SoxProspects News

November 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Scout Chatter: Nick Yorke, Blaze Jordan and more from Fall Instructs


 The Red Sox recently wrapped up their Fall Instructional League program. This is the second of several articles based on reports we received from Instructs. The data we’ve collected will be up on the News Page for your reading pleasure before we use it to update player page scouting reports, so forgive any inconsistencies until that point. Today, we focus primarily on players selected in the 2020 Draft and signed as undrafted free agents

- As the only member of this year’s draft class to participate at the Alternate Training Site workouts this year—albeit for about a week and a half—second baseman Nick Yorke had a leg up on the competition heading into Instructs. He had already seen what pro pitching looked like, having jumped from high school in California straight into the deep end by facing arms with significantly more experience than him, but he was still able to hold his own in a small sample size. At Fall Instructs, the 2020 first-rounder was the most impressive member of the 2020 draft/NDFA class, showing off his offensive ability, but questions about his long-term defensive profile remain an issue. Yorke got off to a strong start at the plate, but as the camp went along, he struggled to pull the ball and seemed to be just trying to push the ball to right field. Regardless of his struggles near the end of camp, scouts were consistent in saying they believe he can hit and they are high on his bat, enough so that even with a questionable defensive profile and below average speed, they still like him. 
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November 23, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Raudes returns to action; Grullón homers


The fall/winter leagues have been going on for a few weeks, but with the Arizona Fall League cancelled, play has been limited. The Mexican Pacific League started on October 15 and was the only league in action until mid-November when the Dominican and Nicaraguan leagues started play. With more players seeing game action, we will begin our weekly updates on the performance of Red Sox prospects. Coverage will continue every Monday into January. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through January. This week's roundup covers the period up to September 22. 

Mexican Pacific League
Joey Meneses, who was signed in February to a minor league deal and re-signed in November, already has 99 at-bats for Culiacan in 26 games. He's hitting .283 with three home runs and six doubles while playing third base. This is notable as he has mostly played first base and right field in his career.  Marcus Wilson went 0 for 4 in his first game on November 3, but after a COVID-19 outbreak shut the league down for a couple weeks, he left and is no longer on the active roster. 
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November 19, 2020 at 12:12 PM

Podcast Ep. #196 That is patently false


It's mid-November, and finally... some minor league scouting updates to discuss! Ian and Chris have the goods from the Fall Instructional League in Fort Myers, where 62 of the Red Sox' top farmhands spent 5.5 weeks. We've got who impressed and who disappointed with their showings. Plus, the guys preview who might be protected on Friday from selection in the Rule 5 draft (and how that list has changed based on Fall Instructs reports), who's playing abroad this winter, and of course, your emails. 

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at 8:00 AM

Scout Chatter: Jay Groome, Eduard Bazardo and more from Fall Instructs


The Red Sox recently wrapped up their Fall Instructional League program, which was slated to run from October 5 through November 12 but ended a few days early due to Hurricane Eta. The Red Sox still were able to get in plenty of work for their top farmhands, including a pair of games against Tampa Bay’s minor leaguers. Otherwise, the camp consisted of morning workouts followed by an intrasquad scrimmage that varied in length depending on how many pitchers needed work. The scrimmages had umpires and were treated like a normal game, save that innings could end early when pitchers hit their pitch count or get extended if they got through an inning too quickly. 

This will be the first of several articles based on reports we received from Instructs. The data we’ve collected will be up on the News Page for your reading pleasure before we use it to update player page scouting reports, so forgive any inconsistencies until that point. 

Today, we focus primarily on players eligible for this year’s Rule 5 Draft, given that Friday, Nov. 20, is the deadline for teams to protect players from selection by adding them to the 40-man roster.

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November 15, 2020 at 12:15 AM

Podcast #195: Resetting the Roster, Pt. 2


The winter meetings are still off in the future, but baseball’s offseason is in full swing. The Sox brought back several minor league free agents. Oh, and Alex Cora is back with the club to manage. In addition, we have a run down on important upcoming dates for the offseason. The guys talk through the players who will need to be protected on the 40-man before the rule 5 draft. Ian and Chris discuss the future of the minor leagues. And we wrap it all up with another installment of the 80-grade mailbag.   

