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February 13, 2024 at 11:31 AM

Help Wanted: SoxProspects Social Media Specialist


We are looking for an enthusiastic Social Media Specialist to join the SoxProspects Staff immediately! We're seeking a commitment of at least through the end of 2024, but ideally we are looking for someone who will want to stick around with us for the long-term if there’s a mutual fit. We are hoping that this position will help work on expanding our social media presence beyond Twitter, while also serving as a backup on Twitter. We expect that the commitment would be a few hours per week during the baseball season, and less in the off-season. 

As for requirements, we’re looking for someone with flexibility to be able to post using the site’s social media platforms as needed, maybe a couple times per day, including during business hours (ET). This does not mean being on call around the clock, but it will not work if the applicant is totally unavailable to post during the entire workday every day. 

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at 8:00 AM

How the Red Sox draft strategy has affected the club's pitching development


For years, any discussion of the Red Sox farm system has eventually turned to the organization's struggles to develop homegrown pitching, especially impact starters. This is clearly an area Craig Breslow was brought in to improve, and this offseason he has already made sweeping changes to the pitching infrastructure. He brought in Andrew Bailey as the major league pitching coach, Justin Willard as director of pitching, and Kyle Boddy as a special advisor, also overhauling almost the entire Worcester pitching apparatus with new coaches and catchers. This group is tasked with developing a group of pitching prospects that is deep, with many arms with major league potential, but many, if not all of those arms profile best as multi- or single-inning relievers. In the current SoxProspects top 60, the highest-ranked pitcher is Luis Perales at 7, and there are only three other pitchers in the top 20: Wikelman Gonzalez (9), Richard Fitts (11), and Yordanny Monegro (20). From 21-40, we have 13 pitchers ranked, most of whom either already are or profile as relievers. 

Developing starting pitching is not easy, but other systems have certainly had more success at it than Boston. So what are teams like the Mariners and Dodgers doing that has allowed them to have a stream of major league-ready arms coming through their system, including high-end starting pitchers? Overall, the Red Sox have done a good job with the players they’ve had in the system. Brayan Bello is up at the major league level and drastically improved during his time in the organization. Perales and Gonzalez are both international signees who have steadily improved as they’ve progressed. Draftees such as Hunter Dobbins (highest-ranked Red Sox draftee in the system at 23rd) and Shane Drohan also made steady progress as they moved up the ladder, but overall, there is still a lack of starting pitching prospects.  

Given the effort the Red Sox have put into modernizing their pitching development, especially starting in September 2015 with the appointment of Brian Bannister to Director of Pitching Analysis and Development, their continued relative inability to develop a top starting pitching prospect stands out. The top recent pitcher to come through the system, Bello, and the top two pitching prospects in the system all came via the international market, where the Red Sox have done a good job of identifying pitchers and developing them. The amateur draft is a different story, however. Diving into the club’s draft history from 2018-2023 reveals a lack of resources (high picks and bonuses) devoted to pitchers, especially compared to other organizations that have successfully developed multiple homegrown starters and top pitching prospects. Digging into where the most successful major league starting pitchers and high-end pitching prospects came from, it appears that the Red Sox have made it more difficult for themselves to develop these high-end pitchers by primarily allocating their draft resources toward hitters.

