MLB: Red Sox puts Jeter Downs and three more prospects on 40 roster

The Boston Red Sox they announced this Friday night that they have added four players to their 40-man roster. The infielder Jeter Downs and right-handers Josh Winckowski, Brayan Bello and Kutter Crawford they have been added to prevent them from being selected by other clubs in the Rule 5 draft.

Downs has been one of the highest-profile prospects in the game for a while. A first-round substitute for the Reds from a Florida high school in 2017, he has since been involved in two highly successful trades:

Downs was part of the package sent from Cincinnati to the Dodgers in December 2018 by Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, then he was traded to the Red Sox as part of the Mookie Betts deal the following winter.

During his early seasons, Downs offered a consistent combination of bat-to-ball skills, power, and second-base defense. He had projected himself as a potential everyday second baseman and twice ranked in the top 100 overall prospects in the game on Baseball America.

But Downs struggled through an unusually poor 2021, which left his actions a bit more uncertain. In more than 405 plate appearances with Triple-A Worcester, right-hander Downs hit just a .190 / .272 / .333 mark with 14 home runs. Most alarmingly, he struck out a whopping 32.3% of his plate appearances, his first season with a fan range of more than 21%.

Winckowski has been involved in a couple of trades, both of which occurred last offseason. The Blue Jays sent him to the Mets as part of the Steven Matz deal, and New York traded him to Boston in the three-team Andrew Benintendi / Khalil Lee trade shortly thereafter. Winckowski, selected in the 16th round by Toronto in 2016, has slowly climbed the minor league ladder as a starter:

He split the 2021 campaign between Double-A Portland and Worcester, working with a cumulative 3.94 ERA in 112 innings with a 21.3% below-average strikeout rate but a 6.9% quality walk percentage.

Bello, a former amateur signer from the Dominican Republic, is considered one of the organization’s most promising young pitchers. Baseball America placed the 22-year-old in fifth place on the farm system this offseason, praising his three-pitch combination and calling him a potential mid-rotation starter.

Bello split last season between High-A Greenville and Portland, working for a combined 3.87 ERA in 95 1/3 innings. He struck out a stellar 32.8% of hitters on the road against a solid walk rate of 7.7%. It seems likely that Bello will start next season at Triple-A and could be an option for the Major League Baseball club sometime in 2022.

Crawford made a two-inning cameo at the Major League level in September, showing a five-pitch mix led by a 94 MPH fastball. However, the right-hander had been selected as a replacement for COVID, which is why he was removed from the roster of 40 men shortly thereafter.

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He will now play an older spot on the roster after combining a 4.28 ERA with a high number of strikeouts and walks (34.4% and 5.2%, respectively) between Portland and Worcester.

Rafael Martinez

I am fond of the King of Sports, especially the Boston Red Sox in MLB and in general all of Mexican baseball. This profession has given me the opportunity to cover major events such as the Caribbean Series, LMB All Star, LMP (uninterrupted since 2009), signings of important players. I had the chance to attend the 2013 World Classic in Arizona, USA, albeit as a fan. Apart from this beautiful sport, I love basketball, where I have also narrated games and even an NBA friendly 10 years ago, but I carry baseball in my veins. Bachelor of Communication Sciences from the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS) , from which I graduated in 2011. I was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa and started in the world of sports journalism in 2004 in the newspaper El Sol de Mazatlán, where I was a baseball columnist and reporter at the same time. In January 2009 I came to El Debate as a journalist reporter and it was almost six years (in the first stage), until in November 2014 I emigrated to the radio providing my services in Línea Directa-Grupo RSN. My cycle there ended in July 2019 and within days, El Debate gave me another opportunity to work and opened the doors for me again. That is how I came to Al Bat, where I have been since 2019 as a web journalist.

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MLB: Red Sox puts Jeter Downs and three more prospects on 40 roster