The minor league season is over for the Red Sox, so the focus turns to next year for the prospects. There were risers and fallers in the system, but some of them could be on the major league team next year. The most likely call-ups are Michael Chavis, Travis Lakins, Durbin Feltman, and Bobby Dalbec.
Coming into the year, Chavis was the best prospect in the organization. An 80 game suspension for PEDs set him back, but Chavis raked when he came back. The 23-year old spent the bulk of the year in Double-A Portland and hit .303 with six home runs in 33 games there. The third baseman was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket and hit .273 in just eight games there. When Bobby Dalbec and Chavis were on the same team, Chavis moved to first base. Steve Pearce is a free agent and Mitch Moreland is under contract for next year, so the Red Sox will have to make some decisions with that. Also, moving Rafael Devers, who struggled at third, to first base, has been talked about. This would open the door for Chavis to be the opening day third baseman next year.
Lakins and Feltman
Travis Lakins got off to a rough start in his Red Sox career, but do not let his 4.42 career ERA fool you. His career was revived when he moved to the bullpen. Lakins was moved to bullpen full time when he was promoted from Portland to Pawtucket and did not disappoint. The righty posted a 1.65 ERA in ten appearances with Pawtucket, picking up two saves.
Durbin Feltman was drafted just a few months ago and has been very impressive already. It only took him four games in which he did not give up a run to be promoted to Greenville. Feltman posted a 2.57 ERA in seven games with Greenville then was promoted to Salem. He was good again in Salem, posting a 2.19 ERA in eleven games. All in all, Feltman had a 1.93 ERA in 22 games this season. The bullpen is obviously the biggest need for the Red Sox, so Feltman and Lakins could be the biggest pieces in the farm system.
Despite having a decent average, Dalbec makes up for that with walks and home runs. His on-base percentage is .361 which is up about 100 points from his .257 average. Dalbec showed his power this year, hitting 32 home runs in just 129 games with Portland and Salem. Dalbec fits today’s game because nobody really cares about hits and it’s all about getting on base and hitting the long ball. As I mentioned, the Red Sox have a hot corner conundrum. If Devers and Chavis are on the roster, Dalbec may have a tough time getting playing time. He has played third base his entire career so the Red Sox would have to change something to get him playing time.
Right now, the Red Sox have one of the worst farm systems in the league. However, I still believe that they have great potential and are on the rise. Dombrowski has drafted well since he was hired, and some of the 2018 picks are off to a hot start. They have also gotten unlucky because there top three prospects (Chavis, Groome, Casas) were all suspended or injured at some point this season.