Red Sox Drafting Trends
The last time the Red Sox drafted a starting pitcher in the first round was in 2017 with Tanner Houck. Since then, the Red Sox’s drafts have skewed heavily towards hitters. Interestingly, this goes directly against what they did in the previous six years, which also coincided with the introduction of the bonus pool system in 2012.
  • From 2012-2017 (six drafts), the Red Sox drafted and signed 77 pitchers who received 56% ($25,126,500) of their total bonus money spent. 
  • In those same drafts, they signed 86 hitters who received 43% ($19,377,200) of the bonus total. (These numbers could be slightly off, as bonus information wasn’t available for some post-10th round signings from 2012-2014 who all received under $100,000)
  • The Red Sox gave out seven $1,000,000 bonuses and six bonuses between $500,000 and $1,000,000 during this period. Notable names on that list include: 
    • Jay Groome (2016 1st round, 12th overall, $3,650,000)
    • Trey Ball (2013 1st round, 7th overall, $2,750,000)
    • Tanner Houck (2017 1st round, 24th overall, $2,614,500)
    • Brian Johnson (2012 supplemental 1st round, 31st overall, $1,575,000)
    • Michael Kopech (2014 1st round, 33rd overall, $1,500,000)
    • Ty Buttrey (2012 4th round, 151st overall, $1,300,000)
    • Pat Light (2012 supplemental 1st round, 37th overall, $1,000,000)  
Since 2018, the Red Sox’s draft strategy has drastically changed. They’ve gone heavy on hitters early on and devoted very little resources, both in terms of early picks and bonus money, towards pitchers. Instead, they have flipped towards a volume-based approach with pitchers, taking more pitchers than hitters but rarely going over slot for them and primarily targeting them in later rounds.
  • From 2018-2023, the Red Sox drafted and signed 60 pitchers, but these pitchers only made up 19% ($9,919,850) of the total bonuses they gave out during that time. On the flip side, the 53 hitters they selected in this period received 81% ($40,970,100) of the total bonuses.
  • The earliest the Red Sox have selected a pitcher since 2018 was 99th overall in the 2022 third round with Dalton Rogers. They also selected two other pitchers in the third round during this time, Durbin Feltman in 2018 (pick 100) and Ryan Zeferjahn in 2019 (pick 107).
  • The highest bonus the Red Sox have given to a pitcher since 2018 is $600,000, to Shane Drohan in the final round of the shortened 2020 draft.
  • They have only given out only four bonuses greater than $500,000 to pitchers in these six years (Drohan $600,000, Feltman $559,600, Zeferjahn $500,000, and Blake Loubier $500,000). 
  • During that same time frame, they have given out 18 bonuses of more than $500,000 to hitters.
  • They have only given seven pitchers over-slot deals in these six years (4 were in 2019) and the most over-slot they’ve gone for any pitcher is $375,000 over for Loubier in 2019.
  • In the same period, they’ve gone over slot for hitters 14 times, including over $1 million over slot for Roman Anthony, Nazzan Zanetello, and Blaze Jordan.
  • Looking at just the last three drafts (2021-2023), they have given out only one overslot deal to a pitcher, Hunter Dobbins in the 8th round of 2021, who received $197,500, which was $8,600 overslot.
Industry-wide Drafting Trends
The Red Sox aren’t alone in prioritizing volume with pitchers from 2018-2023. 27 out of the 30 MLB teams have selected more pitchers than hitters during this time, but with how hitter-focused the Red Sox have gone with their bonus resources, I was curious if this was a trend we were seeing across the game. After looking at every team's draft in the same window, the Red Sox stand out as an outlier:
  • The Red Sox devoted the lowest percentage of their draft bonuses to pitchers than any other MLB organization at just 19%. The only other teams below 30% were Baltimore at 22% and Oakland at 26%.
  • 20 teams devoted at least 40% of their bonuses to pitching. 9 devoted over 50% of their bonuses to pitching.
  • The Red Sox committed the lowest total bonus amount to pitchers at $9,919,850. The next-lowest amount for pitchers was Houston at $12,760,299. Houston’s total bonus outlay during this time was the lowest in baseball, though, so that still represented 37% of their total. Oakland was the only other team that did not give at least $15,000,000 in bonuses to pitchers. 
  • 19 teams gave at least $25,000,000 in bonuses to pitchers and 9 teams spent at least $30,000,000. 
  • The Red Sox were the only team not to give a $1,000,000 bonus to a pitcher in this six-draft stretch. In fact, every other team gave at least two such bonuses. Philadelphia gave out two (Mick Abel, $4,075,000 and Andrew Painter, $3,900,000), while Houston and Oakland each gave out three.
  • Again, this is a matter of allocation, not total spending: Even though the Red Sox were 24th out of 30 teams in total bonus money spent in this period, a figure reflecting the size of their bonus pools more than anything else, they were 6th in total bonus amount given to hitters. 
Digging into some exemplar teams' drafts even further, the lack of resources devoted to pitchers by the Red Sox stands out even more. Here is a chart showing the distribution of bonuses given to pitchers and hitters from 2018-2023 by the Red Sox and four other teams who have had success drafting and developing pitchers in this time frame.
  • 2018-2023 Boston Red Sox draft bonus allocation: 19% pitchers, 81% hitters
    • Pitchers: 0 bonuses greater than $1,000,000 and 4 between $500,000 to $999,999 
    • Hitters: 14 bonuses greater than $1,000,000 and 4 more between $500,000 to $999,999 
