SoxProspects News

November 21, 2014 at 12:04 AM Podcast #67: Reserved at the Reserve List Deadline

Thursday's reserve list deadline came and went without much fanfare, but that doesn't mean there was nothing to talk about. While the roster additions were the four we all expected, Chris and Matt ran through those who were not added to the 40-man roster and may be potential selections in next month's Rule 5 Draft. Of course, that wasn't all that happened this week, so the guys said goodbye with a look back at Alex Hassan's time with the organization, then moved on to shiny new toy Juan Francisco and what he brings to the Red Sox. Finally, a pair of listener emails led to discussions of Cuban free agent Yoan Moncada and whatever happened to Jose Vinicio.

Click through for the links and player!
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November 20, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Swihart, Rodriguez, Coyle and Shaw added to 40-man roster

The Red Sox have announced the additions of four minor leaguers to their 40-man roster on Thursday, the deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft. As expected, Boston has added catcher Blake Swihart, left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, second baseman Sean Coyle and first baseman Travis Shaw. With the addition of these four, the 40-man roster is now full.

Swihart is coming off of a season that may have cemented him as the top catching prospect in all of baseball. The switch-hitting, 22-year-old hit .293/.341/.469 between 92 games for Portland and 18 for Pawtucket. In addition to being both a preseason and postseason All-Star, Swihart was an Eastern League All-Star and the Sea Dogs MVP in 2014. A first-round pick in 2011, Swihart projects to kick off next season as Pawtucket's starting catcher.
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at 12:07 AM

Red Sox to decide who to protect from Rule 5 Draft on Thursday

On Thursday, teams must set their reserve lists—the most well-known and most important of these, of course, being the major league 40-man roster—in preparation for December's Rule 5 Draft. By midnight, each team will set their rosters, deciding who to protect and who to expose to potential selection in a major league roster oddity that has grown increasingly less important in recent seasons. Indeed, an average of 12 players have been selected in the major league phase of the draft over the last three drafts, with a low of just nine selections in 2014. In this era, Thursday's roster deadline is arguably far more important than the Rule 5 Draft itself.

This year, the decisions facing the Red Sox are not quite as simple as some past years—for example, the 2013 offseason, in which Anthony Ranaudo, Bryce Brentz, and Garin Cecchini were protected—nor quite as difficult as other years—take 2012, when the Sox designated five players for assignment and added six on roster deadline day.
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November 19, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Kukuk arrested, charged with aggravated robbery

Red Sox minor leaguer Cody Kukuk was one of five men who were arrested in connection with a reported home invasion in Lawrence, Kansas, which took place on November 8. According to WOW! 6 out of Lawrence, Kukuk was arrested on Monday in California, and he will appear in court early Thursday morning before potentially being extradited to Kansas.
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at 7:30 AM

2014 Graduates in Review: Allen Webster

As a special extension of our Top 40 in Review series, are closing this year by featuring the six players who were ranked in the Top 10 during the 2014 season and graduated from prospect status. Note that there will be no entry tomorrow, but the series will return on Friday.

Peak System Ranking: #3
Graduated: August 15 (#5)
2014 Teams: Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston Red Sox
Final Stats: 59 IP, 5-3, 5.03 ERA, 58 H, 35 R/33 ER, 28 BB, 36 K, 1.46 WHIP (majors)
122 IP, 4-4, 3.10 ERA, 107 H, 45 R/42 ER, 44 BB, 100 K, 1.24 WHIP (minors)


Season in Review: After making his MLB debut in 2013 and throwing 30 1/3 big league innings, Webster broke camp in 2014 as the Opening Day starter for the PawSox, needing to prove his way back into the majors. he went just 3 2/3 innings and picked up the loss in his first start, but he rebounded to pitch to a 2.12 ERA over his next 51 innings, giving up only 40 hits while walking 21 and striking out 35. He had his worst start for Pawtucket on May 25, surrendering six runs on nine hits over five innings, but he came back with an absolutely dominating performance his next time out, firing eight innings of one-run ball, walking only one and striking out seven while notching 18 swinging strikes. Webster was solid yet unspectacular over his last nine games with the PawSox, giving up 20 runs in 54 1/3 innings (3.31 ERA), walking 18 and striking out 50. The decline in his walk rate and his uptick in his strikeouts were positive signs, but he did have trouble with the long ball at the end of his Pawtucket tenure, serving up five home runs over his last eight games.
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November 18, 2014 at 7:30 AM

2014 Graduates in Review: Brandon Workman

As a special extension of our Top 40 in Review series, this week we will feature the six players who were ranked in the Top 10 during the 2014 season and graduated from prospect status.

