June 21, 2024

On Wednesday, the Red Sox signed outfielder-turned-infielder Dalton Guthrie to a minor-league contract, adding an intriguing depth piece to their roster.

You might recognize the surname. He is the son of Mark Guthrie, a former Cape Cod Baseball League player and reliever for the Red Sox. During his 15-year MLB career, the older Guthrie won 46 games for the 1999 Red Sox before being traded to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for closer Rod Beck. He also won a World Series with the 1991 Minnesota Twins. In the 2003 NLCS between the Cubs and Florida Marlins, Guthrie also went off against future Boston heroes Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. In Game 1, Lowell hit a home run in the eleventh inning.

Considering how quickly time is passing and how everyone is becoming older, the younger Guthrie offers the following insights:

He was selected in the sixth round by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2017 and made it to the Major Leagues in 2022. Guthrie, a September call-up, assisted the Phillies in making their first postseason appearance since the conclusion of their Golden Era in 2011. In 14 games that fall, he had a strong hitting performance, going 7-for-21 (.333) with a home run, three runs, five hits, six walks, and seven strikeouts. His efforts helped the Phillies to their first postseason appearance since 2011.

Guthrie had a difficult 23 season, only managing to go 4-for-24 (.167) in 23 contests. After starting the season with the Phillies and eventually being acquired by the San Francisco Giants, he played the majority of last year in Triple-A. In July, the Atlanta Braves claimed him off waivers. Throughout his three years in Triple-A baseball, he has slashed.289/.357/.434 at bat.

Guthrie adds depth and extra infield depth to a Red Sox outfield that is presently expected to consist of Wilyer Abreu, Ceddanne Rafaela, or both (who combined have just 28 Major League games under their belts). However, he will probably start the season in Triple-A Worcester. In minor league baseball, he has played at least 582 innings at center field, shortstop, second base, third base, right field, and 290 innings in left field.

Although Guthrie’s big-league career is still in its early stages, the 16.1% walk rate is noteworthy. In 2022, he led the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate, with 21 stolen bases, demonstrating his speed. His sprint speed in his first two Major League seasons was in the 88th and 82nd MLB Percentile; on the ’23 Red Sox, his 28.6 feet/seconds would have placed him fifth, after Trevor Story, Jarren Duran, Rafaela, and David Hamilton.

In his rookie season, Guthrie was added to the Phillies Division Series roster as well. He’s played two innings in right field and pinch-ran in that series, giving him more postseason experience than most of the Red Sox 40-man roster.

Philadelphia Phillies player Dalton Guthrie plays during the fifth inning of a game on Sunday, May 21, 2023 in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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