  • 2018-2023 New York Yankees draft bonus allocation: 39% pitchers, 61% hitters
    • Pitchers: 4 bonuses greater than $1,000,000 and 3 more between $500,000 to $999,999 
    • Hitters: 7 bonuses greater than $1,000,000 and 5 more between $500,000 to $999,999  
  • 2018-2023 Tampa Bay Rays draft bonus allocation: 45% pitchers, 55% hitters
    • Pitchers: 7 bonuses greater than $1,000,000 and 6 more between $500,000 to $999,999 
    • Hitters: 11 bonus greater than $1,000,000 and 7 more between $500,000 to $999,999 
  • 2018-2023 Seattle Mariners draft bonus allocation: 48% pitchers, 52% hitters
    • Pitchers: 7 bonuses greater than $1,000,000 and 4 more between $500,000 to $999,999 
    • Hitters: 10 bonuses greater than $1,000,000 and 4 more between $500,000 to $999,999 
  • 2018-2023 Los Angeles Dodgers draft bonus allocation: 50% pitchers, 50% hitters
    • Pitchers: 6 bonuses greater than $1,000,000 and 5 more between $500,000 to $999,999 
    • Hitters: 6 bonuses greater than $1,000,000 and 2 more between $500,000 to $999,999
Where do the top major league pitchers come from?
Developing starting pitchers is very difficult, and the Red Sox aren’t alone in struggling in that area. Given the lack of resources in the draft they have used towards pitchers, I was curious how the top pitchers last year entered professional baseball. In 2023, there were only 28 qualified pitchers that achieved three or more fWAR:
  • 23 of the 28 entered baseball through the amateur draft. 
  • 11 were first-round picks (including supplemental round), one was a second-round pick, two were third-round picks, five were fourth-round picks and one each came from the fifth through eighth rounds. 
  • Four were originally signed as international prospects (Pablo Lopez, Framber Valdez, Luis Castillo, and Freddy Peralta) and Kodai Senga was signed as a professional international free agent.
With how the draft is structured right now, bonus amounts are just as important as where these pitchers were drafted. 
  • 14 of 23 received at least $1 million in bonus money.
  • An additional four received between $500,000 and $750,000. 
  • Only 5 of the 23 received a bonus of less than $500,000 (Spencer Strider $449,300, Jordan Montgomery $424,000, Kyle Bradish $397,500, Merrill Kelly $125,000, Miles Mikolas $125,000)
Looking at the pitchers with greater than 3 fWAR in 2022 reveals similar trends:
  • 19 of 26 entered baseball through the amateur draft.
  • 12 were first-round picks (including supplemental round), one was a third-round pick, four were fourth-round picks and one each in the sixth and eighth rounds.
  • 12 of 19 received at least $1,400,000 
  • An additional four received between $500,000 and $750,000. 
  • Only 3 received less than $500,000 (Shane Bieber $420,000, Corey Kluber $200,000, Merrill Kelly $125,000)
Where do the top pitching prospects come from?
The next area I wanted to explore was the national top prospects lists to see where the pitching prospects on those lists came from. Baseball America recently released its 2024 Top 100 and similar trends to what we saw with the top-performing major league pitchers last year emerged from the 31 pitchers who made the list:
  • 30 were selected in the amateur draft, with only one signed as an international prospect (Luis Morales, Oakland, $3,000,000 bonus)
  • 15 of the 30 were selected in the first round (including supplemental round), 3 were selected in the second round, 5 in the third round, and 1 each in the fourth through seventh rounds. 
  • 23 received at least a $1,000,000 bonus.
  • 5 of the remaining 8 pitchers received between $500,000 and $999,999. 
  • Only 3 pitchers received less than $500,000: Chase Hampton (2022 6th round, $497,500), Nick Frasso (2020 4th round, $459,000), and Gavin Stone (2020 5th round, $97,500)
  • Of the 9 pitchers selected in rounds 3-7, five of them received an over-slot bonus.
Looking at the 2023 Baseball America Top 100 list, similar trends emerge from the 27 prospect arms on their list (excluding Kodai Senga, who was 16th):
  • 25 were selected in the amateur draft, while two were signed as international prospects (Eury Perez, Miami, $200,000 and Luis Ortiz, Pittsburgh, $25,000). 
  • 13 of the 25 were selected in the first round, 3 were selected in the second round, 3 were selected in the third round, 1 in the fourth round and 5 in the fifth round.
  • 17 received at least a $1,000,000 bonus.
  • 3 of the remaining 8 pitchers received between $500,000 and $999,999. 
  • 5 pitchers received less than $500,000: Bryce Miller (2021 4th round, $400,000), Hunter Brown (2021 4th round, $325,000), Tanner Bibee (2021 5th round, $259,400), Brandon Pfaadt (2020 5th round, $100,000) and Stone (2020 5th round, $97,500)
Conclusion
The Red Sox’ hitter-centric approach in the amateur draft in the last six years has been very successful in producing potential high-end position players (Triston Casas, Roman Anthony, Marcelo Mayer, and Kyle Teel), but it has left the system imbalanced, with a surplus of position players and little potential starting pitcher depth. There is more certainty when drafting hitters, as pitchers are a riskier demographic than hitters, and the data shows the chances of a first-round pitcher turning into a major leaguer are lower than those for position players (Baseball America had an interesting article that dives into this data here). The data also shows that the drop-off in the likelihood of a pitcher making the majors who is drafted in the first round compared to the second is much higher than that of hitters, so if a team wants to give itself the best chance to develop homegrown impact starters, draft resources need to be devoted there.
   
