With the end of Portland’s Double A season, Red Sox top prospect Triston Casas along with righthander Josh Winckowski and catcher Ronaldo Hernández are being promoted to Triple A Worcester for the final two weeks, according to a major league source.
The 21-year-old first baseman has what one evaluator recently called “superstar” potential. The 2018 first-rounder, who shuttled between Portland and the US Olympic team this summer, hit .284/.395/.484 with 13 homers in 77 games for the Sea Dogs, including a .358/.507/.811 run with 7 homers in his last 15 games of the year.
Winckowski, 23, acquired from the Mets in the three-way deal that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals, was 8-3 with a 4.14 ERA, and 7.9 strikeouts and 2.7 walks per nine innings over 100 innings.
Hernández, 23, was acquired from the Rays prior to the season for lefthander Jeffrey Springs and righthander Chris Mazza. After a slow start, Hernández came on strong at the end of the year, hitting .325/.364/.585 with 10 homers in 56 games since the beginning of July to finish the Double A season with a .280/.319/.506 line and 16 homers.
Bobby Dalbec provides a great dilemma
The Red Sox have a good problem on their hands. With Casas now in Triple A and just a step away from the big leagues, Bobby Dalbec stands in his way. At least with the way he’s playing now. After a tumultuous four months, Dalbec has certainly situated himself as a key cog to this Red Sox team. In fact, he’s been the one who has kept them alive.
Through July, Dalbec batted just .216/.260/.399 with a .659 OPS. Since then Dalbec has been one of the best hitters in all of baseball, slashing .409/.737 with a 1.146 OPS. The plate discipline and being on time, a part of the game manager Alex Cora said has been a key to Dalbec’s success, is evident.
In his first 296 plate appearances this year, Dalbec negotiated just 13 walks. In his last 132 plate appearances, Dalbec has 15 walks. Kyle Schwarber, the Sox’ key trade deadline acquisition, has become a matchup guy. Alex Verdugo, too. Why?
“Bobby. Let’s put it that way,” Cora said. “Bobby has to play against every lefty and you have to pick and choose with Alex and Kyle. That’s the bottom line. Kyle will be fine. You know, he’ll play both games against the Mets. They’re going with two righties and Alex will play both games against righties. We’ll find a way to do that. But this is more about Bobby Dalbec than anything else.”
Dalbec’s next step, according to one industry source, is to avoid the dismal lows. But as Casas rises up the ranks, Dalbec is certainly having something to say about it.
Alex Speier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @alexspeier.