Red Sox’ Brayan Bello recognized by MLB Pipeline as top international prospect in Boston’s farm system

With the 2021-2022 international signing window officially opening this weekend, MLB Pipeline recently identified each team’s top international prospect across Major League Baseball.

For the Red Sox, that was none other than pitching prospect Brayan Bello, who signed with Boston out of the Dominican Republic for just $28,000 back in July 2017.

Then just 18 years old, Bello has since emerged as one of the premier young hurlers in the Sox’ farm system at the age of 22.

This past season, the right-hander began the year in the starting rotation High-A Greenville and quickly made strides there. He posted a 2.27 ERA and 2.82 FIP to go along with 45 strikeouts to seven walks over six starts (31 2/3 innings pitched) for the Drive before earning a promotion to Double-A Portland in early June.

With the Sea Dogs, Bello picked up where he left off by pitching to the tune of a 4.66 ERA — but much more respectable 3.12 FIP — with 87 strikeouts and 24 walks across 15 starts spanning 63 2/3 innings of work.

During his run in Portland, Bello was selected to represent the Red Sox in the All-Star Futures Game at Coors Field alongside infielder Jeter Downs. He allowed one run on one hit while recording the final two outs of the third inning of that contest on July 11.

At the conclusion of the 2021 minor-league season, Bello was recognized by the Sox and was named the organization’s starting pitcher of the year. The fiery righty was subsequently added to the club’s 40-man roster in November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, Bello operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a mid-90s four-seam fastball that touches 98 mph, a changeup, and a slider. He is also in the midst of developing a two-seamer, according to Baseball America.

In terms of prospect ranks, Bello is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks tops among pitchers in the organization. The Samana native is also ranked by MLB Pipeline as the top pitching prospect the Red Sox have in the fold.

Bello, who turns 23 in May, is presently projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the upcoming 2022 campaign with Portland. That being said, an early promotion to Triple-A Worcester certainly seems possible depending on the kind of start he gets off to in the spring.

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

Red Sox bring back power-hitting outfielder Johan Mieses on minor-league deal for 2022 season

The Red Sox have brought back outfielder Johan Mieses on a minor-league contract for the 2022 season, according to the team’s transaction wire. It does not appear as though the deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Mieses, 26, originally signed a minors pact with the Sox in November 2019 after spending the first seven years of his professional career between the Dodgers and Cardinals organizations.

While unable to play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mieses did re-up with Boston that year before truly making his impact felt in 2021. After breaking camp with Double-A Portland, the right-handed hitter batted .286/.368/.714 to go along with three doubles, 11 home runs, 22 RBIs, 19 runs scored, nine walks, and 19 strikeouts across 23 games (95 plate appearances) for the Sea Dogs.

On June 2, Mieses was promoted to Triple-A Worcester. He spent nearly two weeks away from the team in June for an Olympic qualifying event, then helped his native Dominican Republic win a bronze medal in the Tokyo Summer Games in August.

Upon returning to the United States, Mieses went on to play a total of 59 games with the WooSox and finished the year by slashing .211/.286/.368 with nine doubles, one triple, eight homers, 26 RBIs, 28 runs scored, three stolen bases, 22 walks, and 64 strikeouts over 230 plate appearances in those contests.

Defensively, Mieses has proven over the course of his career that he is capable of playing all three outfield positions. Last season alone, the 6-foot-2, 185 pounder logged 150 1/3 innings in left field and 230 innings in right field between Portland and Worcester.

As was the case last year, Mieses has presumably been brought back by the Red Sox to provide the club with experienced upper-minors outfield depth alongside the likes of Rob Refsnyder, Christin Stewart, and others.

Mieses, who turns 27 in July, is well-known for his slugging abilities. His .251 ISO ranked third among Red Sox minor-leaguers who accrued at least 300 plate appearances in 2021, per FanGraphs.

(Picture of Johan Mieses: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

Worcester Red Sox name Chad Tracy as new manager

The Worcester Red Sox have named Chad Tracy as their new manager for the 2022 season, the team announced on Monday.

Tracy, 36, had spent the last seven seasons in the Angels organization, most recently serving as the club’s minor-league field coordinator since 2018 before being let go towards the end of September.

