On December 1st the Boston Red Sox acquired prospects Alex Binelas and David Hamilton as part of the package received for Hunter Renfroe in the trade between the Red Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Binelas, a 21 year old left handed hitting corner infielder from the University of Louisville, was a third round draft pick in the 2021 MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. While entering 2021 as a "potential top-15 pick" (MLB.com), he started his 2021 campaign off by hitting .256/.348/.621/.968 at the University of Louisville. However, that includes a slow start to the season where he hit .155 through the first month of the season. After the draft, he went on to hit .309/.390/.583/.973 while hitting 11 doubles and 9 homers between rookie ball and Low-A. Binelas had 17 walks compared to 39 strikeouts (24% K rate, 9% walk rate). As a third baseman this past season, he struggled a bit in the field with an .892 fielding percentage. Some question whether he could play either corner spot in the future, and question whether a move to corner outfield in the future is in the cards. His speed in his 60-yard dash times suggest he may be best fit in the outfield. However, if he can continue to hit like he did this past year, his bat will play regardless of where he ends up defensively. Binelas looks to be a part of the Sox future if he can continue to develop, but there are question marks around him being a streaky hitter at times. However, after his first month at Louisville, his numbers are impressive and he grades similar to Sox top prospect Triston Casas, with it being noted Casas grades a little higher and is further along in his development.
Hamilton, a 24 year old left handed hitting middle infielder from the University of Texas at Austin, was an eight round pick in the 2019 MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. Hamilton spent the 2021 season between High-A and Double-A, where he hit a combined .258/.341/.419/.761, while hitting 19 doubles, 11 triples, and 8 homeruns while also stealing 52 bases and only being caught 9 times. After the season, Hamilton went on to play in the Arizona Fall League, where he went on to hit .293/.453/.463/.916, hitting 3 doubles and 2 triples, while adding 4 stolen bases to his total, being caught twice. Hamilton projects as a middle infielder. Whether or not that will be at SS or 2B is to be decided. He had a .947 fielding percentage in 746.2 innings at SS this past year, while having a .929 fielding percentage in 112.2 innings at 2B. Wherever Hamilton plays, he is still a big piece in this trade, as he can eventually be a useful player if he pans out. His speed is a great tool, and the Sox could always try and leverage that, as the Sox don’t currently have many great basestealers in the system, if any at all. Two of the fastest prospects in the system, Jarren Duran and Gilberto Jimenez can struggle at times to steal bases, as Jimenez only stole 13 in 2021 and while Duran stole 16 in only 60 games in Triple-A, he only had 2 in his 33 games with the Red Sox.
At the end of the day, even if Binelas is only a good but not great hitter and Hamilton is only a backup middle infielder and pinch runner, that is still a decent deal on the doing of Chaim Bloom, especially if Jackie Bradley has a decent year and the Sox go out and sign another bat, which they’ve been heavily linked to Seiya Suzuki since the trade went down. However, if Binelas turns out how everyone hopes he does, which is an everyday player and maybe an all-star, and/or Hamilton can become an everyday middle infielder, Chaim Bloom can add another successful trade to his pocket, regardless of what Renfroe does with Milwaukee.
If you like this article, I would appreciate it if you checked me out on the Bastards of Boston Baseball YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCorMrEGHhuFxYftmYdmcXOg) where there will be a video put out either today, December 5, or tomorrow, December 6 on Alex Binelas and David Hamilton.