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November 12, 2020 at 7:00 AM

2019 Draft Retrospective: Creativity nets strong pitching haul


Thank you for checking in on the final entry in our draft retrospective series. We recently featured a pick-by-pick rundown of 2019, while today we will dig a little deeper into a few of the more interesting and prominent draftees. For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

2019 Draft
Coming off a World Series title, nobody was complaining that the Red Sox' first draft pick was moved back 10 slots as a penalty for exceeding the third luxury tax threshold. There was a tangible result that came with that spending money, a trade the team would make every time. But in the draft itself, it did put the organization in a disadvantageous position. Having to wait until the 43rd pick would be the longest the franchise would wait to make its first pick since 2007, when the club forfeited its first pick and made its top selection at pick number 55. In addition, the loss of ten spots also cut almost $500,000 from what was already one of the lowest bonus pools in the league. As a result, the team needed to get creative to continue adding talent to a system decimated by graduations and trades. 
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November 9, 2020 at 4:00 PM

October notes: Roster reshape begins; former top prospect earns ring


Here are October's minor league notes:

  • The Red Sox announced on Friday that former manager Alex Cora will return as manager in the 2021 season after a one-year hiatus. He'll come on to the job with a much different team than the one he first inherited three years ago and in the midst of  notable overhaul.
  • That roster rebuild was the main topic of our most recent SoxProspects.com podcast, as Chris Hatfield and Ian Cundall discussed the coming roster and the numerous moves Chaim Bloom has already made to restock and retool the upper minors. 
  • The Red Sox cleared 11 spots off of the 40-man roster. Reliever Domingo Tapia was claimed by the Seattle Mariners when Boston attempted to slide him through waivers. The team outrighted eight others: pitchers Robinson Leyer, Mike Kickham, Zack Godley, Andrew Triggs, and Dylan Covey, utilityman Tzu-Wei Lin, infielder Jose Peraza, and outfielder Cesar Puello. The team declined its 2021 option on pitcher Martin Perez, and long-time center fielder Jackie Bradley declared free agency. Additionally, pitcher Collin McHugh and Rusney Castillo, neither of whom were on the current 40-man roster, became free agents. McHugh opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns after signing as a free agent last winter, while Castillo spent much of the last several years with Pawtucket after signing a lucrative contract in 2014.
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November 2, 2020 at 6:13 PM

Podcast #194: Resetting the roster, pt. 1


The 2020 season has successfully drawn to a close, bringing us to an offseason that promises great change for the Red Sox. With nine players already gone from the roster, Chris and Ian went player-by-player through the remaining members of the 40-man roster in an attempt to predict who will stay, who will go, and what those who are still around will be doing next season. Plus, some questions about Jackie Bradley’s future with the club now that he’s a free agent, and more of your great questions! 

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at 11:00 AM

2019 Draft Retrospective: The Picks


We welcome you to the 2019 edition of the SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series. This is the final Red Sox draft we will revisit, but make sure to check out the other parts of the series starting with the first draft of the SoxProspects.com era, 2003. This retrospective will come in two parts: The first will be a pick-by-pick recap of each selection with very brief comments, including their peak rank on the SoxProspects.com Top 60, as well as some of the notable players the team passed on to make those picks. Players who signed are in bold, those who did not are in italics. Bonus numbers are included where available. 

In the final draft of the Dave Dombrowski era, the Red Sox were coming off a World Series championship season during which they exceed the luxury tax threshold by more than $40 million. As a result, the organization's first-round draft pick moved down ten slots, technically leaving the team without a first-rounder at all. In order to bring in impact talent, Mike Rikard and the Amateur Scouting department needed to get creative, and while this class is lacking in the no-doubt first-round stud that the previous year brought into the system, that creativity did lead to a number of intriguing prospects joining the system in later rounds.

