SoxProspects News

April 3, 2020 at 7:30 AM

State of the System '20: Mid-Minors Pitchers

Part two of our State of the System series will focus on pitchers signed in the 2016 and 2017 drafts, as well as international free agents from that same time period. Be sure to check out the rest of the entries in the series.

The Lineup:
Notable Draftees, 2016 and 2017
Jay Groome – 2016 draft, 1st rd., $3,650,000 bonus; 2019: Injured, Rk, SS-A
Shaun Anderson – 2016 draft, 3rd rd., $700,000 bonus; July 2017: Traded to SF for Eduardo Nunez
Mike Shawaryn – 2016 draft, 5th rd., $637,500 bonus; 2019: AAA, MLB
Stephen Nogosek – 2016 draft, 6th rd., $250,000 bonus; July 2017: Traded to NYM for Addison Reed
Matthew Gorst – 2016 draft, 12th rd., $115,000 bonus; 2019: AA, AAA
Kyle Hart – 2016 draft, 19th rd., $5,000 bonus; 2019: AA, AAA
Tanner Houck – 2017 draft, 1st rd., $2,614,500 bonus; 2019: AA, AAA
Jake Thompson – 2017 draft, 4th rd., $350,000 bonus; 2019: Injured
Alex Scherff – 2017 draft, 5th rd., $700,000 bonus; 2019: A, A+
Zach Schellenger– 2017 draft, 6th rd., $175,000 bonus; 2019: AA, A+
Aaron Perry – 2017 draft, 14th rd., $172,500 bonus; 2019: Rehab, Rk
Kutter Crawford – 2017 draft, 16th rd., $125,000 bonus; 2019: A+, AA, Injured

Notable International Signees (2016-18)
Hector Velazquez – February 18, 2017, $30,000 bonus; 2019: AAA, MLB
Brayan Bello – July 2, 2017, $28,000 bonus; 2019: A
Yasel Santana – July 2, 2017, $10,000 bonus; 2019: SS-A, A
Alexander Montero – July 2, 2017, $10,000 bonus; 2019: Rk
Felix Cepeda – July 11, 2017, $40,000 bonus; 2019: GCL
Jorge Rodriguez – November 19, 2017, $37,500 bonus; 2019: GCL
Yoelvis Guedez – November 20, 2017, $10,000 bonus; 2019: Rk
Osvaldo De La Rosa – March 26, 2018, $1,000 bonus; 2019: SS-A
Aldo Ramirez – April 18, 2018, Purchased from Mexican League for $550,000; 2019: SS-A
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April 2, 2020 at 3:13 PM

Scouting Report Updates: Dalton, Erro, Bandy, Thompson, Berry, Corcino, Spacke, Ramsey

The latest scouting report update follows up on several recent draftees and signings, headlined by two big-conference college hitters in Wil Dalton and Alex Erro. These reports are written by our scouting report team, led by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Wil Dalton, Outfielder

Physical Description: Average, athletic frame. Minimal remaining projection, strong upper body.

Starts slightly open and vertical. Starts with his hands high and uses a leg lift timing device. Swing can get long and has fringe-average bat speed. Pitch recognition is a work in progress. Really struggles recognizing spin and making contact against plus velocity up in the zone. Swing has a slight uppercut. Will take a walk. In the early stages of developing an approach. Can get very pull happy. Potential well below-average hit tool.
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April 1, 2020 at 8:00 AM

State of the System '20: Low-Minors Pitchers

As we continue past a baseball-less MLB Opening Day and approach what would have been minor league opening day on April 9, many of us—including those of us here at SoxProspects!—have mourned the absence of the game from our lives. But while there will be no games for some time, that does not mean that there is a lack of meaningful opportunity to take stock of the Boston Red Sox farm system in a meaningful way.

So, welcome to the first installment of State of the System. Over the next few weeks, this series will take a position-by-position look at the Red Sox system, evaluating the areas of strength and weakness as well as providing the context for why those strengths and weaknesses exist. This edition will be the first part of our look at the pitchers in the system, which will be split into three parts. Today, we will focus on the most recent additions to the organization from the last two draft and international free agent classes.

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March 31, 2020 at 2:02 PM

Scouting Report Updates: Rodriguez, Bell, Windle, Pantoja, Jimenez, Perez, Schwaab, Curcio

Despite the absence of live baseball at the moment, the team will continue to examine all levels of Boston's minor league system and update our player page scouting reports with data compiled from in-person scouting, reports from sources within the game, and statistical data. Today's series of updates includes two of the site's top 40 prospects in Jorge Rodriguez and Brock Bell. These two young hurlers are far from similar—in profile as well as career origin—but both pitchers ended their seasons by appearing in one game for Lowell, and both show the early signs of major league potential. scouting reports are written by our scouting report team, led by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Jorge Rodriguez, Left-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Small-framed left-hander with some projection.
Mechanics: Starts open with his glove low, then brings it above his head. Medium-to-high leg kick. Brings leg across his body for torque.
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March 27, 2020 at 10:19 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Pereda, Allie, Meneses, Mieses, Puello, Jones

