Red Sox power-hitting prospect Nick Northcut etched his name into Greenville Drive history on Wednesday afternoon.
In the fourth inning of High-A Greenville’s 9-4 win over Hudson Valley in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., Northcut clubbed a two-run home run off Renegades starter Blas Castano to left-center field.
It was Northcut’s 25th big fly of the year, meaning he had surpassed Tyler Dearden for the most single-season home runs in Drive history. Dearden (now with Double-A Portland) needed 91 games to hit 24 home runs last year.
Northcut, on the other hand, only needed 72 games to mash 25 homers for Greenville this season. Following Wednesday’s two-hit, two-RBI performance, the right-handed hitting infielder is now batting .221/.283/.529 with 10 doubles, 25 runs driven in, 40 runs scored, 19 walks, and 108 strikeouts across his first 300 plate appearances at the High-A level.
Among qualified South Atlantic League hitters, Northcut currently ranks first in home runs, third in RBIs, second in slugging percentage, 15th in OPS (.812), first in isolated power (.308), and first in at-bats per home run (11.04), per MiLB.com’s leaderboards.
Defensively, Northcut made his 39th start of the season at third base on Wednesday. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder has logged 337 1/3 innings at the hot corner as well as 228 innings at first base and six innings at shortstop.
Northcut, 23, was originally selected by the Red Sox in the 11th round of the 11th round of the 2018 amateur draft out of William Mason High School. The Ohio native forwent his commitment to Vanderbilt University by signing with the club for $565,000.
Despite the impressive power numbers he has put up this year, Northcut is not regarded by industry publications such as Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, or SoxProspects as one of the top-ranked prospects in Boston’s farm system.
That likely has to do with Northcut’s low on-base percentage, low walk rate (6.3%), and high strikeout rate (36%). If Northcut can improve upon those tendencies, perhaps he could earn garner more recognition and even earn a promotion to Portland before season’s end.
(Picture of Nick Northcut: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)