2 (43). Cameron Cannon, SS, Arizona
Bonus: $1,300,000, Slot: $1,729,800
After a junior year in which he hit .397/.498/.651 with eight home runs, the Red Sox selected Cannon with their first pick and signed him for more than $400,000 under slot, setting into motion a strategy that spread their already-decreased bonus cap money into lower rounds. Cannon was seen as somewhat of a reach at the time, ranked as the 94th-best prospect by Baseball America and a bit higher by Perfect Game, who had him at 73. Cannon’s pro debut was delayed by almost a month as a result of turf toe, and he then got off to a slow start, hitting only .200/.284/.324 in 170 at-bats across the GCL and Lowell. In-person looks matched up with his poor statistics, as he looked very off at the plate and seemed to be pressing from the beginning, including a notably aggressive plate approach in which he seemed to swing at the first pitch in every plate appearance. His poor performance at the plate could have been due to the Red Sox trying to tweak his swing mechanics, so it will be very interesting to see how he looks when he gets back on the field. 
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 12
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October 21, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2018 Draft Retrospective: Casas highlights solid haul


Thank you for checking in on the newest entry in our draft retrospective series. We recently featured a pick-by-pick rundown of 2018, while today we will dig a little deeper into a few of the more interesting and prominent draftees. For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

2018 Draft

Background

By the time the 2018 draft rolled around, the major league club was riding high, sporting a winning percentage near .700 on its way to a 108-win season and World Series trophy. Unfortunately, the success at the major league level was not mirrored in the minors. Trades and graduations that built a juggernaut in the big leagues had depleted much of the system’s depth, leaving a farm system that was universally ranked at or near the worst in the game. Among those who remained, the underperformance of recent top picks and the suspension of top prospect Michael Chavis had created a vacuum, with little daily success to celebrate. With a homegrown core that would soon get expensive and force difficult decisions down the road, 2018 seemed like a particularly important year for Mike Rikard and the amateur scouting department.
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October 14, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Minor Notes: Red Sox to pick fourth in 2021 draft


Here are Tuesday's minor league notes: 

  • Check out the 193rd edition of the SoxProspects.com podcast where Chris and Ian take a look back at the many MLB debuts for Red Sox players in the shortened 2020 season. They also discussed the draft, what they learned from the Alternate Site, as well as a look forward to instructs. 
  • Speaking of instructs, Chris wrote about some of the details as well as a look at the players Boston will be sending. A total of 62 players will be going, with those on the 40-man roster ineligible. There will be 32 pitchers, eight catchers, 12 infielders, and 10 outfielders. 
  • The SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series continued with Ian recapping the 2018 draft. Obviously, the jury is still out on this draft, but Triston Casas (pictured) is the current number one prospect in the system. 
  • Ian posted updated scouting reports on three players, including the second pick of that 2018 draft, Nick Decker. Cameron Cannon and Antoni Flores were also updated. 
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October 6, 2020 at 7:34 PM

Podcast #193 - Speaking is hard


The sprint that was the 2020 season has drawn to a close, and while it may not seem like it, Chris and Ian had plenty to look back on. There were plenty of debuts to digest, so the guys looked back on the first taste of MLB for Bobby Dalbec, Tanner Houck, and others, plus examine what the team's (probable) positioning at number 4 in next year's draft really means. Meanwhile, what did we learn from the action at Sim City in Pawtucket? Is there anything to be gleaned from this experiment in player development? Who stood out? And baseball is not done yet - it's time for the Fall Instructional League, and we're breaking down the roster. Plus, as always, your superlative emails!

For the full Fall Instructional League roster, see our post

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October 4, 2020 at 11:40 PM

Red Sox 2020 Fall Instructional Camp roster and details


The Red Sox 2020 Fall Instructional League will run from October 5 through November 12 this year, the five-and-a-half weeks representing a period roughly twice as long as that of a typical season. The minor leaguers in camp will not play games against other teams, and instead will be limited to intrasquad scrimmages beginning in mid-to-late-October.

