Red Sox Prospect Hudson Potts Made Positive First Impression in Pawtucket This Year, Has Chance To Be ‘Interesting’ Player in 2021

Infielder Hudson Potts was a late addition to the Red Sox’ player pool this season on account of the fact he was acquired from the Padres on August 30.

The 21-year-old arrived at the Sox’ alternate training site in Pawtucket in early September and, unlike the majority of players and prospects who were already there, did not have a ton of time to get acclimated to a completely new environment.

Still, Potts impressed and showed glimpses of promises in his first go-around as a Red Sox prospect. PawSox manager Billy McMillon, who was one of the main authority figures at the alternate site these past two-plus months, made that much clear when speaking with reporters via Zoom on Friday.

“I was really, really impressed with his approach at the plate,” McMillon said of Potts. “He would hit a ball to the pull side 400 feet and then hit a line drive to right-center field. Big, strong kid. He showed a little bit of defensive versatility, too. We played him some at second base. The lion’s share of his work was at third base.”

Originally drafted by San Diego as a shortstop out of high school in the first round of the 2016 amateur draft, Potts is listed at 6-foot-3 and 218 lbs. Those measurements seemed to remind McMillon of a former Red Sox prospect who could play third base.

“If you look at him physically, body type, he kind of reminds you of a Will Middlebrooks,” the Pawtucket skipper added. “That’s the first person I thought about when I saw him. Good kid. Very, very hard worker. I like him. He’s going to be an interesting person when we try to slot him in next year with a full year of Double-A under his belt. We got something from San Diego with him.”

Potts, who along with outfielder Jeisson Rosario was dealt to Boston in the trade that saw Mitch Moreland go to the Padres, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 20 prospect in the Sox’ farm system.

As McMillon mentioned, Potts played a full season’s worth of Double-A baseball last year. In 107 games for the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the Southlake, Texas native posted a .227/.290/.406 slash line to go along with 16 home runs and 59 RBI over 448 plate appearances.

Going back to 2017, Potts has clubbed at least 15 homers in each of his last three minor-league seasons, so he has rightfully earned the reputation of being a power-hitting prospect. On top of that, FanGraphs regards the young infielder’s power tool as one of the best in the organization.

Despite those accolades, Potts is striving to improve his approach at the plate to show that he is capable of being an all-around hitter opposed to just a power hitter.

“I know that’s probably one of the things that has been one of my better things throughout my career,” he said in regards to his slugging abilities back in September. “But, once I learn and make adjustments to my approach that I need to make, I feel like I can be a lot more than just a power guy. I feel like I can be a complete hitter and I just need to work on that and get to that spot I know I’m capable of doing. That’s what I’m striving to be, an all-around hitter, not just a power hitter.”

Because he signed with the Padres as a 17-year-old back in 2016, Potts is now eligible for this year’s Rule 5 Draft in December. In order to not expose him to that, the Red Sox will have to add Potts to their 40-man roster by late November.

Red Sox Trade Mitch Moreland To Padres in Exchange for Prospects Hudson Potts, Jeisson Rosario

The Red Sox have traded first baseman Mitch Moreland to the Padres in exchange for infield prospect Hudson Potts and outfield prospect Jeisson Rosario, the club officially announced Sunday.

Moreland, who just reached 10 years of major-league service time on Saturday, is currently slashing .328/.430/.746 with eight home runs and 21 RBI through his first 22 games of the 2020 season.

The soon-to-be 35-year-old signed a one-year deal with Boston back in January and his contract includes a $3 million club option for 2021.

With San Diego, Moreland will presumably see time at first base and DH, although he likely will not be playing everyday or close to everyday like he was doing with the Sox.

As for who the Red Sox got back in this deal, let’s start with Potts.

The 21-year-old third baseman was regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 16 prospect in the Padres’ farm system.

A former first-round selection of San Diego in 2016, Potts most recently posted a .227/.290/.406 slash line to go along with 16 homers and 59 RBI over 107 games with Double-A Amarillo in 2019.

Rosario, meanwhile, was signed by the Padres as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic back in 2016.

In 120 games for High-A Lake Elsinore last season, the 20-year-old outfielder drew 87 walks, posted a .686 OPS, and swiped 11 bags while working his way to become San Diego’s 19th-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline.

In acquiring both Potts and Rosario, the Red Sox appear to have added two quality prospects to their ranks. And one of the two will likely be added to the club’s 60-man player pool seeing how infielder Marco Hernandez was also released on Sunday.

No Trade Talks Involving Red Sox Were ‘Imminent’ at Time MLB Froze Rosters in March, per Report

The Red Sox were not close to making any sort of trade at the time Major League Baseball froze rosters, and roster moves, in late March, a source told WEEI’s Rob Bradford earlier Friday.

This report comes decently close to two months after MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made the decision to suspend the remainder of spring training games on March 12, effectively butting baseball on hold.

Still. clubs were allowed to make moves for about two weeks after that. The Red Sox signed free-agent infielder Yairo Munoz to a minor-league deal on March 24th, for instance.

It wasn’t until March 28th when rosters were frozen as part of an agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA. No transactions have been made since.

Before that freeze went into effect though, as Bradford notes, the Sox were involved in trade rumors ‘almost daily,’ particularly with the San Diego Padres and 29-year-old outfielder Wil Myers.