The Red Sox’s hitter-centric strategy could still be successful in developing a balanced roster, especially if the pitching staff was buoyed by external investment in the free agent market and/or via trades of hitting prospects for pitching. The best example of such a hitting-for-pitching swap is Arizona sending prospect Jazz Chisholm, then in Double-A, to Miamif for Zac Gallen, who had a few major league starts under his belt. Another example would be the deal Tampa and Cleveland struck last year, swapping Kyle Manzardo for Aaron Civale. However, it is not always as simple as moving a hitter for a pitcher, as teams often want starting pitching prospects for their established starters, and that’s not something the Red Sox have had to offer beyond Bello in recent years. As a result, the team finds itself with a number of young major league and potential major league arms, but with questions about how many are capable of becoming the impact starters they need. 

With a new chief of baseball operations sporting a pitching-centric background and a revamped pitching infrastructure, it will be interesting to see if the club’s draft tendencies start to change going forward. Teams like the Yankees and Mariners have shown that potential high-end starters can be found in the mid-to-late first round and beyond, while still allocating plenty of resources to hitters. An approach like that could make sense for the Red Sox to help balance out the system and give this new development staff the best chance to develop a consistent pipeline of potential starting pitcher prospects coming through the system. 

All bonus information was sourced from Baseball Reference draft pages and the Baseball America MLB Draft Database. Two-way draftees were given a designation of either hitter or pitcher depending on what they have done in the minor leagues and what their most likely MLB position was. Padres 2023 7th-round pick Tucker Musgrove ($175,000 bonus) was omitted from the study as he has yet to debut as a two-way player and it isn't clear what his ultimate position is most likely to be, unlike the other two-way draftees.

Photo Credit: Hunter Dobbins by Kelly O'Connor.

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.

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February 11, 2024 at 12:01 PM

Podcast Ep. #304: Back for more in '24


After a month to recharge, the podcast is back... and so is Theo Epstein? After the offseason of our discontent, we finally got some good news after Winter Weekend seemed to present a low point for Red Sox fandom. Plus, there's a new batch of minor league free agents and international amateur signees to discuss, and as always, your emails!
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January 22, 2024 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Koss homers as Caguas wins 21st LBPRC title


Red Sox minor league action in the winter season has come to an end with the Roberto Clemente League wrapping up its season. Caguas took home the championship.

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Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (LBPRC)
Caguas captured its 21st LBPRC championship, winning the series five games to three. It was a productive series for both Sox farmhands, as Christian Koss (pictured) played in seven of the eight games for Caguas. He went 5 for 20 with a home run, three RBI, and a stolen base. His home run and all three of his RBI came in Game Two, when Caguas exploded for 13 runs in the win. He also picked up a single and a stolen base in the eighth and final game of the series, a 4-1 Caguas win. 
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January 8, 2024 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Caguas moves to LBPRC final, Jorge Benitez shines


The calendar has flipped to 2024 and with that, the winter league seasons are beginning to come to a close. Red Sox minor leaguers are only still playing in the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League and one team has already punched its ticket to the championship series, while Game 6 in the other best-of-seven semifinal series is on Monday night.