The 62-player roster for camp contains most of the SoxProspects Top 60, excepting players who were ineligible, such as those on the 40-man roster, and other players who were likely deemed to have gotten sufficient work in at the Alternate Training Site like Jeter Downs, Jarren Duran, and Connor Seabold, although other players who were at the ATS will be present in Fort Myers. 

The camp will represent the lone chance for in-person instruction for most of the players present, although all have been working out on their own or playing independent or semi-pro ball. Unlike past years, the camp will not be open to the public, although scouts will be allowed to attend and watch from designated areas. As with the ATS, health and safety protocols will be in place for the facilities and those attending throughout the camp. 

Players are listed with how acquired and 2019 level(s), if applicable.
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October 1, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2018 Draft Retrospective: The picks


We welcome you to the 2018 edition of the SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series, in which we revisit each Red Sox draft going back to the start of the SoxProspects.com era. Each retrospective will come in two parts: The first will be a pick-by-pick recap of each selection with very brief comments, including their peak rank on the SoxProspects.com Top 60, as well as some of the notable players the team passed on to make those picks. Players who signed are in bold, those who did not are in italics. Bonus numbers are included where available.

At the time of the 2018 Draft, the Red Sox farm system was decimated after numerous win-now trades in the previous year. Once again, the Red Sox had no extra picks and were selecting near the end of the first round, but after the farm system seemingly bottomed out in the month or so prior, with seemingly all of the prospects remaining after the many trades either injured or underperforming, this draft marked the beginning of what seems to be a turn-around. Three of the top ten prospects in the system right now, including its top prospect, came from this draft. While all three were selected in the top seven rounds, two received marginal bonuses. While the second full season for all of these players was disrupted, several were included in the Club Player Pool and made their mark at the Alternate Training Site. 

For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

1 (26). Triston Casas, 1B/3B, American Heritage HS (Fla.) 
Bonus: $2,552,800, Slot: $2,552,800
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September 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: A trio of Top-40 prospects


As the 2020 regular season comes to a close, the SoxProspects.com team continues to maintain current and accurate scouting reports for players throughout the organization. Today's update features three players rated in the Top-40 of our latest rankings. Nick Decker (drafted in 2018) and Cameron Cannon (drafted in 2019) are two recent second-round picks that offer the team valuable depth. Antoni Flores is a player that was recently considered a top-10 prospect in the system, but a lackluster 2019 has clouded his future outlook.

SoxProspects.com scouting reports are written by our scouting team, led by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Nick Decker, Outfielder

Physical Description: Strong, athletic build. Strong lower half. Some remaining projection, but already physically developed for his age.

Hit: Starts crouched with an open stance. Long, uppercut swing. Quick hands, above-average bat speed. Does a good job utilizing his lower half. Will take what the pitcher gives him and use all fields. Needs to improve pitch recognition and cut down on swing-and-miss. Has a lot of trouble picking up breaking balls, particularly from left-handers. Had a heavy platoon split in 2019, striking out 45 percent of the time against LHP, albeit in just 31 plate appearances. Has an idea of what he wants to do at the plate, but over-aggressiveness and swing-and-miss issues hold him back. Potential below-average hit tool.

Power: Plus raw power. Shows easy power during batting practice. Swing has loft and can drive the ball with backspin. Power is most notable to the pull side. Potential to develop above-average game power at his peak.

Run: Fringe-average speed. Aggressive on the basepaths. Gets good jumps and reads.
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at 8:00 AM

Minor Notes: Shortened season comes to a close


 Here are Tuesday's minor league notes:

  • Ian and Chris, the SoxProspects.com podcast crew, celebrated the end of the year by recording an episode covering Tanner Houck's (pictured, right) end to the year as a major leaguer, Nick Pivetta's first start with the Red Sox, new addition Jacob Wallace, and other notes from the alternate site. 

