The 2020 version of the Boston Red Sox is different from years past, mostly due to one big move this offseason. Instead of paying outfielder Mookie Betts the money he deserves, the Red Sox opted to trade him and David Price's anchor of a contract to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Alex Verdugo, catcher Connor Wong and shortstop prospect Jeter Downs.
Boston isn't expected to compete for a playoff spot in 2020, considering they have to compete against the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. The Red Sox could wisely use this season to take a look at their future stars.
But as of this writing, the Red Sox have yet to include Downs to the 60-man payer pool, and that needs to change.
Ever since the blockbuster trade was made official this past winter, Downs was automatically named the Red Sox' top overall prospect in many publications. You'd think the Red Sox would add him to the player pool to bring some excitement to this expected down year.
Normally, Downs would have the luxury of competing in the farm system until the Red Sox decide to call him up during the campaign. Not this year, because the 2020 minor league season has been canceled. Is Boston seriously considering allowing Downs to sit at home for the remainder of the calendar year? Because that's far from ideal.
Last year, Downs slashed .276/.362/.526 while recording 28 home runs, 86 RBI and 127 hits through 119 games in the minors.
Given that Xander Boegarts is the everyday shortstop for the Red Sox, it's unlikely that Downs would earn a chance to play the position. However, Downs does have experience playing at second base, which is the team's biggest weakness entering the shortened season. Why not give Downs a shot at second later on in the season? What have they got to lose?
With so many spots to fill in the player pool, the Red Sox need to give Downs a shot this year. Not doing so would be a total crime.