Several top Red Sox prospects are among the group of 62 minor leaguers convening in Fort Myers for the team’s fall instructional league.
Top prospect Triston Casas (a first baseman), pitchers Bryan Mata and Jay Groome, first-rounder Nick Yorke, and trade deadline acquisitions Hudson Potts (a third baseman) and Jeisson Rosario (an outfielder) are among the players who were at the team’s alternate site in Pawtucket and who will take part in the roughly six-week program.
Top prospects who weren’t in Pawtucket but who will now work with coaches in Fort Myers include righthander Thad Ward, outfielder Gilberto Jimenez, lefthander Chris Murphy, shortstop Matthew Lugo, and righthander Brayan Bello, all of whom ranked in the team’s top 15 prospects entering the year.
Blaze Jordan, this year’s third-round pick, will also be in Fort Myers, as will fellow draftees Jeremy Wu-Yelland and Shane Drohan. Eight players who spent last year in the Dominican Summer League, including highly regarded infielder Brainer Bonaci, will also take part in the program.
Just two players who were in Baseball America’s Red Sox preseason top 30 prospects list received neither an invite to the Alternate Site in Pawtucket nor to instructional league.
Righthander Noah Song, a 2019 Navy graduate, enrolled in flight school as part of his military service commitment and won’t be eligible to pursue his professional career until at least next May. And lefthander Yoan Aybar, who was added to the 40-man roster last offseason, was ineligible to take part in the instructional league program due to his roster status.
The program represents the first opportunity for in-person instruction for most minor leaguers — save for those who were at the alternate site — since they were sent home from spring training in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cancellation of the minor league season forced players to spend most of the last seven months making their own arrangements for workouts. With the instructional league program, the Sox will have a chance to have direct in-person instruction for 55 minor leaguers who had been working out at home.
The first workout will take place on Monday, with intrasquad games to start in mid-October. The program will conclude on Nov. 12. No determination has been made about whether the instructional program will include games against minor leaguers from other organizations.
Here’s a breakdown of the participants, with age and most recent affiliate level in parentheses.
Jacinto Arrendondo (RHP, 22, undrafted free agent); Eduard Bazardo (RHP, 25, Double A); Brock Bell (RHP, 22, GCL); Brayan Bello (RHP, 21, Single A); Bradley Blalock (RHP, 19, GCL); Brendan Cellucci (LHP, 22, Lowell); Kutter Crawford (RHP, 24, Double A); Nathanael Cruz (RHP, 17, international free agent); Osvaldo De La Rosa (RHP, 22, Greenville); Jordan DiValerio (RHP, 22, undrafted free agent); Shane Drohan (LHP, 21, 5th round); Juan Daniel Encarnacion (RHP, 19, DSL); Durbin Feltman (RHP, 23, Double A); Wilkelman Gonzalez (RHP, 18, DSL); Jay Groome (LHP, 22, Alt Site); Gabriel Jackson (RHP, 19, DSL); Chih-Jung Liu (RHP, 21, international free agent); Blake Loubier (RHP, 19, GCL); Bryan Mata (RHP, 21, Alt Site); Chris Murphy (LHP, 22, Lowell); Yusniel Padron-Artilles (RHP, 22, Lowell); Andrew Politi (RHP, 24, High A); Aldo Ramirez (RHP, 19, Lowell); Jorge Rodriguez (LHP, 20, GCL); Chase Shugart (RHP, 23, Greenville); Dylan Spacke (RHP, 22, Lowell); Jake Thompson (RHP, 26, High A); Brian Van Belle (RHP, 24, undrafted free agent); Jacob Wallace (RHP, 22, short-season in Rockies system); Thad Ward (RHP, 23, High A); Jeremy Wu-Yelland (LHP, 21, 4th round); Ryan Zeferjahn (RHP, 22, Lowell)
Roldani Baldwin (24, GCL); Kole Cottam (23, Single A); Alex Erro (22, Lowell); Jaxx Groshans (22, Lowell); Alan Marrero (22, Single A); Oscar Rangel (22, GCL); Stephen Scott (23, Lowell); Connor Wong (24, Alt Site)
Brainer Bonaci (18, DSL); Cameron Cannon (22, Lowell); Triston Casas (20, Alt Site); Pedro Castellanos (22, High A); Antoni Flores (19, Lowell), Brandon Howlett (21, Single A); Blaze Jordan (17, 3rd round); Matthew Lugo (19, Lowell); Nick Northcut (21, Lowell); Hudson Potts (21, Alt Site); Ceddanne Rafaela (20, GCL); Nick Yorke (18, 1st round/Alt Site)
Darel Belen (20, DSL); Juan Chacon (17, international free agent); Wil Dalton (23, Lowell); Nick Decker (21, Lowell); Tyler Esplin (21, Single A); Bryan Gonzalez (19, DSL); Gilberto Jimenez (20, Lowell); Eduardo Lopez (18, DSL); Jeisson Rosario (20, Alt Site); Eduardo Vaughan (18, DSL)
Alex Speier can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @alexspeier.