Chaim Bloom saw Boston Red Sox trade acquisition David Hamilton’s grand slam streaming Portland game in NY hotel room

Robert Roffulo

NEW YORK — Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom wasn’t done watching baseball for the day when he left Yankee Stadium on Friday following Boston’s 6-5 11-inning loss to New York in the regular season opener. He streamed some Red Sox minor league action when he returned to the […]

NEW YORK — Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom wasn’t done watching baseball for the day when he left Yankee Stadium on Friday following Boston’s 6-5 11-inning loss to New York in the regular season opener.

He streamed some Red Sox minor league action when he returned to the hotel. He turned on Double-A Portland’s 11-6 win over New Hampshire in time to see David Hamilton’s big fourth-inning blast.

“The grand slam, I was watching the streaming sitting in my hotel room,” Bloom said here Saturday.

The Red Sox acquired Hamilton and Alex Binelas with Jackie Bradley Jr. from the Brewers for Hunter Renfroe on Dec. 1. Hamilton, batting leadoff, went 4-for-5 with a grand slam, two-run homer, triple and seven RBIs in his organizational debut Friday for Portland. He also stole a base.

Binelas, a corner infielder, batted cleanup in High-A Greenville’s 7-6 win over Hudson Valley on Friday. The power-hitter went 2-for-4 with two runs in his organizational debut.

Bloom said it has been a challenge to evaluate prospects (potential trade targets) the past few years because of the COVID pandemic. There obviously was no minor league season in 2020.

“And in David’s case, the injury history,” Bloom said.

A scooter accident caused Hamilton to miss his entire junior year at Texas in 2019. He sliced his Achilles and it initially created some uncertainty whether he would regain his same elite speed.

“It’s just all something we have to work around when we’re trying to assess these guys and try to make decisions on them,” Bloom said. “So you do the best you can with the information that you have. In Alex’s case, we had followed him through his draft year (in 2021). We had close eyes on him as that spring unfolded.”

The Brewers selected Binelas in the third round (86th overall) out of Louisville last summer.

“We had a pretty good track record on him from his amateur days,” Bloom said. “And we were able to follow him through that first summer in pro ball.

“Obviously David’s a little bit more advanced in his pro ball journey,” Bloom added. “And like any decision we make, especially on prospects, there’s a lot of unknowns. That’s part of the excitement of them is that the upside is something you don’t fully know yet. But it also means you have to do a lot of types of due diligence to feel like you’re making a good decision.”

Hamilton returned in 2021 after not playing in two years because of the Achilles injury and pandemic. His speed returned. He stole 52 bases in 101 games between High-A Wisconsin and Double-A Biloxi in 2021.

The middle infielder batted .258 with a .341 on-base percentage, .419 slugging percentage, .761 OPS, eight homers, 19 doubles, 11 triples, 66 runs, 43 RBIs, 50 walks and 90 strikeouts in 459 plate appearances.

“A lot of it was the more recent information we had on him,” Bloom said. “Seeing the year he had, the summer and going into the fall league.”

Hamilton had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. He went 12-for-41 (.293) with a .453 on-base percentage, .463 slugging percentage, .916 OPS, three doubles, two triples, five runs, five RBIs and four steals in 14 games for Salt River. He had more walks (12) than strikeouts (6).

“The combination of the objective info we had on him and having gotten eyes on him at various points,” Bloom said.

How many times did the Red Sox see Hamilton play last year? Bloom didn’t say an exact number.

“We have pretty good coverage,” Bloom said. “Our pro scouting group does a good job of trying to not just get one look at notable players but try to get multiple looks whenever we can. And that’s part of the challenge within pro scouting that Harrison Slutsky and Andrew Mack take on of trying to make sure we have multiple looks and multiple looks from different people so we can get the best picture and make the best decision.”

Slutsky serves as director of professional scouting and Mack serves as assistant director of professional scouting.

Red Sox infield coach Carlos Febles was impressed with what he saw from Hamilton during spring training. Hamilton was in big league camp with Boston while Binelas spent the entire spring in minor league camp.

“I was impressed by his athleticism,” Febles said here Saturday at Yankee Stadium. “He catches the ball. Very consistent in his work. He works hard. He was the first guy out every day doing his thing. The few games that I’ve watched him play, I was impressed. He can run. And he can catch the ball.”

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