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Red Sox Top Prospect Voting: Bryan Gonzalez tries to find the map

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An under-the-radar name to remember.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When you get this deep into a prospect list, particularly for a system that is, frankly, among the worst in baseball, it becomes a little less about overall talent and more about what you as an individual prefer. This latest round of voting, as we delve deeper into this list than we normally due to, well, you know, came down to a battle between two prospects. One was a pitcher who gets a good chunk of his value from being relatively close to the majors. The other is more traditionally enticing from an upside perspective, but is very far away from making good on that potential. The latter came away on top here, with Bryan Gonzalez coming in as our number 22 prospect, grabbing 35 percent of the vote.

The July 2 international signing class was the second chance the Red Sox had at a full international class after a two-year break due to penalties under the old format as well as a punishment from the league for improper behavior in earlier years. In this 2018 class, the Red Sox found themselves apparently most interested in the outfielders available, with each of their top five July 2 signees playing in the outfield (per Sox Prospects’s tracker). Following the summer of 2019 when these players made their professional debuts, it is the number three name on this list who has garnered the most buzz. Gonzalez was signed out of the Dominican Republic for $500,000.

As a recent signee, we of course do not have a whole lot of statistics to go by here, with the slugger having only spent on summer as a pro and it entirely coming in the Dominican Summer League. Gonzalez played in 67 games in the DSL last year and got 294 plate appearances, hitting .251/.341/.435 with nine homers, 12 doubles and four triples. Those numbers translate to 20, 27 and nine over a 150-game pace, for what that’s worth.

Looking at the scouting report, Gonzalez is fairly stereotypical for a corner outfield prospect. His big carrying tool is the power, which is not a huge surprise given his 6’2, 215 pound frame. Remember, he’s also only 18 years old so there could be more coming, too. The power grades out as a potential above-average tool, but the degree to which it can play in games will come down to the development of his hit tool. The good news here is that by all accounts Gonzalez has a plan at the plate and shows good discipline, which is far from a given at his age level. The bad news is that he still swings through a lot of pitches. He struck out over 26 percent of the time last summer. If he can get that hit tool to an average-ish level, that bat will play in a corner. Defensively, he likely profiles as a right fielder, though a move to left field isn’t out of the question either.

If there is a 2020 season, Gonzalez would likely be headed to the GCL according to Sox Prospects. If that does turn out to be the case, a move up to Lowell at some point in the summer if he shows up well at the complex shouldn’t be out of the question either. Gonzalez is a long way off, which generally means there’s a long time for fatal flaws to show up. However, there’s real potential for an everyday player here and now may be the time to jump on this bandwagon ahead of what will hopefully be an impressive Stateside debut.

Here is our list so far

1. Jeter Downs

2. Triston Casas

3. Bobby Dalbec

4. Bryan Mata

5. Noah Song

6. Gilberto Jimenez

7. Jay Groome

8. Jarren Duran

9. Thad Ward

10. Tanner Houck

11. Matthew Lugo

12. C.J. Chatham

13. Connor Wong

14. Nick Decker

15. Cameron Cannon

16. Marcus Wilson

17. Aldo Ramirez

18. Brayan Bello

19. Ryan Zeferjahn

20. Chris Murphy

21. Chih-Jung Liu

22. Bryan Gonzalez

Now, you can head down into the comments and vote for the number two. As a reminder, to do this you go down below and find the comment from me corresponding with the player for whom you’d like to vote. When you find said player, just click the “rec” button, and that will count your vote. To do this, you will need to be logged in as a member of the site. If you’d like to vote for a player who is not listed, just leave a comment saying “Vote for ___ here” and I’ll rec the comment to count your vote. Until next time...