Season in Review: 2015 was unquestionably Cecchini’s worst season as a professional. His star was quite bright at one point, peaking as the third-ranked prospect in the system after an impressive 2013 season. However, he struggled in 2014 and those struggles only got more pronounced this season. While at Triple-A, he posted career worst marks in every rate stat, despite repeating the level. His calling card at one time during his career was his excellent batting eye and approach, but even that regressed in 2015 with more than twice as many strikeouts as walks. The struggles began right from the outset, with a slow start leading to a .188/.266/.286 line through the end of June. He did manage to put together a strong period between July 6 and August 6, hitting .341/.398/.429, leading to a brief stint in the majors. Perhaps losing confidence after striking out in three of four major league at-bats, he finished the year with only 11 hits in his last 60 at-bats. This year, Cecchini added to his defensive versatility, adding first base to his previous repertoire of third base and left field. -William Woodward
Season in Review: A fourth-round pick in 2014 out of Bryant University, McAvoy made his professional debut in Lowell last year, and skipped straight to Salem to start the 2015 season. He initially proved up to the challenge, posting a 2.04 ERA over his first 39 2/3 innings, though his 25-to-21 strikeout-to-walk ratio and .234 batting average on balls in play hinted that he may not have been pitching as well as his ERA indicated. His numbers regressed significantly over the next two months, as he went on an 11-game skid that saw him pitch to a 6.59 ERA over 56 innings, while allowing 71 hits and 30 walks while striking out only 30.
This week's roundup covers play from the period of November 16-22. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in offseason action, check out our Fall and Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through the end of the offseason.
Arizona Fall League
Sam Travis (pictured) continued his torrid stretch at the plate this fall in the AFL’s final week. Although Travis went 0 for 4 in the league championship game on Saturday as his (and the rest of the Sox contingent’s) Scottsdale Scorpions won the AFL championship, he went 7 for 13 with three doubles and a walk in four games to close out the regular season. He ended the fall hitting .344/.394/.505 in 23 games.
Justin Haley started on Wednesday and pitched very well. He went four innings, allowing just one hit, no runs, and no walks while striking out six to earn the win. He finished with a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings this fall.
Chandler Shepherd had a solid week, tossing 3 1/3 innings while giving up just one earned run with no walks and two punch outs. Danny Rosenbaum struggled with his control but was able to limit the damage, walking four over 1 2/3 innings without allowing a run. Jamie Callahan added a scoreless inning that included a strikeout.
Season in Review: Lakins entered the 2015 college season with a chance to be selected in the first few rounds of the draft, after a freshman year that saw him strikeout 55 batters in 55 innings. Pitching only out of the bullpen in 2014, his fastball reportedly touched 96, and his secondary offerings showed promise. The draft-eligible sophomore moved into the rotation for the Buckeyes in 2015, but both his results and pure stuff took a step back. His ERA rose from 2.45 to 3.75, and he proved to be very hittable, giving up 97 hits in 96 innings to go along with 84 strikeouts and 32 walks. He did reportedly change his arsenal after 2014, scrapping his slider for a curveball that would be better for his long-term development.
The Red Sox added three players to the 40-man roster before Friday's deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft. A pair of relievers, right-hander Pat Light (pictured) and lefty Williams Jerez, will join infielder Marco Hernandez on the major league roster. The moves line up with those projected by Chris Hatfield of SoxProspects.com in his in-depth roster breakdown. The Red Sox cleared two spots by designating infielder Josh Rutledge for assignment and outrighting pitcher Anthony Varvaro off the 40-man roster. Varvaro elected free agency following his outright.
Light, 24, was a supplemental first-round draft choice out of Monmouth University in 2012. The hard-throwing right-hander took quickly to a move to the bullpen in 2015 after struggling as a starter. Light posted a 2.43 ERA in 21 appearances with Double-A Portland, striking out 32 in 29 1/3 innings before an early-June promotion to Triple-A. He struggled some with his control with the PawSox, walking 26 in 33 innings, but he continued to strike out more than a batter per inning. Light joins fellow 2012 draftees Deven Marrero and Brian Johnson on the 40-man roster.
On Friday, the Red Sox will decide which minor league players to add to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from selection in the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place in early December at the Winter Meetings. Often a process that draws inordinate fan attention in comparison to its actual importance, the modern Rule 5 Draft rarely, if ever, results in the selection of an impact player along the lines of past Rule 5 draftees Johan Santana, Josh Hamilton, and Joakim Soria. However, teams' determinations of who to protect, who not to protect, and who to cut loose in order to make roster additions can still have at least moderate impact down the line - see the Red Sox's busy 2012 set of roster moves, in which they declined to protect Josh Fields, designated David Carpenter and Danny Valencia for assignment to make room for other players, and protected Dan Butler and Alex Hassan, where the first three have since been positive MLB contributors and the latter two have barely seen time in the majors between them.