A former third-round draft choice of the Rangers out of Pepperdine University in 2006, Tracy played in the minor-leagues for eight seasons with three different organizations. He played 390 games at the Triple-A level but never got the call up to the majors and wound up finishing his playing career with the York Revolution of the Atlantic League in 2013 and 2014.

The following year, Tracy officially joined the Angels’ coaching ranks by becoming the manager of Low-A Burlington and followed that up by managing High-A Inland Empire from 2016-2017 before being promoted to minor-league field coordinator.

A native Illinoisan, Tracy is the son of former Dodgers, Pirates, and Rockies manager Jim Tracy, who managed Red Sox manager Alex Cora during his time with Los Angeles.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, when Cora was first hired as Boston’s manager in November 2017, he considered two candidates (Jim Tracy and Ron Roenicke) to become his bench coach before ultimately landing on Roenicke. So there is somewhat of a connection there.

In being named the next man to lead the WooSox, Tracy becomes the 18th manager in team history while taking over for Billy McMillon. McMillon, who had served as PawSox/WooSox manager since 2019, was let go by Boston at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign.

Joining Tracy’s staff will be Jose David Flores, who has been named as Worcester’s bench coach. The soon-to-be 51-year-old most recently spent the 2018 season as the Phillies’ first base coach and served as the Orioles’ third base coach from 2019-2020.

Flores is a native of Puerto Rico and spent five seasons in the Astros’ organization after being selected by Houston in the 38th round of the 1990 draft. He has coached and managed in the Puerto Rican Winter League and managed Team Puerto Rico in international play from 2011-2012.

Besides the additions of Tracy and Flores, the rest of the WooSox’ coaching staff will look very similar to the one they rolled out in 2021. Hitting coach Rich Gedman and pitching coach Paul Abbott are both back for the 2022 season, while Mike Montville has been promoted to assistant hitting coach after serving as a coach this year.

(Picture of Polar Park: Christine Peterson/Telegram & Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK)

How Red Sox’ Zack Kelly went from undrafted out of college to cusp of big leagues

Zack Kelly may be on the verge of the major leagues, but he has never considered himself a highly-touted prospect.

Undrafted out of Division II Newberry College (Newberry, S.C.), Kelly signed with the Oakland Athletics for just $500 in 2017. His first assignment as a pro was in the rookie-level Arizona League.

“The A’s, they provided us with apartments in Arizona for the AZL, and [rent] was $300 a month,” Kelly recently recalled. “And so, the day we got our signing bonuses was also the first day we had to pay rent. So, I got my check and after taxes it was $323. I walk out of the building and I see on the big whiteboard: ‘RENT IS DUE TOMORROW: $300.’ So, I had to go cash my check, put away $300 for rent, then I had $23. And I kid you not, I took it to Applebee’s and I got a 2 for $20 for myself. So, I essentially signed for a plane ticket and an Applebee’s 2 for $20.”

From the beginning, Kelly’s journey through the minors has been riddled with hurdles, and he was still presented with challenges even after graduating from rookie ball.

After reaching the Double-A level with the Angels organization in 2019, Kelly tore the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his throwing elbow the following spring.

While he was ultimately able to avoid Tommy John surgery, the timing of Kelly’s injury was still far from ideal. Around the same time he was rehabbing, the COVID-19 pandemic was ravaging the United States. Citing financial losses caused by the pandemic, MLB teams began releasing minor-league players en masse.

Kelly was one of those casualties, as he was officially released by the Angels on May 29 — shortly after he told the team he was going to require some form of surgery in order to pitch pain-free moving forward.

“Getting surgery at my age was not something I thought was beneficial to me,” Kelly said. “Towards the end of May, when I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to get back to 100% without pain, I told them. And I was talking about bad timing, because I got released right after that. But I understood. Everybody had to make cuts for the most part. At that time, I thought I was going to have to get full-blown Tommy John surgery, … which wouldn’t have benefited them.

“So, I don’t blame them,” he added. “But, luckily for me, I didn’t have to get the full-blown elbow reconstruction and I was able to play this year. I was able to sign with Boston and be in a really good organization that I like and think has a bright future. It paid off.”

