Boston Red Sox Prospects: No. 21 Wendell Rijo
Originally signed as a shortstop, Wendell Rijo has played at second during his one year in the Boston Red Sox‘ system. By Red Sox standards, Rijo is huge, standing 5-foot-11, but currently a wiry 170 lbs. He turned 18 on the final day of the Lowell season, so he is very young and raw.
Just before signing in 2012, he tore his ACL and spent most the 2013 season wearing a bulky knee brace that limited his mobility some. He is a bit lazy when fielding the ball currently, but he was playing at the age of 17, so he was making typical high-schooler mistakes, they just happened to be at pro ball.
He has an open stance and brings his bat through the zone with quality bat speed. He currently only has gap power, but as he starts to fill out as he ages, he could project as a decent home run hitter for the second base position. His long stride, from the wide stance to driving through the ball, can get him caught off balance at times, but the knee brace didn’t help that matter either.
His progression will largely be decided on his Spring Training performance. If he continues the good work he put in at the fall instructional league, he could conceivably start the season at low-A Greenville. If he does, he would be on pace to make a big league debut in 2017, when he would still be just 21 years old.
In a system that is loaded with second baseman, Rijo is truly a future prospect and one that won’t be on anyone’s big league radar for years, but he adds great depth in the system, and is a member of a solid group of guys who drive optimism for long continued success for the Red Sox.