  • Currently ranked 10th on the SoxProspects.com rankings, Houck made his third and final start of the season on Saturday, throwing six innings with 10 strikeouts while allowing only one run. He ends the season with a 0.53 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 21 strikeouts over 17 innings. Julian McWilliams for the Boston Globe writes about Houck's debut season and his future in the rotation.
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September 28, 2020 at 5:56 PM

Podcast #192 - Revealing my real age


Well, the season is over. The Sox finished strong and still nabbed the fourth pick in the 2021 draft. Chris and Ian wind down the campaign with an eye to the future. Tanner Houck is looking good, and Nick Pivetta made the most of his starts with the big club. Ian shares several thoughts from the Alternate Training Site, and both Ian and Chris call out that the roster reflects Chaim Bloom’s craftsmanship, citing Nick Yorke and the many top 20 prospects acquired in trades this season. Among those guys is Sox newcomer Jacob Wallace who came over as the player to be named later from the Rockies in the Pillar trade. Wallace will go straight to Instructs, which Chris breaks down the logistics of the fall camp. Teaser, we’ll have a more in-depth preview next episode. Finally, it’s mailbag time, and you all did a great job filling the bag with some awesome questions. 

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September 21, 2020 at 4:32 PM

Scouting Report Update: Jacob Wallace


Last Friday, the Red Sox announced they had acquired Jacob Wallace from Colorado as the player to be named later for Kevin Pillar. The deal now stands at Pillar and cash considerations for Wallace and international bonus slot money. Wallace was Colorado's third-round pick in 2019 out of the University of Connecticut and is set to debut in the SoxProspects.com top 20 in the coming days. This makes him the fourth prospect acquired at the trade deadline to debut in the current top 20. Here is Wallace's initial scouting report, compiled from available data and reports, as well as our scouting sources across the game. 

Physical Description: Average, proportional frame with minimal remaining projection. Above-average athlete.

Mechanics: Throws from a three-quarters arm slot. High-effort delivery. High leg kick, but gets low coming forward. Long arm action behind before he whips his arm forward.

Fastball: 93-95 mph. Tops out at 97 mph. Pitch shows life and tail. Pitch jumps on hitters. Command and control need refinement. Potential plus offering.
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at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Houck dominates in debut; Wallace acquired for Pillar


 Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • In the most recent episode of the Podcast, Ian and Chris previewed Tanner Houck's major league debut, and also discussed MLB's decision to approve fall instructional camps. The remainder of the podcast focused on the ongoing negotiations between MLB and MiLB, and then they answered some reader mailbag questions. 
  • The 2017 Draft Retrospective posted last week, with Shawn McGrath covering each pick and then going in-depth on some of the main themes of the draft. While the draft has yet to produce a top-100 prospect, the early returns on Houck at the major league level have been positive. 
  • The 24-year-old Houck made his first two major league starts last week, going five shutout innings against the Marlins in his debut and then he allowed just an unearned run in six innings against the Yankees on Sunday. He struck out 11 in his 11 innings and allowed just three hits, but did walk six. He's featured a slider that batters are 0 for 8 against, mixed with a sinker that he puts down in the zone, and then a four-seam fastball that he places up in the zone. On a team bereft of pitching, Houck has been one of the few bright spots. 
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September 18, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2017 Draft Retrospective: A Houck of a debut


Thank you for checking in on the newest entry in our draft retrospective series. Tuesday was a pick-by-pick rundown of 2017, while today we will dig a little deeper into a few of the more interesting and prominent draftees. For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our
Draft History page.

2017 Draft

Background
The Red Sox had come crashing back to Earth after the surprise World Series title back in 2013. After last-place finishes in both 2014 and 2015, ownership decided a change was in order. Enter Dave Dombrowski. The Red Sox improved markedly in 2016, winning the first of what would be three consecutive American League East championships, partially due to the win-now trades the former President of Baseball Operations is known for, sacrificing prospects and sometimes overpaying to get the player he felt would most improve the team. When those trades were combined with the graduation of Andrew Benintendi and impending promotion of Rafael Devers, the prospect cupboard was left pretty bare headed into the 2017 draft. Though there is a long way to go developmentally for many of these players, a situation complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, early returns on potential impact major leaguers have left much to be desired.
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