Even with the Boston Red Sox season in full swing, there is plenty going on down on the farm. NESN.com will take a look at several high-level prospects at the midway point of the season and see how they are faring. Next up: Wikelman Gonzalez.

Brayan Bello was the premier pitching prospect for the Red Sox for the last couple of seasons. But with the talented right-hander now in the majors, Boston needs someone else to grab hold of that label.

Bryan Mata seems to be missing his chance to take that mantle and while Shane Drohan emerged this season, he’s not ready for it, either. But 21-year-old right-hander Wikelman Gonzalez is beginning to command attention when talking about the next top pitching prospect of the Red Sox.

Gonzalez, who signed with the Red Sox out of Venezuela in 2018, can flash an electric pitching arsenal led by his fastball that can reach the upper 90s. And he has no issues getting opposing hitters to swing-and-miss. He is still raw in some areas but his budding potential has the hype around him starting to grow.

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Here’s what you need to know about Boston’s rising pitching prospect at the midway point of the season.

2022 season stats: 4-3 record (25 starts/ 98 1/3 innings), 4.21 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 121 Ks
2023 season stats: 6-3 record (16 starts/ 69 innings), 4.70 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 114 Ks

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Overview of Season
Gonzalez began the season in High-A Greenville and demonstrated more than enough at that level to receive a promotion to Double-A Portland just last week. He can have command issues — he’s registering a career-high 5.61 walks-per-nine this season — but can mitigate it with his highly effective pitch mix.

Gonzalez generates swings-and-misses regularly, posting the highest strikeouts-per-nine of his career at an eye-popping 14.87. He has 11 games with at least seven strikeouts and has fanned double-digit batters in three separate outings. After striking out 105 batters in 63 innings with Greenville, Gonzalez made a smooth transition to Portland and in his Double-A debut, he tossed six scoreless innings, allowing four hits, and one walk while punching out nine.

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Even though Gonzalez can live dangerously with the excessive walks, he can get out of it just as easily with a strikeout seemingly around every corner. Gonzalez won’t always be able to live like that, so reining in his control will only help him blossom even more.

But for now, it’s hard not to be mesmerized by what Gonzalez has to offer.

Best Performance of Season
Gonzalez turned in a brilliant outing in late May while still toeing the rubber for Greenville. In a matchup against the Rome Braves, Gonzalez only went 5 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on four hits and walking none while most impressively striking out 12 batters.

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Change In Ranking?
Gonzalez’s success was reflected in the rankings. He started the season as the No. 14 ranked Red Sox prospect by SoxProspects.com and now is in the top 10, coming in at No. 9. Only Drohan and Luis Perales, who is currently pitching with Greenville, rank higher than Gonzalez.

Estimated Arrival To Boston
It certainly is enticing to see how Gonzalez would fare in the majors right now, but he definitely is in need of more seasoning. SoxProspects.com has Gonzalez’s arrival to the big leagues estimated for the middle of the 2025 season.

Featured image via Salem Red Sox