Peak System Ranking: #8
Graduated: June 6 (#8)
2014 Teams: Boston Red Sox, Pawtucket Red Sox
Final Stats: 87 IP, 1-10, 5.17 ERA, 88 H, 57 R/50 ER, 36 BB, 70 K, 1.43 WHIP (majors)
61 1/3 IP, 7-1, 4.11 ERA, 61 H, 28 R/28 ER, 17 BB, 55 K, 1.27 WHIP (minors)


Season in Review: It was an up-and-down season for Workman, both in terms of performance and roster status. After Workman played a key role in the Red Sox 2013 championship run, the former Texas longhorn opened the 2014 campaign in the Boston bullpen. Despite allowing only one run over 6 1/3 innings in three first-week outings, Workman was a victim of the numbers game when Craig Breslow returned from the disabled list. Back with Pawtucket, he returned to the rotation and failed to impress, perhaps due to the disappointment of being back in Triple-A after being a key part of the major league club last October, giving up at least three runs in six of his seven starts before being recalled to Boston in mid-May.
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November 17, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Alex Hassan claimed off waivers by Oakland

The Oakland Athletics announced today that they have claimed outfielder Alex Hassan off waivers. The 26-year-old Hassan had made his major league debut with the Red Sox in June, during his sixth year with the organization. Hassan is the second player in less than a week depart Boston for the A's:  catcher Carson Blair was signed as a minor league free agent, per Matt Eddy of Baseball America

Hassan, a product of Milton, Massachusetts and BC High School, was originally taken by the Red Sox in the 20th round of the 2009 draft out of Duke. As he made his way through the system, he gained notoriety for his keen batting eye. With Portland in 2011, he walked 76 times on top of a .291 batting average, compiling a stellar .404 on-base percentage and garnering Eastern League All-Star recognition. 
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at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: AFL winds down, Vazquez makes debut

This week's roundup covers play from the period of November 10-16. 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

Surprise wrapped up action this week, dropping their final game, 5-2 to Peoria on Thursday. The Saguaros finished 16-15 for the season. At the plate, Sean Coyle finished up his last three games strong, going 5 for 12 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI. Coyle's infield partner, Deven Marrero (pictured) was 3 for 8 with a run scored in his last two games, finishing with a .328/.414/.443 line in 17 games. Marrero finished first in OBP and third in batting average among AFL participants.
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at 7:30 AM

2014 Graduates in Review: Jackie Bradley, Jr.

As a special extension of our Top 40 in Review series, this week we will feature the six players who were ranked in the Top 10 during the 2014 season and graduated from prospect status.

Peak system ranking: #2
Graduated: April 18 (#2)
2014 Teams: Boston Red Sox, Pawtucket Red Sox
Final Stats: 423 PA, .198/.265/.266, 19 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 31 BB, 121 K, 8 SB (majors)
69 PA, .212/.246/.273, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 18 K (minors)


Season in Review: An elite 2013 spring training performance catapulted Bradley to the big leagues despite having a mere 271 plate appearances above High A, and readers will be familiar with the weak performance across 107 big league plate appearances that followed. After some Triple-A seasoning that saw him post a robust .842 OPS, the 24-year-old entered 2014 poised to take over the starting job in center field following the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury in free agency. Unfortunately, on the offensive side of things, it resulted in a nightmare that no one could have anticipated. Things started out alright, as Bradley hit .244/.344/.372 through the end of April, more than enough to justify his elite glove in center field. However, once May came around, the 2011 first-round supplemental draft pick entered an extended funk, slashing .190/.261/.258 with a 13 walks to 52 strikeouts over 181 plate appearances through June. July represented a modest improvement (.278/.325/.347), followed by a horrible 5 for 35 slump that finally resulted in his demotion to Triple-A Pawtucket on August 18, with the Red Sox replacing him with top prospect Mookie Betts.
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November 14, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Red Sox name Mike Rikard Director of Amateur Scouting

The Red Sox have made a pair of front office moves. Amiel Sawdaye, the team's Director of Amateur Scouting since the 2010 season, has been promoted to team Vice President. Mike Rikard, who most recently served as National Scouting Coordinator, will take over as the Amateur Scouting Director.

In 2012, Rikard was identified by Baseball America as one of 10 Future Scouting Directors. He joined Boston's scouting department in 2004 as east coast crosschecker after four years as a scout in the Padres organization. He moved up to national crosschecker in 2010 before taking over as scouting coordinator in December 2012. A former college shortstop at UNC Greensboro, Rikard was an assistant coach both Wake Forest and Elon before moving to the professional ranks. He also had some experience in the New England baseball community before joining the Red Sox, serving as manager of the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod League in 1999 and 2000.
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