Checking in On Josh Taylor, Darwinzon Hernandez, Jarren Duran, Others (Red Sox Minor League Notebook)

Red Sox

Southpaws Josh Taylor and Darwinzon Hernandez have not had one appearance with the Boston Red Sox this season. The Sox placed Hernandez in Triple-A Worcester to start the year hoping to improve his command, while Taylor has been dealing with a back issue and is currently rehabbing.

Hernandez hasn’t had the most successful year with the WooSox, as last night across his two-inning start he let up two runs on three hits, walking one and striking out four. In five outings, the 25-year-old has allowed nine runs through 12.1 innings (6.57 ERA) and the walk rate hasn’t been much different, with Hernandez matching his run total with nine walks (6.57 BB/9).

The goal for Hernandez was to be able to work between outings when they placed him in Worcester to start the year, and his starts that are more like openers (three to four innings).

For Taylor, due to his unvaccinated status, he missed a couple of days after being a close contact. In two one-inning outings for Worcester though he’s let up one run on two hits and a homer, while for 2/3 of an inning for Double-A Portland he’s let up two runs on three hits. The projected timetable for Taylor’s return was five to six rehab outings.

Jarren Duran

Jarren Duran’s start to his Triple-A season has been solid, as he’s hit .381/,469/.548 with a 177 wRC+, to go along with one homer, five RBI, and seven stolen bases in 11 games.

Jeter Downs

Jeter Downs has hit .243/.346/.443 in 18 games with Worcester, putting up three big flies and stolen bases with four RBI, notching a 113 wRC+ as he looks to rebound from his .190, 62-wRC+ season with the WooSox in 2021. Downs, acquired in the Mookie Betts deal and once a top five prospect on‘s top 60, has fallen to 13 on the rankings.

Jonathan Arauz

Jonathan Arauz will need some rehab work in Triple-A Worcester after spending the past week on the COVID-19 related injured list.

Jeremy Wu-Yelland

22-year-old Jeremy Wu-Yelland recently just underwent Tommy John Surgery, the lefty announced on his Instagram. In three starts for High-A Greenville, the left-hander allowed three runs through nine innings (3.00) following a 2021 season where he went 1-3 with a 4.03 ERA to go along with a 4.93 xFIP and a 10.39 K/9 through 20 starts for Low-A Salem.

Wu-Yelland, the 2020 fourth-round pick, is the 40th prospect on’s top 60.

Ceddanne Rafaela

Recently taking home Player of The Week Honors after his 2021 that saw him earn the Organization’s Defensive Player of The Year, 21-year-old Ceddanne Rafaela saw some time for the Red Sox at the major-league level this spring and has had quite the start to his 2022 season.

The 5-foot-8 third baseman/outfielder who’s been in the system since 2018 has slashed .307/.358/.613 so far for High-A Greenville, clubbing six long balls adding to his 15 RBI and 156 wRC+ in 17 games, though he’s slowed down a bit after having a wRC+ above 200 less a week ago. . He’s been featured in both the Boston Globe and MassLive recently.

Ryan Fitzgerald

After a four-homer spring training, 27-year-old utility man Ryan Fitzgerald continues to make a case for himself on the Red Sox roster with the WooSox. He’s socked six homers through 18 games with Worcester, hitting .302/.366/.714 with 18 RBI and a 175 wRC+. The one concern though might be his strikeout rate, which currently lies above 30 percent at 31.8 percent.

Marcelo Mayer 

19-year-old former fourth overall draft pick Marcelo Mayer has come out of the gates swinging so far this season, as through 13 games with Low-A Salem the shortstop has hit .333/.397/.491 with a 147 wRC+, 10 RBI, and three stolen bases. Take his one homer with a grain of salt — Salem’s ballpark is quite big, not to mention the la large and tall walls that cover the entire outfield.

Mayer has also been out since April 23 due to management of workload and wrist soreness.

Triston Casas 

With the first base position of Travis Shaw — who was recently DFA’d — and Bobby Dalbec accumulating a combined wRC+ of just 4, the call for Triston Casas is likely going to become louder, as Chris Cotillo recently wrote. He’s hit .225 but has an OPS of .801 with 15 walks, a 116 wRC+ and four homers.

The 22-year-old No. 2 prospect on SoxProspects believes he can reach Fenway’s red seat as mentioned in the last minor league notebook, as one of his homers reached 477 feet this year.

Brainer Bonaci

The 19-year-old infielder who’s the 25th ranked prospect has not played since April 17 due to an undisclosed injury. He hit .353 with seven RBI and a 179 wRC+ in 10 games for Salem this season.

Matthew Lugo

A name to watch out for wrote The Athletic before the season, Matthew Lugo has had a hot start to his year. The 20-year-old shorstop has hit .357 with a 155 wRC+, posting one homer and 12 RBI in 16 games for Greenville. SoxProspects ranks Lugo at 29 in the top 60, but should see a raise to that number.

Nathan Hickey

Left-handed hitting catcher Nathan Hickey, a 2021 fifth-round pick out of Florida with one of the smoothest swings you’ll find from a prospect, has hit .314/.457/.571 with two homers, 11 RBI, nine walks, and a 180 wRC+ in 10 games for Salem so far. The 22-year-old is ranked No. 30 on SoxProspects, but like Lugo, should see himself raise in the ranks.

Michael Gettys

Michael Gettys transitioned to pitcher late last season after his struggles with the WooSox last season, and at age 26, he’s pitching for High-A Greenville. The righty has pitched in five outings, working 6.1 innings and yielding five runs (three earned; 4.26 ERA) on 10 hits, two walks, and one homer also posting a 3.51 xFIP.

Wilkelman Gonzalez

10th ranked prospect on Sox Prospects, Wilkelman Gonzalez, going 1-0 and allowing just two runs (one earned) in four outings, giving the right-hander a 1.57 ERA across 15.1 innings for Low-A Salem. The 20-year-old an 11.49 K/9.

Connor Seabold

Acquired in the Nick Pivetta trade, 26-year-old Connor Seabold remains on the cusp of the majors. The right-handed starter for the WooSox, who had one three-inning outing in the midst for Boston last season in the midst of their COVID outbreak, and has pitched to a 1.74 ERA in four outings for Worcester, though a 5.29 xFIP on just 6.28 K/9 raises slight concerns.

Double-A rotation

Led by led by fifth ranked prospect Brayan Bello, the Sea Dogs rotation has been quite the staff this season. Lets take a look at the rotation this season:

  • Brayan Bello (5 on SP60): 4 G, 20.2 IP, 2.61 ERA, 2.49 xFIP, 13.94 K/9
  • Jay Groome (6 on SP60): 3 G – 2GS, 9.1 IP, 4.82 ERA, 5.07 xFIP, 8.68 K/9
  • Brandon Walter (9 on SP60): 4 G, 23 IP, 1.17 ERA, 3.62 xFIP, 11.35 K/9
  • Chris Murphy (15 on SP60): 4 G, 20 IP, 2.25 ERA, 4.47 xFIP, 10.80 K/9
  • Victor Santos (42 on SP60): 4 G, 23 IP, 3.13 ERA, 4.99 xFIP, 6.26 K/9
  • Thad Ward (20 on SP60): Tommy John in 2021


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