Kelly signed his first minor-league contract with the Red Sox last December. The right-handed reliever began the 2021 minor-league season at Double-A Portland, but earned his first promotion to Triple-A Worcester in late July. Between the two levels, he posted an impressive 2.18 ERA over 36 appearances spanning 45 1/3 innings of work.

Shortly before the conclusion of the Triple-A season, Kelly expressed interest in remaining with the Red Sox on another minor-league pact for the 2022 campaign. It did not take long for the two sides to reach an agreement.

“Probably two or three days after the season ended, we were already in talks, which is a little bit sooner than I thought it was going to be,” recalled Kelly. “A lot of it was done through my agent. Eventually, we came to an agreement. It was a no-brainer. So, I’m happy to be back.”

One thing in particular that Kelly enjoyed about his first year in the Red Sox organization was the way the team’s coaches communicate with one another — even at different minor-league levels. Take Sea Dogs pitching coach Lance Carter and WooSox pitching coach Paul Abbott, for instance.

“I like this organization because the coaches talk,” Kelly explained. “From the stuff me and Lance were working on in Portland, the day I got to Worcester with [Abbott], he brought that up and we were able to keep the same thing going. The other places I’ve been at, going from level to level, that hasn’t happened. It seems to be like that from the top down. Just talking to different people, kind of picking other guys’ brains, that was something that I was really happy to see. It makes the promotion that much easier.”

While still under contract for the 2022 season, Kelly’s status with the Red Sox is technically up in the air. Last month, Boston had the opportunity to add the 26-year-old to their 40-man roster but elected not to.

That decision has left Kelly eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, which usually takes place during the last day of the Winter Meetings but has since been postponed indefinitely due to Major League Baseball’s work stoppage.

“I thought I might have a chance to get added, but ultimately I didn’t, which I’m fine with,” said Kelly. “I trust Chaim [Bloom]. He’s proven himself over and over throughout the years and he knows what his plan is for this off-season.”

Assuming the major-league phase of the Rule 5 Draft takes place sometime between now and the start of the 2022 season, Kelly says he is not sure what to expect, but is eager to contribute at the big-league level if that’s a possibility.

“I think regardless of what happens, the preparation doesn’t change as far as what I’m doing,” he said. “But, obviously, the goal is to be in the big-leagues. And to come up and help a big-league club, I would be all over that opportunity. But, I think whatever happens is a win-win situation for me. If I were to get selected, I would hopefully stay in the big-leagues all year. If not, I’m in a really good place with Boston where I’m completely happy being.”

In the interim, Kelly — who turns 27 in March — does have a major-league invite to Red Sox spring training to look forward to next year. If he remains with Boston through the winter, it will mark his first time attending a big-league camp.

“My goals are the same as they have been,” said Kelly. “It’s to make quality pitches, continue to pitch to my philosophies, ultimately make it to the big leagues, help the team win, and hopefully win a World Series.”

(Picture of Zack Kelly: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

Red Sox sign outfielder Christin Stewart to minor-league deal for 2022 season, per report

The Red Sox have signed outfielder Christin Stewart to a minor-league contract for the 2022 season, according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford. The deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Stewart, who turns 28 on December 10, was originally selected by the Tigers in the first round of the 2015 amateur draft out of the University of Tennessee. He made his big-league debut in September 2018 and spent parts of three major-league seasons with Detroit (2018-2020) before becoming a free agent earlier this month.

Across 157 games with the Tigers, Stewart slashed .225/.300/.376 with 29 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs, 59 RBIs, 45 runs scored, 49 walks, and 146 strikeouts over 587 cumulative plate appearances.

Leading up to the 2021 season, Stewart was designated for assignment by Detroit in early April and was subsequently outrighted to the club’s alternate training site/Triple-A affiliate shortly thereafter.

With Triple-A Toledo this year, the left-handed hitter batted .254/.339/.538 (127 wRC+) to go along with 13 doubles, five triples, 21 homers, 58 RBIs, 51 runs scored, two stolen bases, 33 walks, and 100 strikeouts over 89 games spanning 343 trips to the plate.

