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January 17, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Shugart rolls on, Raudes returns in Nicaragua

The playoffs continued in Puerto Rico, while an old fan favorite had an under-the-radar return in Nicaragua. This week's roundup covers the week of January 10 through January 16. 

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
The semifinals concluded, with Caguas and Mayaguez making it to the best-of-seven final series. Christian Vazquez and Santurce were eliminated last week. Vazquez went 5 for 24 over six games with an OPS of just .458. Chase Shugart was dominant in the semifinals for Mayaguez, striking out six and allowing just one baserunner over three innings. Mayaguez went back to Shugart in Game One of the championship series, and he turned in another clean inning in a Mayaguez victory. The series is tied up at 1-1 moving into the final week. 
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January 10, 2022 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Vazquez & Shugart make playoffs

It is a bit of a quiet week in the Winter Leagues for Red Sox prospects with all the leagues moving from the regular season to their playoffs with the lone exception of the Panamá Professional Baseball League whose regular season ends on Tuesday. The Dominican Professional Baseball League, Mexican Pacific League, and Venezuelan Professional Baseball League continued their playoffs this week, though no Red Sox prospects appeared. This week's roundup covers the week of January 3 through January 9. 

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League

On Monday, the league wrapped up its regular season. Four teams with the playoffs with two Red Sox making it to the postseason - righty Chase Shugart (pictured, right) for Indios de Mayaguez and first baseman & catcher Christian Vazquez for Sanurce Crabbers. Shortstop Matthew Lugo and catcher Juan Montero were both a part of the playoff-bound Crollos De Caguas at points this season but neither has played in quite a while.

Shugart saw action in Mayaguez's second game of the playoffs on Sunday, pitching a scoreless seventh inning walking one, and striking out two. It continued an impressive winter for the 25-year-old who now has a 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and nine strikeouts over 6 and 1/3 innings. Vazquez played in both games for Sancurce, going 3 for 11 with a run, a walk, and a strikeout. All three hits were singles and he saw time at both catcher and first base. The playoffs continue Tuesday with the second game of Mayaguez vs Carolina. 
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January 9, 2022 at 9:49 PM

Podcast Ep. 237: New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year! Chris and Ian rang in 2022 with prospect resolutions - what should some of the system's top prospects resolve to change in the new season? And after some brief news, it was time to open a MASSIVE mailbag, as you all came through big-time to help us through the lockout doldrums with a big episode. Who has the top tools in the system? What is going to happen on the left side of the infield? Who were the guys' favorite prospects coming up? that and more on this episode!
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January 6, 2022 at 5:00 PM

Minor Notes: Roster begins to take shape before lockout

We welcome you to our new and (hopefully improved) regular notes column. Running monthly in the offseason and weekly once spring training begins, this space will serve mostly as a catch-up for anything you may have missed. In the past, this space has served as sort of a compendium of links about news and articles. The readership showed that perhaps folks were finding this news organically, through social media and other outlets. So, going forward, we're going to try to provide you with a bit more direct analysis--of transactions, who is playing well, what is happening around the organization, and so forth. Of course, we value your feedback. If you have ideas, look us up on our forums, hit us up on social media, or shoot us an email. We want to write about what you want to read about. 

The pending lockout on December 2 led to a flurry of moves right at the end of November and beginning of December. The Red Sox made three major moves, trading their starting right fielder and signing two starters just before the break. There was also movement on the coaching staff and some standout performances in the winter leagues to report.


Acquired Jackie Bradley (pictured), Alex Binelas, and David Hamilton from Milwaukee in exchange for Hunter Renfroe
The biggest move of the offseason  was notable both on the surface as well as a clear representation of how differently the front-office is run from the Dombrowski years. Renfroe, signed a year ago after being non-tendered by Tampa, gave the team a year of solid right-field play and unleashed some highlight-reel throws. He finished third on the team with a .501 slugging percentage, but supplemented that with just a .315 OBP and struggled badly in the ALCS, going 1 for 16 with eight strikeouts. Value re-established the Red Sox flipped him to Milwaukee for two prospects who slotted straight into the system's top 30, and veteran defensive specialist with some familiarity to Red Sox fans. 
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January 4, 2022 at 3:00 PM

SoxProspects.com top stories of 2021

The 2021 season was not quite a return to normalcy, especially at the minor league level. However, a full slate of games something more closely resembling a traditional operation here at SoxProspects.com, a resurgent major league squad, and the organization's highest draft pick in over 50 years led to a surge in interest in the system. With that background, we present our most-read articles and most-downloaded podcasts of 2021.
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at 7:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Regular season closes in Puerto Rico

Now that the calendar has flipped to 2022, the Caribbean winter leagues are headed down the home stretch, with the Caribbean Series scheduled to begin at the end of the month. The Dominican Professional Baseball League, Mexican Pacific League and Venezuelan Professional Baseball League started their playoffs this week, though no Red Sox prospects appeared. Meanwhile, the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League wraps up its regular season January 3 and the Panama Professional Baseball League will also move to the postseason next week. This week's roundup covers the week of December 26 through January 2. 

