Welcome to the 3rd installment of Yawkey and Lansdowne’s Down on the Farm series, where we cover the top players and stories from the Red Sox farm system. Today we’re going to look at 3 guys who impressed in Spring Training but didn’t make the final roster cut.
Justin Haley: Haley has started 8 games for Pawtucket so far this year, and although his 1-5 record suggests a poor start, he’s been mostly better than that. He’s currently 2nd on the team (among starters) with a 3.63 ERA and 3rd with a 1.39 WHIP. Although 14 walks in just under 40 IP isn’t great, he’s averaging almost 9 K/9, so his stuff has been good when he’s been able to find the strike zone. At 26-years old he’ll be entering his prime soon and could one day provide some pitching depth for the big club, but most likely only in a spot starter/swingman role.
(Ivan De Jesus, Jr.)
Ivan De Jesus, Jr.: De Jesus thoroughly impressed in Spring Training but fell victim to Boston’s abundance of Major League ready talent in the infield. He’s struggled a bit down in AAA to begin the season, posting a .233/.291/.275 slash line with just 5 XBH in 34 games. He lacks any sort of natural power but is said to have pretty good bat control, so he should be focusing on driving the ball to the gaps as the key to his long term success.
Sam Travis: Like De Jesus, there just wasn’t any room for Travis on the Major League roster after a very good Spring campaign. Also like De Jesus, Travis has had a rough go of it at Pawtucket to kick off 2018. While his .231 BA is concerning, he’s never been considered a high contact guy, so the real number that jumps off the page is his measly .341 SLG%. After blasting 6 home runs in the Spring, a drop off in power numbers that steep can only indicate some sort of deficiency in either his swing or his ability to read pitches. Regardless of his struggles, Travis is arguably the one guy in AAA that’s most ready for the bigs, and we’ll likely see him at some point this year.