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Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (LBPRC)
Caguas took down Santurce in five games to advance to the championship series. Two farmhands are playing for Caguas: Jorge Benitez and Christian Koss (pictured). Benitez pitched in three games and contributed 4 1/3 no-hit innings over Games 2, 3, and 5. He pitched two frames in the deciding contest and struck out four Santurce hitters against one walk, his only of the playoffs. He had a punchout each in his other two appearances. Koss appeared in each of the series' first three contests, with a 1-6 line, including four strikeouts.

They are the only two to appear in the postseason to date, as Vaughn Grissom suited up for now-eliminated Santurce, while Juan Montero did not factor into any of the first five games in the series between Ponce and Gigantes de Carolina. Gigantes leads the series, 3-2. If Ponce wins Game 6, Game 7 is scheduled for Wednesday. The championship series, for the right to represent Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Series, begins Friday.

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Photo Credit: Christian Koss by Kelly O'Connor

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January 2, 2024 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Grissom acquired from Braves in stunning trade


The first winter roundup of 2024 is highlighted by none other than Vaughn Grissom (pictured, left), who the Red Sox stunningly acquired from the Braves this past Saturday in exchange for left-hander Chris Sale and cash considerations.

Grissom, who turns 23 later this week, was originally selected by the Braves in the 11th round of the 2019 amateur draft. The right-handed-hitting infielder broke in with Atlanta in August of 2022, most notably recording his first career hit (and first career home run) against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. He has appeared in a total of 64 big-league contests over the last two seasons and has batted .287/.339/.407 with nine doubles, one triple, five homers, 27 RBIs, 29 runs scored, five stolen bases, 13 walks, and 49 strikeouts while seeing playing time at both middle infield positions. 
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December 30, 2023 at 8:22 PM

Pitch Clock: Sale trade, Giolito signing


On today's Pitch Clock, Chris H., Ian, and special guest Chris Clegg discuss the Chris Sale-for-Vaughn Grissom trade and Lucas Giolito signing.
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December 29, 2023 at 9:13 PM

Podcast Ep. #303: Slow, Slow, Slooooooow


The offseason's long but so far it's been slooooooowwww.... sorry, we've probably been watching too much White Christmas, but even Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney would've struggled to find something to sing about the Red Sox offseason so far (of course, we recorded the night before the news broke that the Red Sox had agreed to terms with Lucas Giolito). Still, the guys tried to make sense of it all, as well as taking a quick look at the Tyler O'Neill trade, which went down shortly after our last episode. Maybe we just need to keep recording so that moves can happen a day or two later?
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December 18, 2023 at 11:00 AM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Reyes picks up three hits


The Dominican Professional League and Roberto Clemente Professional League, the only two leagues with Red Sox players in action, each continued this past week. The 2024 Rookie Development Program will get going in January. This post covers games from December 11-17. 

Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM)
Pablo Reyes only got five at-bats this past week, but he made them count. The infielder went 3 for 5 with a trio of singles. He is now slashing .262/.377/.492 in 65 at-bats this winter with four home runs. Enmanuel Valdez did not play. 

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Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (LBPRC)
Jorge Benitez stayed hot, keeping his scoreless streak going. The left-hander only pitched one inning this past week, but it was a clean one. He did not allow a run and struck out one without issuing a free pass. He has now thrown 12 1/3 innings with 14 strikeouts and just three walks without allowing an earned run. 

Photo Credit: Jorge Benitez via MLB.com
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December 11, 2023 at 8:30 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Benitez racking up scoreless streak


The winter leagues continued on this week with two leagues having participants from the Red Sox system in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. This pattern will continue until the 2024 Rookie Development Program gets going in January and likely the 2024 Caribbean Series from February 1-9. This post covers games between December 4-10.

Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM)

Looking at the weekly rosters, Enmanuel Valdez is not listed on their team roster for Toros del Este. However, infielder Pablo Reyes (pictured, left) is still listed on the Este roster and appeared twice this past week. On Thursday against Cibao, he went 1 for 4 and on Friday against Aguilas he went 2 for 4 with a double, run scored, and RBI. The 30-year-old, who is on the 40-man roster now, has a slash line of .233/.333/.483 over 60 at-bats over the winter.

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Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (LBPRC)
Newly signed Jorge Benitez just keeps cranking out scoreless appearances for Caguas. His scoreless streak has continued to 11 1/3 innings and added a strikeout and allowed two hits while closing out Sunday's 7-2 win for Caguas.  His season statistics now have him with 13 strikeouts, three walks, and seven hits over his 11 1/3 innings. 

