Boston Red Sox: Jeter Downs offers a glimpse of the future

Jeter Downs #20 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Jeter Downs #20 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox resurgent past few weeks have seen them catapult up the American League standings. At one point, the Sox were 10-19, and it was fair to wonder if their season was already over. Ever since then, they have gone 28-12, and have put themselves firmly in the playoff picture despite playing in a crowded AL East division.

Boston’s turnaround has been marred by discussions about the future of this team. Xander Bogaerts can and will opt out of his current deal after this season ends, and Rafael Devers needs an extension at some point as well. The front office’s inability to address both of these issues has cast a dark shadow on what has been a remarkable stretch of baseball so far.

With all the questions surrounding the players currently on the team, the Sox will get a nice glimpse of the future with the arrival Jeter Downs over the next few days. Downs is the team’s fifth ranked prospect, and with all the issues the team faces with its current stars, it will be nice to see what the future could look like with the arrival of Downs and others.

Jeter Downs could be a big part of the Boston Red Sox future

Downs was one of the prospects picked up in the infamous Mookie Betts trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Aside from Alex Verdugo, Downs was considered the pick of the lot from this trade, and considering how many Sox fans still harbor negative feelings over the Betts deal, expectations for Downs will be high.

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Downs profiles as a 20 homer/20 steal threat despite playing as a middle infielder, and he possesses a solid glove to play a couple of different positions in the infield, although his favored position is shortstop. He has struggled to hit for average throughout the minors, and that will need to be worked on if he wants to stick in the majors.

To piggyback off that, Downs hasn’t been all that great for the Worcester Red Sox to start this season. He has 11 home runs, 21 RBI’s, and 11 steals, but he was also hitting just .180. Downs had similar struggles last season when he hit just .191 in Worcester, so it remains to be seen if this will be an issue in the majors.

Downs’ stay with the Sox won’t be for long, but it offers a glimpse to what the future may hold for this team. With Bogaerts’ future up in the air, Downs may factor into the team as early as next season. That’s why during this stretch of winning, it’s important to take a step back and keep an eye out on Downs’ performance.

We have already seen young guys like Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck come up and establish themselves as part of the pitching staff, and Jarren Duran has had a much more successful stint with the Sox during his second go round this time around. If Downs can join that crew and help out the major league squad, that would be great for the future of the team.

With guys like Marcelo Mayer, Triston Casas, Nick Yorke, and Bryan Bello rounding out Boston’s top five prospects, we are beginning to see what the future of this team will look like. While Mayer and Yorke probably won’t make their major league debut this season, Casas and Bello could follow in Downs’ steps later this season.

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So as the Boston Red Sox continue their rapid ascent up the American League standings, it’s important to take a moment to acknowledge the future of the team. Even though Downs went 0-4 with three strikeouts in his debut, his future, and the future of this team, is bright. And if they can make some noise this season, that will make things even better.