The entirety of the American League East is separated by 9.5 games, yet the Red Sox sit on top 110 games into the season.
Here’s five folks, some not on the everyday roster, who can make a difference, if they may have not already, come September and possibly into October:
1. Rafael Devers
This is a no-brainer. At the mere age of 20, Devers has already made an impact in the MLB late into this 2017 season. In a small sample of 36 at-bats, he is batting .389 with three home runs and six runs batted in. The injuries and inconsistency at the third base position called for the early call-up of Devers. The move may have seemed premature for the young prospect, but Devers has matured quickly settling into the spotlight as the Red Sox continue their playoff push.
2. Tzu-Wei Lin
The quick, versatile prospect from Taiwan has the potential to play a Brock Holt-esque role down the stretch. Lin has been playing all over the field in the minors this season including patrolling centerfield for the PawSox. When he joined the Red Sox earlier in the season, he played around the horn in the infield only making one error (at third base) in 39 total chances. He not only can be trusted with the glove, but has also proven himself at the plate with a .280 batting average in 50 at-bats.
3. Edgar Olmos
The six-foot-four lefty from Sylmar, California has had tremendous success in Pawtucket this season. In 24 appearances this season, he has a record of 7-2 with an ERA of 3.06. He could be an option out of the bullpen come playoff time. Similar to Drew Pomeranz earlier in his career, Olmos has pitched in several different situations this year. He has been used as a spot starter in six games and even has two saves under his belt. Olmos would be a solid addition by adding depth to the BoSox bullpen.
4. Bryce Brentz
The right-handed slugger has crushed 24 home runs this year for the Paw Sox appearing in 93 of the team’s 111 games. He has posted a respectable slash line so far this season batting .273/.540/.883. His Achilles heel is the punch out as he has fanned in about 25 percent of his plate appearances. He could be a big bat off the bench come September baseball.
5. Hector Velazquez
The 29-year-old six-foot right-hander had seven years of international experience under his belt before joining the Paw Sox in 2017. He made his MLB debut on May 18, but has spent most of his time in Pawtucket. He has started 14 games – posting a record of 6-3 with a 2.05 ERA. Velazquez has the stuff and control to pitch at the MLB level, in Triple-A he has thrown 58 strikeouts and limited his free passes to 17 in 79 innings of work. Later in the regular season he will settle into a role just in time for playoffs.