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (Puerto Rico)
It was the final week of the regular season in Puerto Rico before the playoffs begin January 4.  Chase Shugart (pictured) threw three clean innings with three strikeouts across two appearances, pitching for Mayaguez, while Juan Montero appeared exclusively as a defensive replacement behind the plate for Caguas. Big leaguer Christian Vazquez has been playing first base and designated hitter for Santurce to get some at-bats in and was 4 for 22 on the week, with two runs, two RBI, a pair of strikeouts and a walk.
There is one more day of regular season play before the postseason.
Panama Professional Baseball League

The league has entered the final week of its regular season before the playoffs begin January 11. Jonathan Arauz has slashed .200/.286/.240 across 25 at-bats so far this season, while Eduardo Vaughan has hit .242/.359/.364 in 33 at-bats.

Photo Credit: Chase Shugart by Kelly O'Connor
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December 20, 2021 at 9:31 PM

Podcast Ep. #236: Let me introduce to you, the one and only Alex Speier

That's right, Alex Speier's on the Podcast! Our man with the Boston Globe, fresh off of submitting his top 30 prospects for the Baseball America Prospect Handbook, joined us to talk about all things at Fenway and Down on the Farm. We've even got a bit of a throwback for the Sox farm OGs!
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at 1:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Castellanos gets hot, Cordero provides heroics

The playoffs are coming up for a few of the winter leagues, though a COVID-19 outbreak put a pause on games in Puerto Rico. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously throughout December and January. This week's roundup covers the week of December 13 through 19.


Dominican Professional Baseball League
The regular season came to a close last week, but the two teams featuring Red Sox minor leaguers started some play-in action on Sunday evening. With the LIDOM season shorter than usual, if the teams in fourth-place (Aguilas Cibaeñas) and fifth-place (Leones del Escogido) finished within two games of each other (they did), they were to have a play-in in which the fourth-place team needs to win once, the fifth-place team twice, to move on to the round-robin among the top four teams. On Sunday night, Victor Santos threw 1 2/3 scoreless in Escogido's 12-9 victory, forcing a deciding play-in game Monday night.
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December 13, 2021 at 12:30 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Panama starts up and Santos adds to his scoreless streak

It was another light week for Sox prospects, but this week welcomed the start of the Panama Professional Baseball League, which began on Thursday. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously throughout December and January. This week's roundup covers the week of December 6 through 12.


Dominican Professional Baseball League

Escogido has two Sox prospects in its ranks in Franchy Cordero and Victor Santos (pictured, right). Cordero has been playing full-time and did so again this week, going 4 for 19. His best performance came on Friday when he went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, and a strikeout, and his worst performance came Tuesday, going 0 for 6 with four strikeouts. On the mound, Santos had a busy week, pitching in three games. On Tuesday, he got the win with a perfect scoreless inning with two strikeouts, on Thursday he allowed one hit and struck out one in 2/3 of an inning, and Sunday he threw his third scoreless outing of the week, allowing only a walk. Santos has now strung together six consecutive scoreless outings.

Joan Martinez had two very different appearances pitching for Aguilas this week. On Wednesday, he threw two scoreless innings, working around two walks while striking out one, and on Saturday he threw only 2/3 of an inning and allowed a home run.

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December 9, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Alex Binelas and David Hamilton

Less than an hour before MLB's owners locked out the players, the Red Sox announced they had acquired outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., third baseman Alex Binelas and shortstop David Hamilton for outfielder Hunter Renfroe

The deal brings a reunion with Bradley after he left in free agency following the 2020 season. Bradley was the Red Sox' 2011 first-round pick out of South Carolina and was a key contributor during his eight years on the team, making one All-Star Team and winning one Gold Glove. Bradley really struggled at the plate with Milwaukee in 2021, hitting .163/.236/.261, but did play his usual standout defense. Bradley is due $9.5 million in 2022 and has a substantial buyout of $8 million in 2023 if his $12 million mutual option isn't picked up. Given his performance, the Bradley deal is an overpay, so in return for taking it on, as well as sending back Renfroe, the Red Sox received two prospects. 

