The Boston Red Sox were in need of a utility infielder, and they are going internal with their candidate.
They decided to call up top prospect Jeter Downs to fill that void.
The #RedSox today recalled INF Jeter Downs from Triple-A Worcester.
To make room for Downs on the active roster, the club designated RHP James Norwood for assignment.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 20, 2022
Since he is a shortstop by trade, his prospects for regular playing time are not very good as long as Trevor Story and Xander Bogaerts are healthy, but the number of plate appearances he gets will ultimately depend on his offensive performance.
Downs, currently 23 years old, was one of the prospects who came over to Boston in the Mookie Betts trade a couple of years ago.
While his power-speed combo has been evident ever since he put on a Red Sox uniform in Triple-A, his overall offensive output has been rather disappointed and has resulted in him falling down the prospects rankings a bit.
This year, for example, he is hitting .180/.297/.397 with 11 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 222 plate appearances for Triple-A Worcester.
Recurring Contact Issues
The batting average is far too low to consider him a sure bet to have MLB success, especially because it comes with an elevated 31.1 percent strikeout rate.
If Triple-A hurlers are striking him out nearly a third of the time, it’s hard to imagine what MLB pitchers could do.
If he cuts his strikeout rate and starts making contact more frequently, he may have a future as an everyday player in MLB.
Otherwise, he could face an uphill battle.
These contact issues were evident last year, too, when he slashed .190/.272/.333 in 405 Triple-A plate appearances.
The Red Sox are ready to see what he can do in the major leagues, and it will be up to him to find a way to improve his offensive output.