A native of Atlanta, Stewart has only played left field at the major-league level, but he did see a significant amount of his playing time with Toledo come in right field this year.

Listed at 6-foot and 220 pounds, Stewart is represented by the Boras Corporation. He has three minor-league options remaining and could remain under club control through the end of the 2025 campaign.

By inking Stewart to a minor-league pact for the 2022 season, the Red Sox have continued to add to their upper-minors outfield depth at Triple-A Worcester after signing fellow outfielder Rob Refsnyder on Tuesday as well.

(Picture of Christin Stewart: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign outfielder Rob Refsnyder to minor-league deal for 2022 season, per report

The Red Sox have signed free-agent outfielder Rob Refsnyder to a minor-league contract for the 2022 season, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. The deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Refsnyder, 30, spent the 2021 season with the Twins after signing a minor-league pact with Minnesota last November. In 51 games, he slashed .245/.325/.338 with seven doubles, two home runs, 12 RBIs, 21 runs scored, one stolen base, 17 walks, and 40 strikeouts over 157 trips to the plate while making appearances at all three outfield positions.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Refsnyder was originally selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2012 amateur draft out of the University of Arizona. The right-handed hitter was regarded as one of the top prospects in New York’s farm system before making his big-league debut against the Red Sox in July 2015.

Since that time, Refsnyder has bounced around a bit, as he was traded by the Yankees to the Blue Jays in July 2017 and was claimed off waivers by the Guardians that November.

The Rays purchased Refsnyder’s contract from Cleveland ahead of Opening Day in 2018, so it’s safe to assume there is some there is at least some history between him and Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.

After appearing in 40 games in Tampa Bay throughout the 2018 campaign, Refsnyder inked a minor-league pact with the Diamondbacks that November before being dealt to the Reds the following spring.

While Refsnyder did not appear in a game for Cincinnati in 2019, he did make his way back to the majors with the Rangers during the compressed 2020 season.

All in all, Refsnyder has appeared in 232 total big-league contests between the Yankees, Blue Jays, Rays, Rangers, and Twins dating back to 2015. And he has done so while seeing playing time at every defensive position besides catcher and shortstop.

Listed at 6-foot, 205 pounds, Refsnyder — who turns 31 in March — is represented by PSI Sports Management. He is out of minor-league options, but is technically under club control through 2024.

In adding Refsnyder via a minor-league contract, the Red Sox add a somewhat versatile player who will mainly provide outfield depth while also having a chance to make an impact at Triple-A Worcester next year.

Per Cotillo, Refsnyder is the fourth known minor-league signing Boston has made since the start of the off-season. Right-handers Caleb Simpson, Zack Kelly and Michael Gettys all re-signed with the club earlier this fall.

(Picture of Rob Refsnyder: Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: Red Sox reliever Zack Kelly joins the show

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Red Sox minor-league reliever Zack Kelly.

Kelly, 26, spent the 2021 season between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester. The right-hander posted a 2.18 ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio of 69:18 over 36 relief appearances (45 1/3 innings pitched) across both levels. He re-signed with Boston on another minor-league contract for 2022 in October and has received an invite to major-league spring training.

Among the topics Zack and I discussed in this week’s episode are how he initially drew interest from the Red Sox last year, the differences between pitching at Double-A and Triple-A, the congruency within the Red Sox organization, how he made made his way as an undrafted free agent who signed with the Athletics out of a Division II school for $500, undergoing and recovering from elbow surgery, getting cut loose by the Angels during the pandemic, getting interviewed by the New York Times, his upcoming Rule 5 candidacy, his expectations for the 2022 season, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thank you to Zack for taking some time out of his offseason schedule to have a conversation with yours truly. You can follow Zack on Twitter (@Zack_Kelly) by clicking here and on Instagram (@Zack_Kelly19) by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Zack Kelly: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

Red Sox re-sign Michael Gettys, Zack Kelly, and Caleb Simpson to minor-league deals, per report

The Red Sox have re-signed a trio of minor-league free agents who spent the 2021 season in the organization, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Per Cotillo, the Sox have brought back right-handers Michael Gettys, Zack Kelly, and Caleb Simpson on minor-league pacts for the 2022 campaign.