Our latest scouting report update for the 2020 season includes six new faces to the Red Sox organization. The front office has been aggressive in adding depth to a minor league system that is undergoing a strategic shift with a new Chief Baseball Officer at the helm. This set of updates is headlined by Jhonny Pereda, a catcher traded to the Red Sox in exchange for Travis Lakins, as well as Stetson Allie, a former top prospect for the Pittsburgh Pirates who can still touch triple digits with his fastball. scouting reports are written by our scouting report team, led by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Jhonny Pereda, catcher

Physical Description: Solid catcher's frame. No remaining projection.

Starts square and utilizes a leg kick timing device. Hands start around his chest, but end up in a good hitting position. Solid bat-to-ball skills. Puts the ball in play consistently, understands the strike zone. Does a good job taking what the pitcher gives him and not expanding the strike zone.

Power: Minimal power projection. Currently has below-average raw power and projects for well-below average game power at best. Doesn’t lift the ball with authority. Not a part of his game.

Not a part of his game. Bottom-of-the-scale speed.

Receiving and framing need work. Framing is inconsistent, has varied between above-average to below-average from year-to-year. Receiving can get a little loose and needs to tighten up those skills. Potential average defender.

Plus arm. Quick release. Does a good job controlling the running game.

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March 26, 2020 at 5:18 PM

Podcast Ep. #176 - Small Prospects

Before we get started, to all our listeners, colleagues, supporters and friends of the site, we all want to send our sincere wishes for health, safety and security. We’re planning to keep episodes of the podcast coming, so you have things to listen to while you’re sheltering in place, working from home and taking breaks from MLB Vault marathons. We’re releasing this podcast on what would have been Opening Day. And while baseball is still shut down, we have plenty to talk through. Chris and Ian update us the negotiations between MLB and the Players Association. They tackle the time needed to get both the big leaguers ready to play as well as the minor leaguers. Then they turn to the mailbag to answer your questions.

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March 23, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Fort Report: Financial assistance for minor leaguers; scouting activity prohibited

With play halted for the foreseeable future, the main baseball topics revolve around supporting minor leaguers while play is suspended and figuring out a solution to the service time issues in a shortened season. 

  • While minor leaguers are not paid for spring training, they do receive a few hundred dollars per week per diem. MLB announced that these players will receive a lump sum that represents what they would have received under this allowance through April 8 and the Red Sox also covered any costs that it would take for the minor leaguers to travel home. 
  • Another group of people set to lose out on the delayed start to the season is ballpark employees. Each team has committed $1 million to help these employees, who are almost all hourly workers. 
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March 16, 2020 at 3:00 PM

Fort Report: Coronavirus halts play

Opening Day will be delayed this season, as the coronavirus has forced baseball to shut down. We will continue to try and provide a distraction with Red Sox minor league coverage.

  • Check out the 175th episode of the podcast, where Chris and Ian discuss the unfortunate cancellation of their trip to Fort Myers. Prior to the decision to cancel, they discussed some things they were looking forward to seeing in camp. They also give their thoughts on roster cuts and the active roster. 
  • Red Sox minor leaguers were originally given the option to stay in camp or go home, but now they have been encouraged to go home. By the looks of it, a lot of players have opted to go home.
  • On a conference call on Friday, Chaim Bloom discussed the difficulty of getting pitchers ready again for whenever the season ends up starting. 
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March 12, 2020 at 10:53 AM

Podcast Ep. #175: Minor League Camp "Preview"

A lot can change in a couple days. In this episode, Chris and Ian engaged in an in-depth preview of their then-upcoming trip to minor league spring training, running through the players they were looking forward to seeing in camp and taking your listener questions. Days later, as Chris explains in the new intro, the trip was unfortunately canceled due to concerns related to the coronavirus, but we are still releasing the episode as a preview of the players and storylines we have our eyes on entering the year.

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March 9, 2020 at 2:30 PM

Fort Report: Duran keeps rolling; Houck, Mata, Dalbec reassigned

There are only 17 days to go until Opening Day and there is plenty of news coming out of Fort Myers that doesn't involve Chris Sale and his elbow. The roster is beginning to take shape, with several players moving over to minor league camp and the departure of a valuable member of the 2018 championship team.

