mayer himself, he is focused on the present as well as the challenge at hand.

“For me, I’m going out there and playing and I’m being where my feet are,” Mayer recently told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. “I’m not really going to be thinking about Fenway when I’m in Portland. If I’m in Portland, I’m thinking about being in Portland.

“Obviously, my goal is to be a big leaguer. I want to be there as soon as possible,” he added. “There’s a lot of great players in this organization. So it’s not as easy as just saying, ‘Oh, I want to be in the big-leagues this year.’ But I’m really excited. I worked my tail off in the offseason. I’m super excited for this season.”

Liu named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week

After tossing a seven-inning no hitter in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Akron RubberDucks on Friday, Portland Sea Dogs right-hander C.J. Liu was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week.

Liu, 24, becomes the second Sea Dogs pitcher to earn the honor this season, joining lefty Shane Drohan. You can read more about Liu’s stellar outing — and his 2023 campaign as a whole — by clicking here.

(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Speedy Red Sox outfield prospect Corey Rosier off to strong start with Double-A Portland

Corey Rosier has gotten his first full season as a member of the Red Sox organization off to a promising start.

The 23-year-old outfield prospect is coming off a month of April in which he batted a stout .310/.344/.466 with four doubles, one triple, one home run, eight RBIs, nine runs scored, 10 stolen bases, three walks, and 14 strikeouts in his first 17 games (58 plate appearances) with Double-A Portland.

On the road against the Erie SeaWolves last week, the left-handed hitting Rosier registered two multi-hit games in five attempts and clubbed his first homer of the year for the Sea Dogs, who took the final five games of the six-game series to improve to improve to an Eastern League-leading 16-5 on the season.

Among 92 qualified Eastern League hitters coming into play on Tuesday, Rosier currently ranks seventh in batting average, 19th in slugging percentage, 23rd in OPS (.810), first in stolen bases, second in speed score (9.3), and 22nd in wRC+ (128), per FanGraphs.

While the offensive production is undoubtedly encouraging, Rosier has posted suboptimal strikeout and walk rates of 23 and 4.9 percent, respectively. Those two factors have hindered his ability to get on base on a more-frequent basis, which subsequently allows him to pose even more of a threat on the basepaths.

Defensively, Rosier has past experience at all three outfield spots but has seen all of his playing time to this point in the season come in the corners. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder has logged 112 innings in right and 26 innings in left. He has only committed one error between the two positions, though he has yet to record an outfield assist.

The Red Sox acquired Rosier and minor-league infielder Max Ferguson from the Padres ahead of last year’s trade deadline. The deal also sent veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer to Boston and pitching prospect Jay Groome to San Diego. Rosier closed out the 2022 season with High-A Greenville and struggled to a .163/.272/.275 slash line in 23 games (92 plate appearances) with the Drive.

After a full winter and spring with the Red Sox, though, it appears that Rosier has begun to settle in and get more comfortable with his new surroundings. That is understandable given the fact that the Maryland native has already been traded twice since being selected by the Mariners in the 12th round of the 2021 amateur draft out of UNC Greensboro.

A little more than four months after signing with the Mariners for $125,000 that July, Rosier was traded to the Padres along with left-hander Ray Kerr in exchange for infielder Adam Frazier. The Friars then dealt him, Ferguson, and Hosmer to the Red Sox for Groome the following August.

While some young players may be slighted by having to change organizations multiple times early on into their careers, Rosier actually takes pride in it. He explained as much in an over-the-phone conversation with’s Christopher Smith last month.

“I think it’s definitely cool to know I’m sought after and people see me fitting into their system somewhere,” Rosier said. “So that’s cool to know I’ve been a part of two big-league trades. So that’s the way I try to view it. Coming over in the middle of the season last year, it was a big transition. … But I think going through spring training with the Sox, getting more acclimated with the staff, getting comfortable, I think that’s really played a part in the early success that I’ve had in a small sample size.”

At present, Rosier — who does not turn 24 until September — is not regarded by any major publication as one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system. That could soon change if he carries over the success he enjoyed in April into the month of May.

(Picture of Corey Rosier: Kelly O’Connor/

Red Sox outfield prospect hits first home run of season for Low-A Salem

Red Sox outfield prospect Miguel Bleis hit his first home run of the season for Low-A Salem on Tuesday afternoon.

It came in the eighth inning of Salem’s 5-0 road win over Delmarva at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. With no outs and nobody on, Bleis led off the top half of the frame by taking Shorebirds reliever Edgar Portes deep to left field for his first big fly of the year.

