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Red Sox Top Prospect Voting: Alex Binelas looks to make his mark in a new organization

He has big power, but some questions regarding his ability to make contact.

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

We talked last time about that run of pitchers we saw in the middle of this list, which serves as a nice visual reputation of what we’ve seen with this organization and their improved ability to develop solid pitching depth, even if they’re largely lacking elite talent on the mound. But now we’re back to the offense, with Miguel Bleis getting the nod last time and another bat getting the most votes this time around. For this vote, it was newcomer Alex Binelas who came in as our number 17 prospect, garnering 43 percent of the vote.

Binelas is yet another prospect on this list who did not originally start with the organization, joining Jeter Downs, Connor Seabold, and Josh Winckowski in that group. He’s also the newest to professional ball to that group, though he has a nice track record at the college level. Binelas was drafted out of high school as a 35th round pick by the Washington Nationals, but opted to pass on that chance and instead join eventual number one overall pick Henry Davis at the University of Louisville. There, Binelas had a stand out freshman year that put him among the most anticipated prospects in his draft class.

Unfortunately, things didn’t exactly progress as planned from there. After that breakout year as a freshman, he missed basically all of the 2020 season — which was cut short already due to COVID — after breaking a hamate bone in his hand. Binelas did get back on the field in 2020, but got off to a slow start in recovering from that injury. He was able to recover, though, and finished out the season strong enough to convince the Brewers to use a third round pick on the power hitting prospect.

Once getting into pro ball, he did now slow down at all. Binelas spent a week of basically just working walks at the Rookie Ball level before getting promoted to A-Ball, where he really showed his skillset. Playing in 29 games at the level, the 21-year-old (he’ll turn 22 in late May) hit .314/.379/.636 with nine homers. That’s a 47-homer pace over 150 games. After the season, the Red Sox decided to take a chance on that power, sending Hunter Renfroe to the Brewers right before the lockout, taking back Jackie Bradley Jr. and his contract while also getting Binelas and fellow infield prospect David Hamilton.

And it’s also that power that makes Binelas such an enticing prospect. He put it on full display against lower-level pitching, and the raw power was not a mirage. Most outlets rate it as at least above-average, if not plus, and it will play in games as well as long as he’s making contact. But therein lies the problem. While Binelas has a solid enough approach and will draw his walks, he has a long swing that is susceptible to whiffs, particularly on elevated velocity. As we know, raw power will only translate into game power if the player is putting the bat on the ball. Additionally, Binelas has some questions with his defense. Right now he’s a third baseman but a relative lack of athleticism may force him to first base, though some think he could potentially make it in left field.

Either way, it’s going to be the bat that determines whether or not Binelas can make an impact at the highest level. If he makes enough contact to consistently tap into that raw power, they’ll find a spot for him in the lineup. This coming season he’ll be tested in that respect facing more advanced pitching. The plan is likely for him to start the season at High-A, and if he performs well in the first half of that season I would look for him to play the final six weeks or so in Double-A Portland.

Here is our full list so far:

  1. Triston Casas, 1B
  2. Marcelo Mayer, SS
  3. Nick Yorke, 2B
  4. Jarren Duran, OF
  5. Brayan Bello, RHP
  6. Bryan Mata, RHP
  7. Jeter Downs, 2B/SS
  8. Blaze Jordan, 3B/1B
  9. Jay Groome, LHP
  10. Gilberto Jimenez, OF
  11. Wilkelman Gonzalez, RHP
  12. Connor Seabold, RHP
  13. Brandon Walter, LHP
  14. Josh Winckowski, RHP
  15. Noah Song, RHP
  16. Miguel Bleis, OF
  17. Alex Binelas, 3B

Now, you can head down into the comments and vote for the number 18 prospect. 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. We encourage discussion, of course, but please don’t comment under specific players’ names. Instead, scroll to the bottom to start a new comment thread in order to keep the players at the top of the comment section. Until next time...