Going back to a February 18th report from the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee, the Friars were apparently looking to offload ‘about half’ of the remaining $61 million owed to Myers over the next three years, while the Sox were in return looking for young, controllable talent, such as pitching prospect Cal Quantrill or catching prospect Luis Campusano. Basically, in this scenario, Boston would be “buying prospects” by taking on a “bad” contract.

Despite those ever-swirling rumors, no trade talks between Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and the Padres, or other clubs for that matter, ever reached the “imminent” stage at the time the roster freeze went into effect, per Bradford.

Although there is no set date for baseball to return, roster movement between clubs will once again be permitted once a new Opening Day for this year is scheduled, if there is one, that is.

 

 

Red Sox Have ‘Expressed Interest’ in Padres Catching Prospect Luis Campusano in Mookie Betts Trade Talks, per Report

In discussions with the San Diego Padres revolving around the idea of trading star outfielder Mookie Betts, the Red Sox have reportedly ‘expressed interest’ in acquiring Padres catching prospect Luis Campusano in any potential deal, per The Athletic’s Dennis Lin.

Campusano, who turned 21 last September, was listed as the fifth-best prospect in San Diego’s farm system and the seventh-best catching prospect in baseball at the end of the 2019 season, according to MLB.com.

The former 2017 second-round pick out of Cross Creek High School in Georgia put together an impressive campaign in his second full professional season last year, slashing .325/.396/.509 with 15 home runs and 81 RBI over 110 games played for the High-A Lake Elsinore Storm. He was named co-MVP of the California League for his efforts back in August.

In the Arizona Fall League, Campusano, along with other Padres prospects, played for the Peoria Javelinas, the same team the Red Sox were affiliated with.

In an organization that is full of quality prospects, Campusano might not garner the same attention that others such as MacKensie Gore or Luis Patino do, but he is an exciting player nonetheless.

“He’s really special,” Lake Elsinore hitting coach Doug Banks said of Campusano in an interview with Baseball America last June. “He does some special things. There’s things he can do because he’s just so talented. For him to do what he’s doing at his position, catching, being as young as he is, it really is incredible.”

Any deal that involves Betts heading to San Diego would most likely involve the Red Sox getting multiple pieces, prospects and major-league players alike, in return, such as 29-year-old outfielder Wil Myers, who is owed $61 million over the next three seasons.

Because Betts is set to become a free agent for the first time next winter, it is safe to say that Padres general manager AJ Preller would be unwilling to move a prized prospect like Gore for what could turn out to be just a one-year rental.

That’s where players like Campusano come in. The 79th-ranked prospect on Baseball America’s Top 100 list would easily become one of the three best prospects in the Sox’ system.

San Diego may value the young backstop highly, but with veteran catcher Austin Hedges and former top catching prospect Francisco Mejia already on the active roster, Campusano could be expandable. Especially for a player of Betts’ caliber.

On Thursday, Lin reported that an agreement between the Red Sox and Padres was viewed as ‘unlikely’ so there is still a possibility that nothing comes from all this speculation. We’ll have to wait and see on that.

 

Ian Kinsler Reportedly Agrees to Two-Year Deal with San Diego Padres.

On Friday, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the San Diego Padres had agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal with free agent second baseman and 2018 World Series Champion Ian Kinsler.

Acquired via trade by the Red Sox from the Los Angeles Angels in late July, the 36-year-old infielder slashed .242/.294/.311 to go along with one home run and 16 RBI over a span of 37 games with Boston.

Regularly manning second base with Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day disabled list, Kinsler provided the Red Sox with stable defense on the right side of the infield en route to picking up his second career Gold Glove Award.

October was certainly not a month to remember in terms of numbers for the Arizona native, but he still contributed with his glove and got himself a shiny World Series ring.

From the perspective of the Red Sox, it was not expected that Kinsler’s services were going to be retained.

Essentially, Dustin Pedroia is Plan A at second base for 2019, and if he’s not able to stay healthy over the course of a full regular season, then you have players such as Brock Holt, Tzu-Wei Lin, and the expected return of Marco Hernandez in the mix to man second base when necessary.

 

 

#RedSox Acquire RHP Colten Brewer from San Diego Padres.

In a slew of several roster moves, the Red Sox announced on Tuesday evening that they had officially acquired right-handed reliever Colten Brewer from the San Diego Padres in exchange for infield prospect Esteban Quiroz.

Reported earlier in the day, this transaction provides Dave Dombrowski with another fascinating addition to his bullpen.

At the age of 26, Brewer just broke in with the Padres this year after spending different parts of six seasons with three different organizations, where he posted a 5.59 ERA and .357 BAA over 11 relief appearances and 9.2 innings pitched.

A former fourth round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011, Brewer, per Statcast, relies on four different pitches, his cutter, his curveball, his four-seam fastball, and his slider.

Brewer

Procuring a swing rate of 36.6% in 2018, Brewer, a native of Dallas, Texas, will look to provide his new club with a different kind of look out of the bullpen in 2019.

On the other side of this deal, the Red Sox parted ways with minor league infielder Esteban Quiroz.

Ranked as Boston’s 28th best prospect over at SoxProspects.com, Quiorz initially joined the organization as an international free agent from Mexico last November.

In his age 26 and first minor league season in the states, Quiroz slashed .283/.406/.547 to go along with seven home runs and 31 RBI over a span of 32 games between the Gulf Coast League Red Sox and Double A Portland Sea Dogs.

The trade was made official at approximately 4:47 PM ET.

That, along with the roster moves I previously mentioned, puts the Red Sox 40-man roster at 39.

I will have more on the other moves later.