SoxProspects.com executive editor Chris Hatfield adds on to this, noting that both Kelly and Simpson re-signed with Boston before actually becoming free agents, while Gettys signed more recently.

Gettys, a former second-round draft pick of the Padres coming out of high school in 2014, originally joined the Red Sox last November and received an invite to major-league spring training.

An outfielder by trade, Gettys broke camp with Triple-A Worcester, where he slashed .201/.271/.349 with seven doubles, five home runs, 14 RBIs, 24 runs scored, seven stolen bases, 12 walks, and 60 strikeouts in 46 games (166 plate appearances) for the WooSox.

After spending time on the development list throughout the month of August, the 26-year-old was assigned to the Florida Complex League and began making the transition to become a pitcher full-time.

Gettys made his professional pitching debut in Fort Myers on Aug. 31 and proceeded to post a 3.60 ERA and 7.15 FIP to go along with five strikeouts to four walks over five relief appearances spanning exactly five innings of work.

As noted by Hatfield, the Red Sox retaining Gettys means the 6-foot-1, 217 pound hurler is able to stay with the same coaching staff he began the transition process with. On that note, SoxProspects.com projects that Gettys will begin the 2022 minor-league season in the bullpen for High-A Greenville.

Moving on to Simpson, he is someone who originally signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox in July 2020, shortly before the start of the compressed 2020 season and shortly after getting released by the Cubs.

A former 21st-round selection of the Giants in 2013 amateur draft out Seminole State College (Seminole, Okla.), Simpson spent all of last summer at the Sox’ alternate training site in Pawtucket and was assigned to Worcester coming out of spring training this year.

In 13 relief appearances for the WooSox, the hard-throwing righty pitched to the tune of a 3.86 ERA and 4.58 FIP while recording 21 strikeouts and eight walks across 14 innings pitched. His season ended prematurely when he was placed on the 60-day injured list at the end of July.

Kelly, meanwhile, is undoubtedly the most intriguing pitcher included in this round of transactions since he — like Simpson — can become eligible for this winter’s Rule 5 Draft.

The Red Sox signed Kelly, who turns 27 in March, to a minor-league contract this past January after he spent the previous four seasons in the Athletics, Angels, and Rays organizations.

Undrafted out of Newberry College, the Virginia native began the 2021 campaign at Double-A Portland before earning a mid-season promotion to Worcester in late July.

Out of the WooSox bullpen, Kelly put up a 2.89 ERA, 1.92 FIP, and 40:13 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 15 appearances spanning 18 2/3 innings of relief.

On Thursday, SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall wrote that Kelly “has a very heavy fastball in the mid-90s and a pair of average-ish secondaries. His has shown the ability to limit hard contact and miss bats, but was also repeating Double-A at the start of the year.”

Because the Red Sox re-signed him earlier in the off-season, Cundall opines that Kelly could be added to the 40-man roster by Friday’s deadline since the club clearly values him to some degree.

Any eligible minor-leaguer who is not added to their respective team’s 40-man roster by Friday can subsequently be picked up by another club in the Rule 5 Draft, which typically takes place during the winter meetings in December.

(Picture of Zack Kelly: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

Red Sox outright Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Worcester after outfielder clears waivers

Four days after designating him for assignment, the Red Sox outrighted outfielder Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Monday afternoon.

Cordero had been designated for assignment last week so that the Sox could clear a spot on their 40-man roster for right-handed reliever Phillips Valdez, who was activated from the COVID-19 related injured list.

Since he has more than three years of big-league service time, Cordero could have opted to become a free agent upon getting designated. However, as Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports, the 27-year-old actually signed a one-year, $825,000 deal for the 2022 season with Boston before being designated, meaning the team still controls his rights.

Cordero, who turned 27 last month, was one of five players the Red Sox acquired from either the Mets or Royals as part of the three-team trade that sent fellow outfielder Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City back in February. The other four players were right-handed pitching prospects Josh Winckowski, Grant Gambrell, and Luis De La Rosa and outfield prospect Freddy Valdez.