  • The first rounds of cuts from major league camp began this week as 19 players--including five of the top 10 prospects in the system--were optioned or reassigned:
    • Five players on the 40-man roster were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket: infielders Bobby Dalbec and CJ Chatham and pitchers Kyle Hart, Mike Shawaryn, and Phillips Valdez. Dalbec ranks sixth in the system in the Top 60, with Chatham checking in at number 10. 
    • Outfielder Marcus Wilson was optioned to Portland and lefty Yoan Aybar to Salem. 
    • Those not on the 40-man reassigned to minor league camp were pitchers Daniel McGrath, Bobby Poyner, Bryan Mata, Denyi Reyes, RJ Alvarez, Trevor Hildenberger, Tanner Houck (pictured), and Mick Kickham, infielders Tommy Joseph, Jeter Downs, Josh Ockimey, and catchers Connor Wong and Roldani Baldwin.
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March 2, 2020 at 8:00 PM

Fort Report: Duran and Mata impress in first full week of Spring

Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • With the first full week of spring training behind us, SoxProspects coverage is in full swing. On the SoxProspects twitter account (@SoxProspects) you can find daily reports on prospects playing in major league games, as well as follow the #SP60 breakdown of the systems top 60 prospects (updated daily). Stay tuned as the SoxProspects scouting team is set to arrive in Fort Myers on March 19th to bring in-person reports of minor league camp. 
  • One of the stand out prospect performers thus far in Red Sox spring training has been Jarren Duran who has turned heads with his red hot start to spring. The speedy outfielder has appeared in five games thus far in which he's notched five hits in twelve plate appearances, including a home run and a triple. Bryan Mata has also impressed in his two spring appearances, fanning two across three scoreless innings.
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February 24, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Fort Report: Camp opens with new additions Downs and Wong

The Red Sox held their first full team workout on February 17 and with the start of spring training comes another year of the Fort Report. The Fort Report will run every Monday throughout spring training, catching you up on all things prospect-related happening down in Fort Myers.

Here are this week's minor league notes:
  • Since the last Monthly Notes, the huge headline was obviously the finalized trade of Mookie Betts and David Price in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs (pictured, right), and Connor Wong. The trade did not go down smoothly, and the first reports led the Podcast Team to put out an initial emergency podcast only to find the deal fall apart. Once the deal was revised and finalized, they released a second emergency podcast summing up the whole wild ride.
  • With the new prospects in the fold, the scouting team was hard at work, putting together a post with updated scouting reports for both Downs and Wong. Downs is described as having the ceiling of an everyday player/occasional all-star and begins the year as the second-ranked player on the rankings. Wong projects as more of a super-utility player and is the system's top-ranked catcher, ranked 12th overall.
  • Julian McWilliams writes for the Boston Globe about Downs' confidence and how he is learning from his mistakes. Downs spoke to former Twins major leaguer Torii Hunter and said, “He told me to make all the mistakes you can now in the minor leagues. Try new things."
  • ESPN's David Schoenfield took a look at the most interesting non-roster player for all 30 teams. His selection for the Red Sox was no surprise, Jeter Downs.
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February 17, 2020 at 7:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Jeter Downs and Connor Wong

Our first scouting report update post of the season highlights the two prospects the Red Sox received from the Dodgers in addition to Alex Verdugo in exchange for Mookie Betts and David Price. These reports, written by our Director of Scouting, Ian Cundall, will be further updated after we have seen the players in person, hopefully during our March trip to minor league Spring Training in Fort Myers, but for now have been compiled from reports obtained from those who have seen both Downs and Wong.

Jeter Downs, middle infielder

Physical Description: Athletic, twitchy. Minimal projection remaining in frame. Has gotten stronger since signing. Thick lower half.

Hit: Patient, polished hitter with advanced bat control. Simple swing. Has strong feel for hit and has refined his swing to allow him to tap into more power and hit the ball in the air to the pull side. Will use all fields. Has shown solid contact skills. Can get pull-happy at times and struggles with velocity up in the zone. Potential above-average hit tool.
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February 10, 2020 at 7:41 AM

Podcast Ep. 174 - Emergency podcast -- Mookie Betts, take two

Here we go again. The siren is blaring. Mookie Betts is once again on his way to LA, along with David Price and cash to cover half of what Price is owed over the next three years. Coming back to Boston are Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong. Chris and Ian break down the new deal and answer your questions.

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February 7, 2020 at 7:00 PM

Minor Notes: Casas leads Red Sox on national rankings as Betts trade looms

Here are January's minor league notes:

  • It has been a busy month for the SoxProspects podcast team, who have recorded three episodes since the beginning of January. Episode 171 featured the now annual appearance of Alex Speier (Boston Globe) on the pod, and the group went over a number of topics including the offseasons transactions and Speier's new book, Homegrown
  • Prior to the news breaking late Tuesday night Chris (@SPChrisHatfield) and Ian (@IanCundall) discussed what a then theoretical Mookie Betts trade would look like in the 172nd episode of the podcast. They further recapped the Red Sox offseason transactions and offered condolences to the families of Kobe Bryant and Red Sox scout J.J. Altobelli. Immediately following the news of the Betts trade breaking the team hopped in the studio for the 173rd episode to go over the reported terms of the deal and discuss what this means for the Red Sox going forward.
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