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Red Sox Minor League Players of the Week: Portland continues to stand out

For a second straight week, three of the four winners are at Double-A.

Wilkelman Gonzalez (2020)
Kelly O’Connor

Welcome to a new feature here at Over The Monster in which we will be looking at the best players on the farm from the past week. With the new minor-league schedule being implemented this year that has teams playing six-game series every week with Mondays off, there are no Minor Lines on Tuesdays. We figured rather than just leaving that timeslot blank every week, we’d hand out some fake, virtual hardware. Each week, we’ll pick players of the week for both position players and pitchers, as well as an honorable mention in each category. (See Previous Winners Here)

Position Player of the Week

Tyreque Reed, Portland/Greenville

Reed did not take a very long time to acclimate himself to Portland, as the first baseman was just promoted up to Double-A after spending the rest of the year prior to this week in Greenville. In fact, he played his first game of this week at High-A before seeing Double-A pitching. But it didn’t matter who he was seeing, because he showed off the same kind of patience and batting eye that has been impressive all season. Reed walked six times on the week to help get up to a .625 OBP. Overall, he slashed .438/.625/.813 over the six-day stretch, throwing in a home run and three doubles.

Reed is no stranger to this weekly feature, with this being the second time in three weeks he’s received the top honor, and the third time for the season he’s been in one of the top two spots. After being selected in the minor-league Rule 5 Draft from the Rangers, the Red Sox put the 24-year-old at High-A, with Triston Casas and Pedro Castellanos already up above him. Reed had no issues in Greenville, slashing .296/.405/.587 in High-A with 14 homers in 48 games. That’s a 44-homer pace over 150 games. And as we showed above, he didn’t miss a beat with a mid-week promotion up to Portland after Casas left to play for Team USA.

Reed is quickly becoming an interesting prospect in this system, and perhaps an interesting trade piece. While he certainly wouldn’t fetch anything major on his own, he could be an intriguing addition to a greater package. And Reed does have intriguing skills if he does stay in the organization, with big raw power and the aforementioned patience. He’s a true modern hitter with the three true outcomes, though he needs that package to nearly max out as he doesn’t have a ton of defensive value. Still, the Red Sox have done well these last couple years with both versions of the Rule 5 Draft.

Honorable Mention: Devlin Granberg, Portland

Like Reed, Granberg started his season in Greenville, and like Reed he is no stranger to this column. The former sixth round pick had yet another big week in Portland, having been promoted about a month ago. This past week he hit .478/.478/.870 with three homers under his belt. Granberg hasn’t missed a beat at all since being promoted to Double-A, hitting .349/.365/.614 since getting the promotion. Like Reed, he’s not really seen as a major prospect but he’s done nothing but produce as a pro and thus could be an intriguing addition to a trade package.

Pitcher of the Week

Wilkelman Gonzalez, FCL

Wilkelman Gonzalez got the Opening Day start down on the FCL, which actually isn’t quite a first for him as he did the same back in 2019 when he was in the DSL. But the righty was a little bit uneven this season before his start last week, when he really dominated. In fact, he was perfect. Over five innings of work, he didn’t allow a single baserunner while striking out nine of the 15 batters he faced. Oftentimes picking the best pitching performance of the week can be tricky, but this week it was a no-brainer.

What makes this selection a little bit weird is that since he’s coming from the complex he’s not on the same Mondays-off schedule as the rest of the system, so he actually pitched on Monday as well. His inclusion here doesn’t have anything to do with his most recent start, but he once again showed off very good stuff. Gonzalez wasn’t perfect this time around, allowing two runs over his five innings, but once again he struck out nine without walking anyone. On the season, Gonzalez has an ugly 5.28 ERA, but he also has 25 strikeouts and only two walks in 15 13 innings.

Those strikeout and walk numbers are extremely impressive for a 19-year-old pitching in the US for the first time. Gonzalez put up a solid season back in 2019 as well, pitching to a 3.30 ERA in the DSL. He’s a long way off, and he’s really only had two good starts this season on the complex, but this is a name to keep an eye on. There’s the potential for a good arsenal if all develops well, but his secondaries still need a lot of work. There have been some signs that the Red Sox have turned around their trends in pitcher development, and this will be a good test case.

Honorable Mention: Kutter Crawford, Portland

Another week, another Kutter Crawford mention. The righty has been a machine of late, even getting the top honor last week. This time around, he allowed only one run over six innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. Crawford is down to a 3.35 ERA over 40 13 innings this season, striking out 55 and walking only five. The righty is one of the most intriguing pitchers in the system at the moment, and like Reed and Granberg he could be a trade piece, albeit with a little more value.