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Which Red Sox prospects will debut in 2022 and steal playing time from current major leaguers?
Looking forward to prospects making their big-league debuts is one of the only ways to get through the long, dark offseason (and this year, MLB lockout), and the Boston Red Sox have several prospects who are set to debut in 2022.
Of course, if a prospect debuts, they’re taking playing time from someone else.
Here are three prospects who could debut and steal playing time from current big-leaguers.
1. Josh Winckowski, RHP
Josh Winckowski joined the Red Sox during the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Kansas City Royals. He’s already bounced around the minors a lot; the Toronto Blue Jays drafted him in the 15th round of the 2016 draft and then traded him to the New York Mets for Steven Matz. The Mets dealt Winckowski to Boston in the Benintendi deal in February 2021.
Winckowski projected as an occasional starter who can pitch in a long-relief role, but aside from one game, he spent the 2021 season as a starter. Over 23 games between Double and Triple-A, he posted a 3.94 ERA.
Winckowski was one of four prospects added to the 40-man roster in November 2021, with the Red Sox pitching situation somewhat fluid going into 2022. Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, and Chris Sale are essentially the only guaranteed starters. They also have Tanner Houck, Connor Seabold, and Garrett Whitlock, three young stars who can assume a variety of roles.