3. David Hamilton
Hamilton was a part of the musical chairs in the Red Sox middle infield last season, making his major league debut in June. His call-up was likely more out of necessity as the Red Sox struggled at shortstop and second base, and less indicative of him being major league-ready. The Red Sox had 12 different players appear at second base last season, and fielded 10 different players at shortstop.
Hamilton's offensive output was abysmal during his time with Boston, as he hit a lowly .121 with no home runs and no RBIs in 39 plate appearances. Albeit a small sample size, Hamilton is already 26, an age where most players should be entering their prime. If he were still 21 or 22, this would be a very different conversation.
To Hamilton's credit, he was awarded as the Red Sox' top minor league defender in 2023. However, Trevor Story's return should provide much greater stability at shortstop, and Boston has identified second base as a primary area of need this offseason. It would be surprising if the Red Sox do not add a second baseman either through free agency (Whit Merrifield?) or a trade (Jonathan India?) before opening day.
Pablo Reyes and Enmanuel Valdez, Hamilton's main competition in the middle infield, both have the ability to play the outfield, giving them an edge over Hamilton. Top prospect Ceddanne Rafaela impressed last season when called up, and is expected to see some time at second base as well.
Even down in Worcester, Boston's front office will likely want to see top prospects Marcelo Mayer, Nick Yorke, and Brainer Bonaci man those middle infield spots at some point over the course of next season. There is simply nowhere for Hamilton to go.
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