That was Bleis’ lone hit of the day, as Salem’s starting designated hitter went 1-for-4 with one walk and two strikeouts. Following Tuesday’s performance, the right-handed hitting Bleis is now batting .277/.324/.385 with two doubles, one triple, the one homer, eight RBIs, 13 runs scored, four walks, and 20 strikeouts in 15 games (71 plate appearances) with the Red Sox. He is also 5-for-5 on stolen base attempts.

On the other side of the ball, Tuesday marked Bleis’ fourth start of the year at designated hitter. The 6-foot, 170-pounder has also logged 44 innings in center and 52 innings in right field for Salem. He has yet to commit an error at either position and has registered two outfield assists (both in center) thus far.

Bleis, 19, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in Boston’s farm system and the No. 81 prospect in all of baseball. The Dominican Republic native originally signed with the Red Sox for $1.5 million as an international free agent coming out of San Pedro de Macoris in January 2021.

With only 91 games of pro ball (and just 15 for a full-season affiliate) under his belt, Bleis has already been tabbed by publications such as MLB Pipeline as the top international prospect Boston has had since Rafael Devers. SoxProspects, on the other hand, identifies Bleis as having “the highest upside of any Latin American prospect in the system.”

Considering the fact that he only turned 19 in March, the Red Sox will likely exhibit patience when it comes to Bleis’ development path. In other words, it would not be all that surprising if Bleis spent the entirety of the 2023 campaign with Salem as opposed to him making the jump to High-A Greenville at some point this summer.

Rogers impresses in latest start

Dalton Rogers made his third start of the season for Salem on Tuesday. The 22-year-old left-hander allowed just one hit and two walks to go along with eight strikeouts over five scoreless innings of work. Of the 90 pitches he threw, 54 went for strikes.

Though he did not factor into Tuesday’s decision, Rogers did lower his ERA on the year down to 2.79 across 9 2/3 innings pitched. The Southern Mississippi product was selected by the Red Sox with the 99th overall pick in last year’s amateur draft. He signed with the club for $447,500 and is currently ranked by SoxProspects as the No. 42 prospect in the organization.

(Picture of Miguel Bleis: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox reinstate Yu Chang from paternity list, option Enmanuel Valdez to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have reinstated infielder Yu Chang from the paternity leave list, the club announced prior to Thursday’s series finale against the Twins at Fenway Park. In order to make room for Chang on the active roster, infielder/outfielder Enmanuel Valdez was optioned to Triple-A Worcester.

Chang returns from the paternity list after spending less than one full day on it. The 27-year-old could not make it home in time to be with his wife, Ling, for the birth of their second child in Taiwan. And so he remained in Boston to attend to her via FaceTime.

In 12 games with the Red Sox this season, the right-handed hitting Chang has gone just 2-for-26 (.077) at the plate with one home run, four RBIs, two runs scored, one walk, and nine strikeouts. Both of those hits and all four of those RBIs came in last Saturday’s 9-7 win over the Angels.

Chang will be starting at shortstop and batting ninth for Boston in Thursday’s series finale against Minnesota (first pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time). The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder has logged 50 innings at the position thus far and has been worth one out above average, per Baseball Savant.

Valdez, meanwhile, made his major-league debut after getting called up for the first time in place of Chang on Wednesday night. Batting ninth and starting at second base, the 24-year-old went 2-for-4 with a pair of hard-hit opposite-field singles and a strikeout. He also committed a fielding error by letting a shallow fly ball fall in the outfield in the fifth inning of a 10-4 loss.

This probably won’t be the last we see of Valdez in Boston this season, but he will nonetheless return to Worcester for the time being. In his first 11 games with the WooSox this year, the left-handed hitting Valdez has batted .179 (7-for-39) with three doubles, one home run, six RBIs, three runs scored, one stolen base, six walks, and 15 strikeouts in 45 plate appearances while seeing all of his playing time come at second base.

Acquired from the Astros alongside outfield prospect Wilyer Abreu in last Augusts’s Christian Vazquez trade, Valdez — a Dominican Republic native — is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 19 prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system.

(Picture of Yu Chang: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox call up infield prospect Enmanuel Valdez from Triple-A Worcester, place Yu Chang on paternity list

The Red Sox have called up infield prospect Enmanuel Valdez from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced prior to Wednesday’s contest against the Twins. In order to make room for Valdez on the active roster, fellow infielder Yu Chang was placed on the paternity leave list.

Valdez, 24, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 19 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox originally acquired Valdez alongside outfield prospect Wilyer Abreu from the Astros for catcher Christian Vazquez last August.

