As the Boston Red Sox try to defend a World Series title, these five prospects can help over the course of this season.
The Boston Red Sox won their fourth World Series since 2004 last year, as the leave
“The Curse of the Bambino” far behind. But they have struggled to repeat, including 91 and 84 losses in the two seasons following their 2013 win.
Things are off to a bad start for Boston this year, with one win in their first six games (entering Wednesday) as the starting pitching has not been good and the offense has gone MIA over the last couple games. There’s too much talent for things not to turn around, but some reinforcements will almost surely be needed.
The Red Sox current lineup is filled with home-grown talent, with Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rafael Devers fronting a core group that has won three straight AL East titles. Prospects that have come through the pipeline have been used to acquire Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel, Nathan Eovaldi and reigning World Series MVP Steve Pearce.
Some of Boston’s top prospects this year could be used as trade fodder, and there’s a place for that. But a better mode would be to use major league-ready prospects as their own reinforcements, in cases of injury, underachievement or a simple need to upgrade.
As the Red Sox try to defend division, American League and World Series titles in 2019, these five prospects can help.
5. RHP Mike Shawaryn
Shawaryn was fifth-round pick in 2016 out of the University of Maryland. Between two levels last year he had a 3.44 ERA with an 8.0 K/9 and a 2.3 BB/9 over 26 appearances (25 starts, 149.1 innings). He followed that up with a good showing in the Arizona Fall League (2.13 ERA, 10.7 K.9 over 12.2 innings).
Shawaryn is Boston’s No. 9 prospect entering this season, according to MLB.com, and he’s closer to the big leagues than the pitchers ranked above him (Jay Groome, Bryan Mata, Tanner Houck). If the Red Sox look to Pawtucket for a pitcher, Shawaryn will be worthy of consideration.