Tomase: Sox taking a flyer on intriguing power-hitting prospect originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
If you're going to take a flyer on a minor league free agent, there are worse candidates than a former top prospect coming off a 31-homer season.
That's exactly what the Red Sox found in an under-the-radar pickup this week in former Padres second-rounder Michael Gettys, who signed a minor-league deal that does not include an invitation to spring training, per WEEI.com.
Gettys was considered a possible first-round pick in the 2014 draft out of Gainesville High School in Georgia, where his bat compared favorably to another Peach State slugger selected 26th overall that year by the Red Sox -- Michael Chavis.
Gettys ended up going 51st to San Diego, where he eventually became one of the Padres' top 10 prospects, per multiple rankings, rising as high as eighth on Baseball America's list in 2017.
While there were underlying tools that made him an intriguing prospect, including plus power and excellent speed in the outfield, Gettys struggled to make contact throughout his minor league career. In 2019 at Triple-A El Paso, he struck out 168 times in 507 at-bats, which more than offset his 31 homers and .822 OPS. Over his career, he has struck out nearly 900 times in only 671 games.
Still, at 6-foot-1 and 217 pounds, the right-hander slugger is worth a look. He was crowded out of the prospect ranks in San Diego's deep farm system, and joins a Red Sox organization that's already rich in former Padres prospects, thanks to last summer's deal of Mitch Moreland to San Diego for outfielder Jeisson Rosario and third baseman Hudson Potts.
For his career, Gettys is a .260 hitter with 84 homers and a .745 OPS.