After closing out the 2022 season with Worcester, Valdez was added to the Sox’ 40-man roster in November in order to avoid reaching minor-league free agency and becoming eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. He showed flashes of his potential in his first spring training camp with Boston by clubbing two home runs and posting a .389 on-base percentage in Grapefruit League games.

“He can hit,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Valdez back in February. “This kid, he can hit. He controls the strike zone. He can hit. So we’ll try to help him defensively. More comfortable at second than other places. Both of them, Abreu and Valdez, they control the strike zone. They do damage in the strike zone. I’m excited to see them.”

To begin his first full season in the Red Sox organization, Valdez has not gotten off to the best of starts offensively. In his first 11 games with the WooSox this year, the left-handed hitter has batted just .179 (7-for-39) with three doubles, one home run, six RBIs, three runs scored, one stolen base, six walks, and 15 strikeouts in 45 plate appearances.

Despite the slow start at the plate, Valdez did come through with three clutch hits (a solo homer, a game-tying double, and a walk-off single) in a 6-5 win over the Columbus Clippers at Polar Park this past Saturday. For his career at the Triple-A level, the Dominican Republic native is a lifetime .256/.323/.472 hitter with 18 home runs and 68 RBIs in 93 total games spanning 412 trips to the plate.

Defensively, Valdez has proven to be quite versatile since first signing with the Astros for $450,000 as an international free agent coming out of San Juan de la Maguana in July 2015. So far this season, the 5-foot-8, 191-pounder has seen all of his playing time come at second base. With the WooSox last year, though, he also logged 24 innings at third base and 25 innings in left field.

Valdez, who does not turn 25 until December, is slated to become the second member of the 2023 Red Sox to make their major-league debut this season, joining Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida. With that being said, Valdez’s first stint as a big-leaguer may not last too long.

That being the case because, according to’s Christopher Smith, the Red Sox promoted Valdez “with the idea it might be for only a short period of time” since he is only replacing Chang while his counterpart is out on paternity leave. Chang and his wife, Ling, are expecting the birth of their second child soon.

Regardless of the circumstances, Valdez’s first call-up comes at a fitting time since Vazquez is in town with the Twins. As he prepares to make his big-league debut on Wednesday night, Valdez will be batting ninth and starting at second base for the Red Sox.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN+ and MLB Network.

(Picture of Enmanuel Valdez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

David Hamilton identified by MLB Pipeline as fastest prospect in Red Sox farm system

Infielder David Hamilton has unsurprisingly been identified by MLB Pipeline as the fastest prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system heading into the 2023 season.

Hamilton, 25, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 29 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox originally acquired the speedster from the Brewers with infield prospect Alex Binelas and outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. in the December 2021 trade that sent outfielder Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee.

After receiving his first invite to big-league spring training last year, Hamilton spent the entirety of the 2022 campaign with Double-A Portland. To go along with a franchise-record 70 stolen bases, the left-handed hitter batted .251/.338/.402 with 16 doubles, nine triples, 12 home runs, 42 RBIs, 81 runs scored, 56 walks, and 119 strikeouts in 119 games (531 plate appearances) for the Sea Dogs.

Hamilton ended his season on a strong note by posting a 1.029 OPS in the month of September. Shortly after being named the 2022 Red Sox Minor League Baserunner of the Year, the Texas product was somewhat surprisingly added to Boston’s 40-man roster in November in order to receive protection from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.

With bigger bases, pitch clocks, shift restrictions, and pickoff limits on the horizon, the Red Sox prioritized speed and elected to protect Hamilton as opposed to one of their talented pitching prospects (such as Thad Ward, A.J. Politi, and Noah Song), who were later scooped up by the Nationals, Orioles, and Phillies, respectively.

Hamilton was in major-league camp again this spring and went 7-for-24 (.292) with one double, four RBIs, three runs scored, five stolen bases, three walks, and nine strikeouts in 13 Grapefruit League games before being optioned to Triple-A Worcester on March 13.

Right around that same time, Hamilton sat down for a one-on-one interview with’s Ian Browne in which he discussed his speed, the new rules coming to Major League Baseball, and what he wants to improve on, among other things.

When asked if the size of the bases increasing is a good thing for players such as himself, Hamilton said: “The bases by themselves, no. But I think the pitch clock, the disengagements, the bases, all that plays into it.”

When asked about what type of things he is working on to maximize his offensive potential, Hamilton said: “I’m just trying to hit more line drives, trying to stay inside the ball a little bit more and put the ball in play. I’m a fast guy, so I put pressure on the defense as soon as I’m on base.”

As a follow-up to that question, Hamilton was also asked about what a good season would look like for him this year.

