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Jeter Downs, Connor Wong Among Non-Roster Invitees To Red Sox Spring Training

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Red Sox still don't have a manager, but they added five more non-roster invitees to their 2020 spring training roster on Tuesday. Two of those players were acquired in Boston's blockbuster trade with the L.A. Dodgers for Mookie Betts.

After being acquired from the Dodgers for Betts and David Price, infielder Jeter Downs and catcher/infielder Connor Wong are among the non-roster invitees for the Red Sox. Catcher Juan Centeno, outfielder Cesar Puello and right-handed pitcher Denyi Reyes round out the group that received an invite on Tuesday.

Downs, 21, is the No. 44 ranked prospect in all of baseball. He was one of just 10 minor league players to club 20 homers and steal 20 bases in 2019, splitting his season between High-A Rancho Cucamonga (107 games) and Double-A Tulsa (12 games). Overall, Downs hit .276 (127-for-460) with an .888 OPS, 35 doubles, 24 home runs, 24 stolen bases, 86 RBIs, and 92 runs scored in 2019.

Wong, 23, made his Double-A debut in 2019, batting .349 (52-for-149) with a .997 OPS in 40 games with Tulsa. In 111 games between Tulsa and High-A Rancho Cucamonga, he hit 24 home runs with 82 RBIs. In 241 career minor league games, the righty has hit .275 (249-for-904) with 48 home runs and an .852 OPS. He has made 176 starts at catcher, 22 at second base, and eight at third base, throwing out 66 of 210 (31.4 percent) runners attempting to steal.

Centeno, 30, played in seven games (including three starts) for Boston in 2019 after being called up on September 1. He spent most of the season with Triple-A Pawtucket after signing with the Red Sox as a minor league free agent in November 2018, starting 80 games with the PawSox and throwing out 24 of 74 runners attempting to steal (32.4 percent). Centeno has hit .223 (76-for-341) in 118 career games with the Mets (2013-14), Brewers (2015), Twins (2016), Astros (2017), Rangers (2018), and Red Sox (2019).

Puello, 28, is entering his 13th professional season. He originally signed with the New York Mets as an international free agent in 2007, and has appeared in 61 major league games with the Los Angeles Angels (2017, '19), Tampa Bay Rays (2017), and Miami Marlins (2019), batting .239 (38-for-159) with four home runs. In 403 career Triple-A games, the right-handed hitting Puello has hit .292 (391-for-1,337) with a .391 on-base percentage.

Reyes, 23, spent the entire 2019 season with Double-A Portland and went 8-12 with a 4.16 ERA, leading the Sea Dogs in starts (26), innings (151.1), and strikeouts (116) and tied for the team lead in wins. Signed by Boston as an international free agent in 2014, the Dominican native is 40-19 with a 2.76 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, 402 strikeouts, and only 70 walks in 92 appearances (67 starts) over five seasons in the Red Sox organization.

Red Sox pitchers and catchers are reporting to Fort Myers, Florida for physicals, with their first workout slated for Wednesday. Boston's first full-squad workout is set for Monday, Feb. 17.


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