The Boston Red Sox 2019 season is officially underway, and with the start of the major league season comes the start of the minor leagues. The Red Sox farm system has seen better days, but the AA Portland Sea Dogs still have some of the most exciting and interesting prospects in the system. These players could comprise the Red Sox core in the next few years, while some could even contribute to the 2019 Red Sox.
Portland Sea Dogs: What to Watch For
Darwinzon Hernandez (Scouting Report)
Darwinzon Hernandez enters the 2019 season as the Red Sox top pitching prospect, and with good reason. The young lefty has a fantastic pitch tool and is downright unhittable when he’s at his best. The 22-year old should be Portland’s Day One starter and could finish the season as a top-100 prospect if everything breaks right.
The biggest thing to watch for with Hernandez is his command. The lefty has shaky control and an absurdly high walk rate. Hernandez can’t last as a starter with that type of command, but he could make it in the bullpen. He is already on the 40-man roster, and the Red Sox might decide to convert him to a full-time reliever if he can’t find the strike zone on a regular basis. Hernandez has a bright major league future, but it would obviously be better if he could last as a starter.
Bobby Dalbec (Scouting Report)
Bobby Dalbec isn’t the top prospect in the Red Sox system, but he has the highest ceiling. The Red Sox slugging third baseman has unparalleled power and a fantastic glove. If everything breaks right for him, he’s basically going to be Aaron Judge as a third baseman.
However, there’s a very real chance that things don’t break well for him. Dalbec struggles to hit offspeed pitching and strikes out over 30% of the time. He’s older than fellow third base prospect Michael Chavis, so he’s running out of time to find his swing. The Red Sox have considerable minor league depth at the corner infield position, so Boston could deal Dalbec for a major leaguer at the trade deadline. If Dalbec can start making contact with off-speed pitching, he’ll be too good to trade. However, if he can’t, then he’ll probably finish the season with a different organization.
Durbin Feltman (Scouting Report)
It’s only a matter of time before relief pitcher Durbin Feltman makes it up to the majors. 2018’s third-round draft pick is already one of the most exciting minor leaguers in the system and played up to his impressive billing as a rookie. Feltman pitched 23.1 innings last season, allowing a 1.93 ERA and a 1.10 FIP while posting a 13.89 K/9 and a 1.93 BB/9.
Feltman has an undeniably high ceiling, but he’s yet to face advanced hitting. The hard-throwing reliever spent the entirety of 2018 at the Single-A level and the jump from Single-A to Double-A is supposed to be one of the hardest transitions in baseball. If Feltman can seamlessly handle this transition, then he could make it to the majors midway through May.