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Tomase: Newest Red Sox prospect arrives with a terrific nickname originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Alex Binelas arrives in the Red Sox farm system with an impressive professional debut on his resume and an even better nickname.
Per The Boston Globe's profile of the former Brewers farmhand, the thickly bearded slugger earned the name "Leonidas" at the University of Louisville for his resemblance to the Spartan king played memorably by Gerard Butler in the movie "300."
Whether he gets to unveil that nom de game in Fenway Park one day remains to be seen, but his career is off to a promising start. After injuries dropped him from a potential top-10 pick to the third round in last June's draft, Binelas took out his frustrations on Low-A pitching, slamming nine home runs with a 1.014 OPS in 29 games for the Carolina Mudcats.
The Wisconsin native hoped to one day play for his hometown Brewers, but that dream ended when the Red Sox acquired him along with Jackie Bradley Jr. and another prospect for outfielder Hunter Renfroe at the transaction deadline before the CBA expired.
It took Binelas some time to process the move, but he told the Globe's Alex Speier he's all in on becoming a member of the Red Sox, with his future likely at one of the corner infield spots.
"It sucked," he said. "I put my Brewers stuff in a box somewhere. Everyone always told me it's a business. And it's crazy how fast things can change. I'm sitting here talking to you as a Boston Red Sox . . . I'm just ready to move on, ready for this great opportunity."
He won't lack for motivation, either, not after his draft slide.
"I fully expected to go first day, be a first-day pick," he told the Globe. "The feelings that I felt after the first day of the draft concluded and my name wasn't called, that sleepless night that I had, what I was feeling emotionally, mentally, it's something that'll stick with me forever throughout my baseball career, and it's something that will fuel me to the day that I retire."
Here's hoping he doesn't shave anytime soon. The social media campaign practically writes itself: "THIS. IS. BOSTON!"