This season, Red Sox face only very simple decisions regarding who to protect from selection. To start, the trade of outfielder Manuel Margot removed the lone slam-dunk 40-man roster addition from the organization, with Craig Kimbrel effectively taking his roster spot. Of the players left, shortstop Marco Hernandez and right-handed reliever Pat Light are near-certain additions, with left-handed reliever Williams Jerez also a possibility. But before we review the players eligible for selection if left unprotected, let's review the basics of the draft. Further details can be found on the SoxProspects.com Wiki.
Last week, we recapped the 13 players who were in the top 40 in the SoxProspects.com rankings at some point this season, but no longer are. Monday we began our recap of the players ranked in the site's end-of-season top 40, and today is the third installment. All entries in this year's Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here. Note that because we set the schedule for this feature several weeks ago, we are going to move forward with using the season-end rankings, despite the recent trade.
Season in Review: At this time last year, Acosta was almost always linked in conversation with 2015 breakout phenom Anderson Espinoza. The two even shared a paragraph in our System Restart back in Spring Training. While there might be some natural inclination to be disappointed that Acosta didn’t match Espinoza’s breakthrough, that would be totally unfair to Acosta (or to any player, really). Realistically, 2015 did not give much more insight into the 17-year-old right-hander than there was heading into the season. A 4.28 ERA is not the sort of dominance one would hope to see out of a $1.5 million pitcher, but DSL stats are notoriously non-predictive and Acosta pitched only nine times. If you are looking for bright spots, Acosta did not allow a home run, he issued only five walks, and his arm was healthy – his four-week stint on the disabled list was due to an ankle injury. - James Dunne
Last week, we recapped the 13 players who were in the top 40 in the SoxProspects.com rankings at some point this season, but no longer are. Monday we began our recap of the players ranked in the site's end-of-season top 40, and today is the second installment. All entries in this year's Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here. Note that because we set the schedule for this feature several weeks ago, we are going to move forward with using the season-end rankings, despite the recent trade.
Season in Review: Glorius signed with Boston as an undrafted free agent this past August out of Division II Valdosta State University, making his professional debut for Lowell on August 5. He made seven appearances, with five starts, striking out 36 batters while walking 13 over his 26 1/3 strong innings for the Spinners. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-hander posted a 2.70 ERA and surrendered just 21 hits. He had a couple hiccups though, giving up three earned runs in one outing and five in another. However, Glorius did not give up any earned runs in his other five appearances, and threw 15 consecutive scoreless innings at one point in August. One final fun fact on Glorius: He tied national records in a high school game with five home runs, including two grand slams, and 17 RBI as part of his team’s 38-0 victory. – Nick Rabasco
This week's roundup covers play from the period of November 9-15. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in offseason action, check out our Fall and Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through the end of the offseason.
Arizona Fall League
With Carlos Asuaje being traded in the Craig Kimbrel trade, the Red Sox lost one position player participating in the league, but they added Jamie Callahan (pictured)to Scottsdale's roster, with the former second-round pick making two appearances out of the bullpen last week. He went one inning in each appearance, giving up a total of one run on one hit and one walk while notching a strikeout.
The big play of the week came on Monday, when Sam Travis stepped to the plate with two runners on and his team down by one in the bottom of the ninth. He connected for his first home run of the fall league for the walk-off victory. He finished the week going 6 for 22 with the home run, two doubles, and five runs batted in. He also struck out four times while drawing a walk. He is currently 10th in the league with a .313 batting average, while his .371 on-base percentage ranks 15th.
Last week, we recapped the 13 players who were in the top 40 in the SoxProspects.com rankings at some point this season, but no longer are. Today, we start our recap of the seasons of the players ranked in the site's end-of-season rankings. Note that because we set the schedule for this feature several weeks ago, we are going to move forward with using the season-end rankings, despite the recent trade of Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, Logan Allen, and Carlos Asuaje to San Diego.
Season in Review: Shepherd was one of the sensations of the Cape Cod League back in 2013, generating buzz as a potential top-100 pick the following spring. Unfortunately, a laceration on his pitching hand forced him into the Kentucky bullpen, and the right-hander ended up falling all the way to the 13th round of the 2014 draft. The Red Sox gave Shepherd a slightly conservative placement out of spring training this year, assigning him to Low A Greenville. The 6-foot-2 righty faced little resistance at that level, striking out 16 of the 64 batters he faced (25 percent) in seven outings and earning an early promotion to Salem on May 14.