Boston Red Sox Dynasty Sleepers, Breakouts, and Busts
Discover a sleeper, breakout, and bust from the Boston Red Sox for dynasty fantasy baseball both on the MLB and prospect side.
With dynasty season ramping up, it is time to talk about some sleepers, breakouts, and busts for each team. You can find our rankings and reports to see how we at the Dynasty Dugout value players for your dynasty leagues, but I also feel like it’s helpful to truly identify whether I believe a player can be a breakout or not. Here is where we call our shots on players, I think, require a call to action in dynasty, whether it be to buy or sell that player.
Boston Red Sox Dynasty Sleepers, Breakouts, Busts
MLB Sleeper: Wilyer Abreu, OF
Abreu debuted with the big league club on August 22nd and hit the ground running immediately by posting a .316/.388/.474 line in 86 plate appearances and putting himself firmly in the mix for playing time in 2024. He’d thrashed the Triple-A International League for 86 games before his promotion and showed off above-average raw power and the ability to mash righties, both of which translated to his tenure with the Red Sox. He channels disciplined aggression to do damage in the zone (50% hard-hit rate and 104 mph 90th percentile EV) and avoids chase at an above-average rate. He has some vulnerability against lefties, but so does Jarren Duran, so even if he’s ultimately a platoon bat, he’s ready to compete for that spot right out of the gate.
MLB Breakout: Vaughn Grissom, 2B
It’s always nice when your breakout is handed to you on a silver platter! Grissom should get the lion’s share of the playing time at second base in Boston following the one-for-one swap between the Red Sox and the Braves that sent Chris Sale to Atlanta. He’ll no longer be subject to the round-hole-square-peg defensive issues at shortstop, which should alleviate some of the mental load necessary to perform at the highest level. He won’t be a world-beater offensively, but he has enough checks in the ‘pros’ column to warrant discussion, the most obvious of which is more playing time, but his new home park is also friendlier to right-handed batters. He rates above average in zone contact, whiff rate, strikeout rate, and expected batting average, all of which point toward a solid floor. He hammers fastballs but could stand to improve against off-speed and breaking balls, and regular playing time could be the antidote.
MLB Bust: Jarren Duran, OF
Duran had an awesome 2023, racking up eight home runs and 24 stolen bases in just 362 plate appearances while accruing a .295/.346/.420 slash, placing him as 20% better than the league average by wRC+. He’s outrageously fun to watch on the basepaths and traversing center field with his 96th percentile sprint speed. I want Duran to succeed, but there are a lot of red (or blue) flags pointing toward his offensive performance as unsustainable.
He’s always had fringy swing decisions, and they’ve trended in the right direction over the last three years, but he still offered at pitches out of the zone 30% of the time last year. When he connects with a pitch in the zone he usually hammers it, but his batted ball profile is chock full of worm burners that limit damage on contact. His 5.3% barrel rate was well below the league average.
Beyond that, there are other options in the outfield. New addition Tyler O’Neill is expected to eat up roughly 500 plate appearances. Duran rates as pretty average defensively in center field despite his elite sprint speed, and it’s possible the Red Sox prefer the elite defense Ceddanne Rafaela offers. The odds Roman Anthony compiles a meaningful volume of plate appearances at the big league level are low but not zero. Wilyer Abreu projects to provide similar offensive output. All of these dynamics pose a threat to Duran’s utility should his offense waver.
Prospect Sleeper: Luis Perales
Craig Breslow’s arrival as the new GM means I’ll pay keen attention to Boston’s minor league arms in 2024. Breslow was primarily credited for the jump in development many pitchers in the Cubs’ system saw during his tenure as AGM and there are a lot of fun, moldable arms to work with in his new farm.
Perales has many ingredients to be a solid mid-rotation starter but could use some refinement. He’s not materially far off from guys like Robert Gasser and Will Warren, who are scattered toward the back end of my 100. In fact, you could argue he has more promising pure stuff, but he ran into problems with the location that manifested in homer proneness and inflated his ERA. He’s up to 99 mph with his heater, sitting 95, and regularly touches 20 inches of IVB. He has a cutter/slider breaking ball combination that sits in distinct velocity bands and has different movement profiles, allowing him to mix and match as he pleases. His changeup is primarily deployed against lefties and has flashed plus.
With a little extra TLC in a (hopefully) revamped pitching development system, Perales could become a bona fide top-100 arm in short order.
Prospect Breakout: Nazzan Zanetello
Zanetello was graded as a 10 on the Loden Sports athletic testing scale, which placed him in the top 1% of all athletes in their database, but a poor short sample professional debut has depressed his price in FYPDs. He’s got a full belt of loud tools across the board: he’s an elite quick-twitch athlete that has posted plus run times, he has an explosive bat powered by superlative bat speed and whippy actions, and he’s got enough arm to stick on the left side of the infield. He’s a good bet if you like hitching your wagon to pure athletes.