Photo Credit: Pablo Reyes by Kelly O'Connor

Will Woodward is a Co-Owner and Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.
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December 10, 2023 at 5:02 PM

Podcast Ep. #302: Verdugone, Rule 5 exodus


At the last moment, the Winter Meetings gave us plenty to discuss. First, the Red Sox moved Alex Verdugo to, of all places, New York, with the Yankees sending three arms in return. Then, the organization lost NINE players in the Rule 5 Draft, while a tenth was traded in exchange for a pick in the Major League portion. At the very least, the club kept a tradition alive by selecting a Yankee in the minor league portion. the guys discussed the comings and goings, and then responded to your emails. (NOTE: this episode was recorded before the Tyler O'Neill trade.)
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December 4, 2023 at 12:30 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Three minor leaguers play in U23 World Cup Qualifier; Benitez continues hot start in Puerto Rico


The calendar has flipped to December and for the remaining winter leagues, the regular season is now in its final month as teams jockey for playoff position. Aside from the usual goings-on in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, a trio of Dominican farm hands participated in the WBSC U23 World Cup Qualifier that took place in Nicaragua.

WBSC U23 World Cup Qualifier
Eleven nations spent the final week of November in Masaya, Nicaragua competing for one of four places in the U23 World Cup, which will take place in 2024 in China. The Red Sox organization had three representatives, all of which competed for the Dominican Republic, which finished in eighth place with a 1-3 record.

Albertson Asigen appeared in three of the games and went 1 for 8 with a triple. He added a run and an RBI, playing both center and right field. He was joined in the field by Claudio Simon, who played three games at third base and spent one contest as a designated hitter. He was 0 for 11 with six strikeouts, but did score a pair of runs and stole two bases.
 
Railin Perez was the only pitcher that made the journey and he was able to get into two games. Argentina touched him for two runs in just 2/3 of an inning on a hit and three walks. However, both outs were strikeouts. He pitched better against Nicaragua, with 1 1/3 innings of shutout ball, even if he did allow four hits and another free pass.
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December 2, 2023 at 11:45 PM

Podcast Ep. #301: End-of-season Rankings/Winter Meetings Preview


So it turns out the Rule 5 protection and non-tender deadlines led to a somewhat eventful week! First, the Red Sox turned some heads by declining to add Shane Drohan to the 40-man roster on Tuesday. Then, they swung a minor trade with Seattle on Friday in addition to non-tendering Wyatt Mills. Analysis of all this and some minor league comings and goings, plus your emails, await!
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November 27, 2023 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Fitzgerald debuts for Licey; Santos continues to impress


This week's roundup features a familiar face in Ryan Fitzgerald (pictured) spreading his wings in the Dominican Republic and a newcomer to the organization in Jorge Benitez pitching well down in Puerto Rico. Speaking of encouraging performances on the mound, Victor Santos remains a steady presence for the Leones del Escogido.

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Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM)
Victor Santos was solid yet again in his third start of the winter for Escogido last Wednesday. Going up against Estrellas on the road, the 23-year-old righty picked up the winning decision while allowing just one earned run on three hits and one walk to go along with a season-high of seven strikeouts over five strong innings of work. In five appearances for the Leones this season, Santos is now 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 0.96 WHIP across 18 2/3 total frames.
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November 20, 2023 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Santos throws five scoreless innings


A tropical storm hit the Dominican Republic, which disrupted games on Friday and Saturday. With parts of the island suffering significant power outages and flooding, it would not be surprising if games were affected into this week. Two players saw action in the Dominican earlier in the week, while the other leagues remained quiet from a Boston perspective. Full rosters are available on our Fall and Winter Leagues page

Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM)
Victor Santos (pictured) picked up the win for Escogido in his only appearance of the week.  He threw five shutout innings, striking out two without walking a batter. His ERA now sits at 0.66 after 13 2/3 innings. Enmanuel Valdez did not make an appearance, while Pablo Reyes went 0 for 4 in his lone start. His line dropped to .257/.350/.657 over 35 at-bats. 

