What To Know About New Reported Red Sox Members Jeter Downs, Connor Wong


Feb 9, 2020

A lot has happened since Tuesday when the Red Sox and Dodgers reportedly agreed to a three-team, blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Twins that would send Mookie Betts and David Price from Boston to L.A.

The Sox would receive Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol, while the Twins would acquire Kenta Maeda. But some concerns over Graterol’s medical history reportedly held up the trade and caused Minnesota to pull out. But everything changed Sunday when the Red Sox and Dodgers went back to the drawing board and reportedly agreed on a trade that worked for both of them.

Betts, Price and $48 million to cover Price’s $96 million salary would go to L.A. Boston would receive Verdugo, shortstop Jeter Downs and catcher Connor Wong, according to multiple reports.

We already have some background information on Verdugo, so let’s catch you up on just who the Red Sox’s newest reported members are.

Wong was selected in the third round of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft by the Dodgers. He has yet to play in the big leagues and spent his time last season split between Double-A and Single-A. He batted .281 with 24 home runs, 82 RBIs and 24 doubles between the two minor-league affiliates.

Check out this excerpt from his scouting report:

“Because he has a simple right-handed swing, recognizes pitches well and controls the strike zone, Wong didn’t have to make any adjustments to hit pro pitching. He surprised the Dodgers with the extent of his sneaky power, which could produce 12-15 homers per year. A solid runner, he has uncommon speed for a catcher and exhibits good instincts on the bases.

“Wong only started catching two years ago, so he needs to get more consistent with his throwing and receiving, which earn average to solid future grades. His listed size of 6-foot-1 and 181 pounds is generous, so he’ll have to prove he can withstand the rigors of catching over a full pro season. If he can’t, his athleticism would allow him to play almost anywhere as a utilityman.”

Wong played shortstop at Houston and can play second base, which may come in handy given the unknown future of Dustin Pedroia at the position. He potentially could platoon with Michael Chavis should catching not work out.

Downs was drafted in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds before being traded to LA in December 2018. Downs, like Wong, has yet to play in a big-league game. He spent most of last year in Single-A and only briefly played in Double-A. Between the two leagues, the 21-year-old batted .276 with 24 home runs 86 RBIs and 24 stolen bases.

From his scouting report:

“While Downs isn’t the biggest guy in the world, he barrels the ball consistently and drives the ball to all fields. He should hit for a high average thanks to a simple right-handed swing and a mature approach. He possesses average speed but he’s an aggressive baserunner who likes to steal.”

Downs also is marked at playing second base, so Boston could have potential options in the infield.

Thumbnail photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images
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