Alex Binelas was the Brewers' third-round pick in this year's draft out of Louisville. Binelas had an up-and-down spring with Louisville, hitting .256/.344/.621 with 19 home runs and 51 strikeouts to 21 walks, and saw his draft stock fall after once being seen as a potential first-round pick. Breaking his season down further, he hit .145/.247/.274 in 62 at-bats in the first 16 games of the season, then hit .308/.395/.782 with 18 home runs in his final 133 at-bats of the season. After signing with the Brewers, Binelas was very impressive in Low-A after a brief stint in the Arizona Complex League. With the Carolina Mudcats, Binelas hit .314/.379/.636 with 9 home runs in 132 plate appearances.  
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December 8, 2021 at 10:46 PM

Podcast Ep. #235: The storm before the calm

Well, that was certainly a couple of interesting weeks! The Red Sox headed into the lockout with a flurry of activity, with three pitcher signings and the trade that brought JBJ back and a couple of new prospects into the Top 30. Chris and Ian dished on the transactions, the lockout, and even mixed in some season-end rankings talk and as always, your emails!
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December 6, 2021 at 10:09 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Martinez throws well; Dominican league enters final stretch

It was a relatively light week for Sox prospects, as the Arizona Fall League is now over and the Dominican Professional Baseball League pushes toward the postseason. However, the Panama Professional Baseball League begins on Thursday, which will feature Eduardo Vaughan and may feature Jonathan Araúz (he was previously announced for the league, but was absent from the Aguilas Metropolitanas roster released last week that does feature Vaughan)*. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously throughout December and January. This week's roundup covers the week of November 29 through December 5.

*Dec. 7 Update: Araúz will instead play for Federales de Chiriqui, as announced later in the day on Monday.


Dominican Professional Baseball League
Escogido has two Sox prospects in its ranks in Franchy Cordero and Victor Santos. Cordero has been playing full-time for his team, hitting 3 for 15 on the week with a walk and a pair of RBI. The runs he drove in were his seventh and eighth on the season, as Escogido is floating around .500 this year. On the mound, Santos surrendered two hits in 2/3 of an inning on Friday, but neither of the runners came around to score. 
Joan Martinez (pictured) appeared on Thursday for Aguilas and had a clean 1 2/3-inning appearance with a strikeout, while Phillips Valdez did not appear for Estrellas.

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November 29, 2021 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Cordero, Crawford highlight winter league action

The winter leagues continued for Sox prospects, highlighted by the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues. Franchy Cordero (pictured) and Pedro Castellanos highlight the hitters, while Kutter Crawford and Victor Santos threw well on the mound. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously throughout January. This week's roundup covers the week of November 22 through November 28. 

Dominican Professional Baseball League

Franchy Cordero played a lot again this past week, racking up 24 plate appearances. He recorded five hits, including a double and a triple, to go along with three walks and just three strikeouts. He is hitting .271/.327/.417 this fall so far. Kutter Crawford also saw action in one game, tossing three solid innings. He did not allow an earned run, struck out five, and walked a pair. Victor Santos appeared in a couple games, totaling three innings. He did not allow a run and surrendered just one hit, walking three and punching out three. 
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November 23, 2021 at 2:00 PM

Podcast Ep. #234: Four to the 40, FA targets

Last week, the Red Sox added the four players we thought were sure things to the 40-man roster... and nobody else. What does that mean? Chris and Ian break it down, then look ahead to free agency and potential Red Sox targets. Plus, we've got a big old bag of your emails as our Thanksgiving appetizer. 
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November 22, 2021 at 10:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: AFL season ends, Casas takes OBP crown

The Arizona Fall League came to its conclusion, while baseball in the Caribbean winter leagues continued. Triston Casas (pictured) and Pedro Castellanos starred in the desert and Venezuela, respectively. 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 week of November 16 through November 21. 


Arizona Fall League

Another edition of the AFL was completed, and Triston Casas finished in style. The system's top-ranked player reached base five times on Tuesday, going 2 for 2 with three walks. A 1-for-3 performance on Wednesday in his final appearance left him with a .495 on-base percentage, top in the circuit among players with 50 plate appearances. Jeter Downs, who got off to a scorching start before slumping, finished with a solid 3-for-7 effort on the week. Christian Koss was 1 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base, while Kole Cottam was 1 for 5 in his lone start. 
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November 19, 2021 at 12:35 PM

First Take: Projecting protection day

Today, we'll learn what the organization really thinks about a handful of prospects, as teams have until 6:00 pm EST today to add players to the 40-man roster and protect them from selection in the Rule 5 Draft. This year, the Red Sox have a number of players who could potentially be selected, some of whom are easy decisions to protect—such as Josh Winckowski (pictured, left)—or not. However, a number of players are on the cusp, and the team's decisions on whether or not to protect those players will tell us about the players' standing in the organization's evaluation.

I will get to my projections below, but first, some general thoughts about Rule 5 that are always good to keep in mind. I would also suggest reading Ian Cundall's Scouting Scratch on eligible players, as well as listening to our podcast discussing this issue.