Photo Credit: Victor Santos by Kelly O'Connor

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November 19, 2023 at 12:03 AM

Podcast Ep. #300: Messed with the Drohan


So it turns out the Rule 5 protection and non-tender deadlines led to a somewhat eventful week! First, the Red Sox turned some heads by declining to add Shane Drohan to the 40-man roster on Tuesday. Then, they swung a minor trade with Seattle on Friday in addition to non-tendering Wyatt Mills. Analysis of all this and some minor league comings and goings, plus your emails, await!
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November 14, 2023 at 11:40 AM

Podcast Shorts Ep. 1: 2023 Rule 5 Protection Deadline


Welcome to SoxProspects Shorts, Episode 1! We'll explain what it means further on the episode, but as for the matter at hand, Tuesday at 6pm is the deadline to protect players from selection in the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the 40-man roster, so Chris and Ian hopped on to give their thoughts on who might be protected, who might not, and why.
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November 13, 2023 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: AFL comes to close, McDonough goes deep


The Glendale Desert Dogs' season has ended, with their final three games being played this past week. The Dominican Professional League is also still in full swing. The Roberto Clemente Professional League, Venezuelan League, and Mexican Leagues are also in action, but no Red Sox players have played in those three. 

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Arizona Fall League
Glendale dropped their final three games to end their season with a 12-18 record, which landed them in last place on the year. Corey Rosier ended the year on a tough note, going 0 for 13 with four strikeouts over the final three games. He did take two walks and steal his third bag of the season. In 89 AFL at-bats, Rosier ends with a .258/.355/.344 slash line. Nathan Hickey caught one of Glendale's final three games, and he went 1 for 5 with a single and four strikeouts. He ends the fall with a .182 batting average and a .557 OPS in 55 at-bats. Shortstop Tyler McDonough (pictured) was a bright spot at the plate. Although he went just 2 for 11, he smoked a three-run home run and drove in four runs. He also drew a pair of walks. He finishes the fall with a solid .254/.366/.424 line and two home runs over 59 at-bats. 
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November 7, 2023 at 8:00 AM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Rosier and Penrod help AL win Fall Stars Game


The Arizona Fall League enters its final week with the last games set for Saturday, November 11. However, the Dominican Republic is just starting to ramp up. Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League also started on Friday, but the three Red Sox listed on rosters have yet to play in a game. Similarly, the leagues in Venezuela and Mexico have both started but no Red Sox prospects are in the league. This recap covers games from October 30-November 5.

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Arizona Fall League
The Desert Dogs had one of their best weeks as a team this fall, going 3-1 in the short week. Despite the team's strong record, the hitters struggled a bit with Nathan Hickey, Tyler McDonough, and Corey Rosier (pictured, right) going 5 for 34 (.147) with 6 runs, 1 RBI, 8 walks, and 12 strikeouts over the four games. Despite the tough week, McDonough has had a strong fall season, hitting .271/.379/.417 over 48 at-bats.

Another player that has had a good year despite a slow week is Rosier. He has spent much of the year leading off for the Desert Dogs, hitting .300/.391/.400 over 80 at-bats. That performance had the outfielder secure an invite to the Fall Stars Game, and there he started and hit ninth, going 1 for 2 with a run and a strikeout for the victorious AL Team. Joining him in the Fall Stars game was lefty Zack Penrod who pitched the 2nd inning for the AL, allowing no runs with a hit and a strikeout. That outing continues a strong fall for the 26-year-old.
 
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Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM)
Enmanuel Valdez, who is playing for Toros, had a rough first week last week, going only 3 for 13. Things did not get much better this week as he now has only 4 hits in 30 at-bats overall on the young winter season. He was joined this week by fellow Red Sox prospect, infielder Pablo Reyes. Reyes saw much more success in his first week, hitting .313/.353/.813 with two home runs over the week.

The only Red Sox pitcher in the league is now Victor Santos, who is pitching for Leones del Escogido. Thus far, he has thrown five shutout innings, allowing two walks and two hits while striking out six.

Photo Credit: Corey Rosier by Kelly O'Connor.

Will Woodward is a Co-Owner and Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.
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October 30, 2023 at 8:22 PM

Podcast Ep. #299: The Breslow-down


The Red Sox found themselves a new Chief Baseball Officer, and it's a familiar face in former Boston reliever Craig Breslow. Since retiring in 2018, Breslow has worked in the Cubs front office - with some familiar faces - and become known as a rising star in front office circles. So what to make of the hire? Too soon? Was it surprising? The guys gave their thoughts on the hire and what it means for the team going forward. Plus some fall/winter ball talk and of course, your emails!
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