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Meet the newest players in the Red Sox system picked up at the trade deadline

Nick Pivetta is the only one of the new players in the Red Sox system who has experience in the majors.
Nick Pivetta is the only one of the new players in the Red Sox system who has experience in the majors.John Bazemore/Associated Press

In the words of team president Sam Kennedy, no Red Sox were untouchable at the trade deadline. Not even first baseman Mitch Moreland, who helped the team to a World Series title in 2018 and was one of the offensive leaders this season.

On the eve of the deadline that proved to be true: The Red Sox dealt Moreland to the Padres for two young prospects, Hudson Potts and Jeisson Rosario.

The Red Sox got rid of one of their best hitters in exchange for two prospects. Why? As chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said, the club has a desire to add and develop young talent:

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“At the end of the day, to do what we’re trying to do over the time period that we’re trying to do it, we need talent throughout the system. We need waves of it,” Bloom said.

So, what is there to know about the newest players in the Red Sox system?

Nick Pivetta, pitcher

  • School: New Mexico Junior College
  • Age: 27
  • Bats/throws: R/R
  • Drafted in the fourth round by the Washington Nationals in 2013

Pivetta has experience in the majors, making 92 appearances with 71 starts since breaking in with the Phillies in 2017 (he was traded by the Nationals in exchange for ex-Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon). He has a career 5.50 ERA and 1.43 WHIP over 396 major-league innings.

Pivetta has boasted underwhelming results. While he’s got a mid-90s fastball, it’s his curveball that was something to pay attention to. In 2018, his then pitching coach called it an “elite weapon.” But he pitched just over 93 innings for the Phillies in 2019, down significantly from 164 in 2018.

In 2020, he pitched just 5⅔ innings in three games, allowing 10 earned runs. He came over to the Red Sox in exchange for Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree. Pivetta was sent to Pawtucket. The Globe’s Alex Speier said the organization sees Pivetta as someone with “front-of-the-rotation potential.”

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What Bloom says:

“[Pivetta is] a guy that’s shown the ability to carry a starter’s workload and a lot of the underlying traits that show the potential for a lot more success than he’s enjoyed in terms of his results. Sometimes it takes that change of scenery for a player to exhale and maybe be able to do something he couldn’t.”

What scouting reports say:

“I didn’t have to write a report on him, but if I did I would have given him three pluses and an average changeup,” per a Baseball America 2019 spring training writeup. “The curveball and slider both flashed plus. Both very sharp breaking balls, distinct. 94-95 with an 82 mph power curveball and a slider up to 86 with tilt. He was really, really good.”

Hudson Potts, third baseman

  • School: Carroll High School, Southlake, Texas
  • Age: 21
  • Bats/throws: S/R
  • Drafted by the Padres in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft, 24th overall.

Potts began 2017 at Single A and was one of the Midwest League leaders in at-bats (491), HR (20), hits (124) and RBI (69). He was promoted to high-Single A in 2018 and finished that season at Double A.

He entered 2019 as the No. 15 ranked prospect in the Padres system, according to Baseball America. He spent the season in the Texas League, where he hit .227 with a .696 OPS games with a 28.6 percent strikeout rate despite suffering an oblique injury that cost him a month.

In comparison, Red Sox infielder Jonathan Arauz hit .241 with a .700 OPS in 28 games last year in the Texas League at the same age.

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What Bloom says:

“He did see some time at second base last summer as well,” Bloom said. “A big, physical kid with a lot of power and a good arm. Really good tools. A chance particularly as he continues to develop his approach that he could be a real asset with the bat and also be able to play multiple positions.”

What scouting reports say:

MLB Pipeline has Potts ranked as Boston’s No. 20 prospect. Here’s their scouting report:

“Potts’ quick right-handed bat and strength give him plenty of raw power, but he has yet to show he can make enough contact against quality pitching to tap into it. He’ll always be a power-over-hit guy, but he’ll need a more disciplined approach to do enough damage to claim an everyday job in the big leagues. He doesn’t walk much and he’s a fringy runner, so almost all of his offensive value comes from his pop.”

Jeisson Rosario, outfielder

  • Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Age: 20
  • Bats/throws: L/L
  • Signed a contract with the Padres in 2016 as an international free agent.

After signing with the Padres in 2016 for $1.85 million, Rosario quickly worked his way through the rookie league and spent 2018 in single A. He picked up 118 hits in 117 games for the Fort Wayne TinCaps.

Last season, he posted a .242/.372/.314 slash line at the high-Single A level.

“His defense and speed create a baseline upon which to build,” the Globe’s Speier writes. “He has more strength than he’s shown in games, creating the offensive upside of an everyday player if he can continue to develop.”

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What Bloom says:

“Jeisson Rosario is a top-flight athlete who profiles as a true center fielder and a true leadoff hitter,” he said. “Plus, plus runner. Again, really good athlete. Very good ability in the outfield. Has a really advanced feel for the strike zone at a young age. And we’re excited to see how he develops as he grows and adds strength. But he’s got the upside to play center every day and hit at the top of the lineup.”

What scouting reports say:

MLB Pipeline has Rosario ranked as the No. 16 prospect in the system. Here’s their scouting report:

“Rosario’s above-average speed enables him to cover ground with graceful strides in the outfield, giving him a good chance of remaining in center. He still needs time to develop in the minors, mostly to fill out his lean and athletic frame. But the finished product could be that of a big league regular, with the athletic capabilities to do dazzling things on the baseball field – including his trademark backflips to celebrate victories.”

Connor Seabold, pitcher

  • School: Cal State Fullerton
  • Age: 24
  • Bats/throws: R/R
  • Selected by the Phillies in the third round in the 2017

Regarded as having “No. 4 starter potential,” Seabold jumped from short-season A in 2017 to high-A in 2018. He started 11 games at Double A in 2018, finishing with a 4.91 ERA.

He suffered an oblique injury in 2019 that kept him sidelined and forced him to work his way back up to Double A, where he pitched 40 innings with a 2.25 ERA and 36 strikeouts for Reading. He was invited to Phillies spring training this February before the coronavirus pandemic shut it down.

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Evaluators say Seabold has the potential to offer the Sox starting pitching depth in the next few years, according to Speier. His changeup is his best pitch.

What Bloom says:

“A starting pitching prospect who really has good feel to pitch, an arsenal that should work against both sides,” Bloom said. “Quality pitches, including the changeup. Again, really knows how to pitch, how to use his stuff and really nice addition to the starting pitching depth in the upper levels of our system.”

What scouting reports say:

MLB Pipeline has Seabold ranked at No. 23 in the Sox system.

“Despite not having eye-popping stuff, Seabold has managed to keep hitters off-balance and missed a decent amount of bats. ... He’s throwing a bit harder than he did in his college days, typically in the 90-93 mph range now, though he touched 94 mph. ... He worked to improve his changeup while he was rehabbing and it’s an above-average pitch now with excellent downer action to it.

“Seabold will always be a command and control pitcher, one who has to rely on changing speeds and keeping hitters off-balance. His swing-and-miss rate went up in the AFL and if that’s for real, he could fit into the back end of a big league rotation soon.”

Players to be named

The Red Sox will also receive two players to be named in exchange for dealing Kevin Pillar to the Rockies and Josh Osich to the Cubs. Teams aren’t allowed to trade prospects that aren’t on their 60-man roster until after the season, so it’s unclear who the Red Sox will receive.

The Rockies farm system is rated No. 28 by Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com, with particular depth at the outfielder position.

The Cubs’ farm system comes in at No. 25, with outfield depth and some potential among its pitchers.