Having a player selected in the Rule 5 Draft is not a crisis
I project that the Red Sox will have a player selected from their farm system this year. The question is simply who that player is. However, while the club has not had any player selected from its farm system in the past 4 years, keep in mind that not every Rule 5 pick turns into Garrett Whitlock. From 2007 to 2016, the Red Sox had 13 players (really 12, with one selected in consecutive years) selected from their system. Nine of those selections were returned, and only one, Ryan Pressly, would qualify as a player the team probably wishes it could get back. As I will get into below, it is certainly possible that, say, Zack Kelly gets selected by a team that saw and really liked him in 2021. However, Kelly would have to stick with the selecting team for that to truly be any kind of loss, and even at that, it would be more likely that he turns into a Josh Fields or Cesar Cabral than a Pressly.
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November 18, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Red Sox 2021 Rule 5 Preview

By Friday, the Red Sox must decide which prospects to add to their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. Currently, the Rule 5 Draft is scheduled for December 9, but exactly when it would be held is unclear, should the team owners lock out the players on December 1.

Currently, the Red Sox 40-man roster is at 33 players, and if necessary, players such as Phillips Valdez, Jeisson Rosario and Hudson Potts could be removed from the roster in order to create more space. Because a lockout is possible, I don’t think it is out of the question for the Red Sox to overprotect players now and then figure out what to do after signing free agents later in the offseason once a CBA agreement has been reached. While I currently would not project this to be the case, it also would not surprise me if they ended up protecting eight or more prospects. 

Another possibility is the Red Sox make a trade before the deadline. Certain prospects, like Gilberto Jimenez and Ceddanne Rafaela, have no chance of contributing in the big leagues in the near term. While it could be a little difficult for the Red Sox to keep those developmental players on the 40-man roster for several years until they could make an impact at the MLB level, it might be easier for some rebuilding teams to do so. As a result, we could see the team look to make a trade like they did last year, when they traded Yoan Aybar, who needed to be protected, to the Colorado Rockies for Christian Koss, who does not need to be added until December 2022. 

Here's a short list of players who are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

Locks to be protected:
Jeter Downs, SS/2B
2021 highest level: Worcester
Even though he hit .190/.272/.333 this year, Downs has too much upside not to protect him. He did show flashes this year, notably at the end of the season and at the start of the AFL, but he also had long streaks where he was overmatched at the plate and clearly pressing. In the AFL, he is hitting .200/.385/.500 in 64 PA and has shown above-average raw power and the ability to take a walk, but also too much swing-and-miss and a poor approach that leads to him giving away too many at-bats. 
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November 17, 2021 at 3:15 PM

Podcast Ep. #233: Bye ERod, Rule 5 protection preview

A former top prospect in the SoxProspects rankings (Summer 2015) has left the organization, and Chris and Ian broke down Eduardo Rodirguez's departure and gave some thoughts on early rumors linking the Red Sox to free agents. Plus, the Rule 5 Draft protection deadline is this Friday. The guys broke down the long list of potential additions and picks and spelled out how a long list of candidates does not mean there's a logjam.
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November 15, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Casas, Cottam are AFL Fall Stars

The highlight of the week was in the AFL, which held its mid-season East vs. West All-Star Game as the conclusion of a big week for SoxProspects.com top-ranked prospect, first baseman Triston Casas (pictured right). 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 week of November 8 through November 15. 
Arizona Fall League

Casas got the start at first base in the AFL Fall Stars Game for the East side, batting sixth. In his first at-bat, he hit a line drive, ground rule double down the right field line and scored when the next batter doubled. In his other two at-bats, he grounded out to second twice before being removed in the top of the sixth with most of the starters as the East went on to win 6-5. Kole Cottam caught the last two innings of the game and reached on a fielder's choice in his lone plate appearance. 

That wasn't the top-ranked Casas' only action this week. Prior to the All-Star game, Casas went 7 for 14 with two doubles, three runs, two RBI, two walks, and a strikeout over four other games. 
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November 8, 2021 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Cottam blasts pair; Winckowski starts fireworks

There was much going on in the Fall and Winter leagues as the Arizona Fall League crossed its halfway point. Top prospects Triston Casas, Jeter Downs, and Connor Seabold appeared, while Kole Cottam (pictured) had a monster effort on Tuesday. 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 week of November 1 through November 8.


Arizona Fall League
All eight active players in Scottsdale saw significant playing time. Top prospect Triston Casas continues to be one of the toughest outs in the desert. The first baseman was 5 for 13 with five walks against just one strikeout on the week. He also doubled, scored four runs, and drove in four, giving him a .385/.556/.462 line for the week. Kole Cottam's bat exploded on Tuesday, as the backstop homered twice as part of a 4-for-5 effort. Cottam drove in six runs in three games, going 5 for 12 overall. Jeter Downs, the hottest player during the circuit's first week, hit a bit of a rough patch, going 0 for 12 with a walk, run scored, and four strikeouts. Christian Koss went 1 for 3 in both of his two starts.
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