Red Sox’ Angel Bastardo named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week

Red Sox pitching prospect Angel Bastardo has been named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for the week of May 15-21, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.

Bastardo made his seventh start of the season for High-A Greenville in its 3-2 loss to the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Fluor Field last Wednesday. Though he did not factor into the decision, the right-hander allowed just one hit on two walks and seven strikeouts over six scoreless innings. He finished with 80 pitches (50 strikes) and induced 11 swings-and-misses.

In seven starts for the Drive this season, Bastardo has posted a 5.03 ERA and 4.13 FIP with 47 strikeouts to 17 walks over 34 innings of work. The 20-year-old has impressed as of late by holding opposing hitters to a .170 batting average against in the month of May.

Among qualified pitchers in the South Atlantic League, Bastardo ranks second in strikeouts per nine innings (12.44), second in strikeout rate (32.9 percent), fifth in opponents’ batting average (.206), 13th in WHIP (1.26), first in swinging-strike rate (20.2 percent), 11th in FIP, and eighth in xFIP (3.88), per FanGraphs.

Bastardo, who turns 21 next month, is currently regarded by as the No. 40 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks 14th among pitchers in the organization. The native Venezuelan originally signed with the Red Sox for just $35,000 as an international free agent coming out of Moron in July 2018.

With a projectable 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame, Bastardo throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 93-95 mph fastball that tops out at 97 mph and shows sink, an 83-86 mph curveball that varies in shape, and an 84-88 mph changeup that can be inconsistent at times, according to his scouting report.

Given that he has made just seven starts at the High-A level thus far and still has areas to improve in (i.e. command and control of the strike zone), it would not be surprising if Bastardo were to spend most of the 2023 season with Greenville before garnering consideration for a promotion to Double-A Portland.

With that being said, that timeline could accelerate if Bastardo continues to turn in impressive outings for the Drive as he has been doing. It is also worth mentioning that the righty can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft at the end of the year, though him being added to Boston’s 40-man roster in November seems unlikely at this point since he is still a ways away from sniffing the major-leagues.

(Picture of Angel Bastardo: Kelly O’Connor/


Red Sox prospect Nick Northcut named South Atlantic League Player of the Week

Red Sox infield prospect Nick Northcut has been named South Atlantic League Player of the Week for the week of June 6-12, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.

In High-A Greenville’s latest series against the Asheville Tourists at Fluor Field, Northcut went 7-for-22 (.318) with two doubles, four home runs, 11 RBIs, seven runs scored, three walks, and nine strikeouts over six games. All four of those homers were hit within a two-day stretch on Friday and Saturday.

On the 2022 campaign as a whole, the right-handed hitter is batting .231/.286/.574 with seven doubles, a team-high 20 home runs and 46 RBIs, 30 runs scored, 12 walks, and 79 strikeouts over 50 games (210 plate appearances) for the Drive. He has put up those numbers while primarily playing both corner infield positions.

Among qualified South Atlantic League hitters, Northcut ranks first in home runs, second in slugging percentage, ninth in OPS (.860), first in isolated power (.344), and 17th in wRC+ (124), per FanGraphs.

Northcut, who is celebrating his 23rd birthday on Monday, is currently regarded by as the 60th-ranked prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Ohio native was originally selected by the Red Sox in the 11th round of the 2018 amateur draft out of Mason High School.

While power has been his standout tool this season, Northcut is working to become more selective at the plate. His 37.6% strikeout rate and 5.7% walk rate are among the worst marks in the Sally League, but the Red Sox have otherwise been pleased with what they have seen from the young slugger.

As he inches closer towards setting a new single-season home run record in Greenville, Northcut becomes the first member of the Drive to earn South Atlantic League Player of the Week honors since Ceddanne Rafaela did so on April 18.

Rafaela has since been promoted to Double-A Portland. Perhaps Northcut is not too far behind him.

(Picture of Nick Northcut: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)

Red Sox’ Top Prospect Triston Casas Named South Atlantic League Postseason All-Star

Red Sox infield prospect Triston Casas was named to the South Carolina League’s Postseason All-Star team on Tuesday, representing Class-A Greenville at designated hitter.

Casas, 19, is slashing .254/.350/.468 to go along 18 home runs and 76 RBI through 115 games with the Drive this season. Among all South Atlantic League position players, Casas ranks third in homers, fourth in RBI, fifth in total bases (192) and eighth in OPS (.818).

Selected by Boston with the 26th overall pick in last year’s amatuer draft out of American Heritage in High School in Plantation, Fla., Casas has quickly risen to become the top prospect in the Sox’ system and the 88th-ranked prospect in baseball overall, per MLB Pipeline.

There were periods of time this year when Casas showed some signs of struggle, as he posted a .208/.341/.383 slash line from June 21st until August 24th, but he has turned it around since, slashing an impressive .343/.425/.514 with one homer and four RBI over his last 10 games.

Including Thursday, Greenville has seven games remaining on the docket for 2019. At 23-39 on the year, they will not be in contention for postseason play.