In 2021 the Boston Red Sox shocked the baseball world. With a mix of young stars and experienced veterans, they fell two wins short of the World Series. While they excelled at the big-league level, Boston continued to add talent to the farm system. One bright spot was Tyler McDonough, who the Red Sox selected in the third round of the 2021 MLB Draft. While his first season in the minors was short, McDonough did not disappoint.
Between two levels, McDonough hit .296 in 31 games. The 22-year-old also showed his power as 11 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. He did not seem phased by the increased pressure and showed why Boston held him in high regard. During McDonough’s first professional season, he continued to control the strike zone well and forced 17 walks.
Additionally, his versatility was on full display. The North Carolina State product spent time at second base and in the outfield. He committed four errors between the two positions and turned two double plays. He finished his first pro season with 22 assists in 223.2 innings. As he moves through the Red Sox system, versatility will be critical.
On the 13th pitch of the at-bat, Tyler McDonough goes deep for @NCStateBaseball. He’d fouled off NINE pitches.
And he extended his on-base streak to 49 games.
— Mike Monaco (@MikeMonaco_) April 25, 2021
Coming out of college, McDonough was an intriguing prospect. In three years in the ACC, he hit .332 with 108 runs batted in. His best offensive season came in 2021 when the Ohio native hit a career-high 15 home runs. While he never drove in more than 47 runs, his lowest batting average in a full season was .320. That success has translated to the minors so far.
What to expect from McDonough
Although the 2022 season is full of uncertainty, McDonough is currently the Red Sox’ 17th best prospect. In 2021 he made a good first impression as he excelled at the plate. McDonough also showed the Red Sox that he can handle a super-utility role. As he prepares for his first full professional season, he will draw on that experience. McDonough has already drawn comparison to Brock Holt, who had a memorable run in Boston.
While McDonough proved to be a perfect fit, he isn’t expected to make his MLB debut until 2024. The Red Sox infield is full of talent, which gives the 2021 draftee time to develop. Next season he will be tested as minor league pitchers adjust to his tendencies. However, if he can build on his success, McDonough will continue to rise through the system. Although his story is just getting started, the former 75th overall pick has written a memorable opening chapter.
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