After making Boston’s Opening Day roster out of spring training, the left-handed hitter out of the Dominican Republic got his 2021 campaign off to a sluggish start. He hit just 179/.228/.274 with six doubles, one home run, nine RBI, nine runs scored, one stolen base, six walks, and 37 strikeouts through his first 34 games (102 plate appearances) before getting optioned to Worcester for the first time on May 27.

From that point forward, Cordero did enjoy some success at the Triple-A level with the WooSox and even learned a new position at first base, but he appeared in a total of 14 games with the Red Sox the rest of the way while spending the majority of September in Worcester.

It appeared as though the Sox had given up on Cordero when they removed him from their 40-man roster. But, as noted by Cotillo, “it’s fair to assume the club designated him for assignment knowing there was a good chance they would be able to retain him” on account of the contract they had just signed him to.

Having said that, Cordero will likely partake in major-league spring training as a non-roster invitee once the Red Sox begin camp this coming February.

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox prospect Josh Winckowski closes out season with another impressive outing for Triple-A Worcester

Red Sox pitching prospect Josh Winckowski wrapped up his first season with his new organization on a promising note Friday night.

Making his second start for Triple-A Worcester since being promoted there late last month, Winckowski allowed just one earned on two hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts over six innings of work against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies affiliate) at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa.

Coming off a strong showing in his last time out against the Rochester Red Wings, Winckowski retired each of the first six batters he faced in order before running into some trouble in the bottom half of the third.

There, the right-hander led the inning off by serving up a solo home run to Logan O’Hoope. He then issued a four-pitch walk to Nick Maton, who proceeded to advance all the way to third base on a Josh Ockimey throwing error after Arquimedes Gamboa reached safely on a fielder’s choice.

Despite being put in a tough spot at that moment, Winckowski did not waver, as he stranded Maton at third by getting Adam Haseley to fly out to left field before Luke Williams grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play that was started by Jack Lopez and turned by Jonathan Arauz.

Having escaped that jam, Winckowski settled in a bit by retiring the side in order in the fourth, maneuvering his way around a two-out single in the fifth, and working around two walks in the sixth with an emphatic punchout of Darick Hall to end his night on a positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 84 (47 strikes), Winckowski ultimately picked up his first winning decision at the Triple-A level by leading the WooSox to a 4-3 victory over the IronPigs on Saturday.

In his first and final two starts of the season with Worcester, the righty allowed a total of three earned runs on five hits, three walks, one hit batsman, and 13 strikeouts over 12 innings pitched. That’s good for a 2.25 ERA and 3.27 FIP.

Winckowski, 23, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 16 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking ninth among pitchers in the organization.

The Red Sox orginally acquired the former 15th-round draft pick of the Blue Jays from the Mets as part of the three-team trade that sent outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the Royals back in February.

He received an invite to major-league spring training before opening the 2021 minor-league season with Double-A Portland, where he posted a 4.14 ERA and 4.02 FIP to go along with 88 strikeouts to 30 walks over 21 outings (20 starts) spanning exactly 100 innings of work.

That led to him being named the Sea Dogs’ Pitcher of the Year, and it also netted him a promotion to Worcester on September 24.

Of the four prospects (Winckowski, right-handers Grant Gambrell and Luis De La Rosa, and outfielder Freddy Valdez) Boston added as part of that three-team swap with New York and Kansas City, Winckowcki is the furthest along in regards to his development.

Per his SoxProspects.com scouting report, the 6-foot-4, 212 pound hurler out of Fort Myers operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 92-94 mph fastball that tops out at 97 mph, an 84-86 mph slider, an 88-91 mph changeup, and a reported split-finger fastball.

The timing of Winckowski’s promotion and success with the WooSox certainly comes at an interesting time when considering the fact that he can once again become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter.

While still with the Blue Jays last year, he was left unprotected upon becoming eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time, though that seems unlikely to happen this time around.

Having said all that, the Red Sox have until November 20 to add Winckowski — as well as any other eligible prospect they would like to protect — to their 40-man roster if they do not wish to expose him to the Rule 5 Draft come December.

(Picture of Josh Winckowski: Billie Weiss/MLB Photos via Getty Images)