“If I can just hit line drives, put more pressure on the defense, play good defense, take away runs and score runs,” said Hamilton, “that’s my game right there.”

Speaking of defense, Hamilton saw playing time at three different positions with the Sea Dogs last year. The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder logged 543 2/3 innings at second base, 460 1/3 innings at shortstop, and 18 innings in center field for the first time in his professional career.

“I’ve always played short growing up, so I’m comfortable there,” Hamilton told Browne when asked about his versatility. “I like second [base]. I’ve played center. Wherever they put me, I can play.”

Hamilton, who does not turn 26 until September, is expected to open the 2023 season with the WooSox. Given the fact that he possesses 70-grade speed (using the 20-80 scouting scale) and is already on the 40-man roster, he is in position to make his major-league debut, potentially as a speed threat off the bench, at some point this year.

(Picture of David Hamilton: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox prospect Nick Yorke makes fantastic diving catch down right field line

Upon Red Sox manager Alex Cora’s request, Nick Yorke made his first start of the spring in Thursday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Pirates at LECOM Park.

Yorke made the trip from Fort Myers to Bradenton as a minor-league extra after making his spring debut as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to the Orioles in Sarasota. He did not receive an at-bat in that game.

“I wanted to see him today,” Cora said of Yorke when speaking with reporters (including’s Christopher Smith) before first pitch on Thursday. “I don’t usually request players. I haven’t seen him in a while. He was there the other day, I was like, ‘Hey, bring him over here.'”

Serving as Boston’s starting second baseman and No. 9 hitter, Yorke put his athleticism on full display with one out in the bottom of the third inning. With Bryan Reynolds already at first base, Red Sox starter Josh Winckowski got Carlos Santana to lift a 213-foot flyball to right field.

Since right fielder Daniel Palka was well out of range, Yorke turned on the jets and covered 85 feet in a matter of seconds before sprawling out and making a fantastic diving catch to rob Santana of a base hit. He then quickly gathered himself and made an accurate throw to Triston Casas from his knees to double off Reynolds — who was off on contact — at first base.

“It was just a little popup over my head,” Yorke said (via’s Ian Browne) following Boston’s 7-4 win over Pittsburgh. “I saw Palka was out deep so it was either going to drop or I was going to catch it — so I went out and caught it. There was a runner on first and he was gone. It was going to drop or I’m going to lay out for it. Once I laid out for it, I reached out and I thought I had a chance on it and it found the mitt.”

In addition to making that diving grab, Yorke went 1-for-3 with a fifth-inning single before being replaced at second base by Eddinson Paulino in the middle of the seventh.

The Red Sox originally selected Yorke with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft out of Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, Calif. The soon-to-be 21-year-old infielder is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 7 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

After being named the organization’s minor-league offensive player of the year in 2021, Yorke took a step back at the plate last season. The right-handed hitter batted just .232/.3o3/.365 with 10 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, 45 RBIs, 48 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 33 walks, and 94 strikeouts in 80 games (373 plate appearances) for High-A Greenville. He was also sidelined by turf toe in late May, back stiffness in June, and left wrist soreness in July.

Despite those struggles, Yorke did enjoy some success in the Arizona Fall League to close out the year. He slashed .342/.424/.526 with eight doubles, two homers, and 18 RBIs in 19 games (92 plate appearances) with the Scottsdale Scorpions and earned AFL All-Star honors for his efforts.

“Some people are down on him. Not me,” said Cora. “He’s very calm at the plate. He swings at the right pitches. Obviously, he’s working on a few things timing-wise. He’s a good player. You guys know how I feel about first-rounders. You have to be a really good player, and he’s a good hitter.

“He controls the zone, and we like him a lot,” Cora added. “I think physically he’s in a good spot. I’ve talked to him a few times. Mentally, he’s in a great place. Now it’s just a matter of other things that he does.”

That Cora specifically asked the Red Sox player development staff to have a minor-leaguer such as Yorke travel with the rest of the team for Thursday’s game is a rare occurrence. Yorke himself was gracious for the opportunity.

“It means a lot,” he said. “I’ve said it in previous interviews: My goal is to the second baseman for the Boston Red Sox. And so when the head coach asks you to be here, that means a lot.”

Yorke is expected to make the jump to Double-A Portland for the start of the 2023 minor-league season next month. While he has been known more for his hitting abilities than his defensive prowess, the 6-foot, 200-pounder is out to prove he can pick it at second base as well.

“No one can just hit in the big-leagues,” said Yorke. “You have to have some sort of contribution on defense as well. So shoutout to our infield coordinator Darren Fenster, he’s helped me out a lot over the past two and a half years.”

(Picture of Nick Yorke: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)