SoxProspects News

December 17, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Aaron Kurcz dealt to Atlanta for Anthony Varvaro


The Red Sox have announced an exchange of right-handed relievers with the Atlanta Braves. Boston will receive major league veteran Anthony Varvaro, with Aaron Kurcz (pictured) headed to Atlanta. 

Kurcz, 24, originally came to the Red Sox organization in March 2012 as part of the compensation package from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Theo Epstein. He impressed in an assignment to Double-A Portland, striking out 72 in 50 1/3 innings. However, an elbow injury suffered in July of that year required Tommy John surgery, and an extended rehab kept Kurcz off the field throughout the 2013 campaign. He returned to Portland in 2014, and again pitched well, posting a 2.14 ERA an 52 strikeouts in 42 innings across 34 appearances. 
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at 12:00 PM

Offseason Notes: Trades, signings, and awards


We normally run a notes column at the beginning of every month in the offseason, but with this December being completely crazy, we will break this month up into two parts. Here are the notes for the first half of December:

  • In a trade that took a couple days to complete, the Red Sox sent Rubby De La Rosa (pictured), Allen Webster, and Raymel Flores to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Wade Miley. SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall and Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino teamed up to analyze all four players in the trade, with Fiorino offering a detailed report on Miley for the fans who are unfamiliar with him. 
  • In a separate trade with the Diamondbacks, the Red Sox acquired Zeke Spruill for Myles Smith. Spruill was one of the players the Braves traded to Arizona for Justin Upton, but he was designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks on December 8. The right-hander still has one option left, so he may see time in Pawtucket in 2015. 
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December 15, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Marco Hernandez received from Cubs to complete Doubront trade


The Red Sox have acquired shortstop Marco Hernandez from the Chicago Cubs. Hernandez heads to Boston as the player to be named later in the deal that sent left-handed pitcher Felix Doubront to Chicago in July. The news was first reported by Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.

Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, the 6-foot, 170-pound Hernandez made an impression in his first appearance stateside in 2011. As an 18-year-old for the Cubs Arizona Rookie League affiliate, Hernandez opened some eyes with a .333/.375/.486 and defensive skills that scouts saw as likely to stick on the left side of the diamond. Baseball America rated him the #6 prospect in the circuit and #16 in the Cubs system, saying "he has enough bat speed and strength for gap power and the plus speed to beat out bunts." 
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at 12:30 PM

Podcast Ep. 69: Hot Stove on High


Well, that was a week wasn't it? With the Red Sox trading Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Raymel Flores, Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Wilson, Gabe Speier, and Myles Smith in deals for Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, and Zeke Spruill, as well as signing former SoxProspects.com number 1 prospect Justin Masterson (oh, and there was the failed pursuit of Jon Lester), Chris and Matt had plenty to talk about. Plus, your emails asked about who will lead off and about the defensive prowess of Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart.

And by the way, please take our one-minute survey at http://bit.ly/SPPodSurvey!

Click through for links and in-site player!
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at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Castillo/Vazquez headline action in Puerto Rico


This week's roundup covers play from the period of December 8-14. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in off-season action, check out our Fall and Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through the end of the offseason.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (Puerto Rico)

In his first game of the week on Wednesday, Rusney Castillo went 3 for 5 with a home run and three RBI against Mayaguez. Castillo proceeded to go 1 for 9 with a run scored in his final three contest of the week. In seven games for Caguas, Castillo is batting .320/.333/.440.

Joseph Monge continues to see very limited action, appearing in just one game this week, going 0 for 3. Fellow outfielder Henry Ramos went 3 for 14 with an RBI in four contests this week.

Christian Vazquez (pictured, above) made his way into five games this week, going 6 for 20 with a double and four RBI.

On the mound, Dayan Diaz made his way into three games, pitching an inning of scoreless relief in each of his appearances.
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December 12, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Trade analysis: Scouting the players in the Wade Miley deal


As first reported Wednesday night and made official on Friday, the Red Sox have acquired left-handed pitcher Wade Miley from the Arizona Diamondbacks, with right-handed pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster and infielder Raymel Flores headed to Arizona in the deal. The Red Sox dealt from a position of depth, as they have a plethora of right-handed pitching in the upper minors and middle infield prospects in the low minors. For Arizona, it reunites De La Rosa and Webster with De Jon Watson, senior vice president of baseball operations with the Diamondbacks and the director of player development with the Dodgers while the two pitchers were members of that franchise.

Red Sox:  
Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino has previous experience scouting Miley, and provides his take on the left-hander

- Miley was a supplemental first-round pick by the Diamondbacks in the 2008 draft. The lefty starter will be entering his age-28 season with three years of remaining control through arbitration. Miley is listed at 6-feet, 220 pounds and has a filled-out frame with a durable and strong upper and lower half. I've seen Miley pitch live on numerous occasions, and the first thing that stands out is his fast tempo on the mound. Miley wastes no time between pitches and likes to work extremely quickly. He keeps hitters guessing and off-balance with little time to think between pitches. In turn, he keeps his own defense engaged and active.
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at 9:35 PM

Sox acquire Zeke Spruill for Myles Smith in second D-Backs trade


Immediately after announcing the completion of their trade for Wade Miley, the Red Sox announced a second trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday, acquiring right-hander Zeke Spruill in exchange for right-hander Myles Smith.

Spruill, who was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the second round of the 2008 draft, spent most of last season with the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate in Reno, making 28 appearances. He posted a 6.04 ERA in 79 innings pitched, working predominantly out of the bullpen.
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at 2:28 PM

Justin Masterson: An unlikely All-Star reunites with the Red Sox


After signing with the Red Sox to a one-year deal worth $9.5 million, with incentives that can push it up to $12 million, Justin Masterson returns to the organization that drafted him and first brought him up to the big leagues. Masterson, who was the top-rated prospect on SoxProspects.com in June of 2008, has not had a linear career path after being one of the most aggressively promoted Red Sox prospects in recent memory.

Similar to our pieces on Hanley Ramirez and Jon Lester, Masterson is the focus of our latest Player Retrospective. For another interesting read on Masterson's time in the system, read SoxProspects.com Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews interview with Masterson from July 2007. 
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December 11, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Trade analysis: Scouting the prospects dealt for Porcello


As reported this morning, the Red Sox have acquired right-handed pitcher Rick Porcello from the Detroit Tigers. Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, right-handed pitcher Alex Wilson and left-handed pitcher Gabe Speier are headed to the Tigers in return. In dealing Cespedes, Wilson and Speier, the Red Sox took advantage of two of the deeper positions in their system, with a surplus of major league outfielders and pitching depth in the upper and lower minors, in order to trade up for proven major league-quality pitching.

- Alex Wilson is well known at this point, having been in the system since being taken in the second round out of Texas A&M back in 2009. He has a sturdy pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, with a well-filled out lower half. He throws from a ¾ arm slot with effort in his delivery stemming from long arm action that includes a stab and arm loop.

Wilson relies primarily on his fastball (both four-seam and sinker varieties) and his slider. His fastball sits in the 92-94 mph range generally, touching 95-96 mph on occasion, but is on the straight side. His sinker has slightly less velocity usually, sitting in the low-90s with late downward action. He has average-to-better command of the offering and solid control. Wilson’s best secondary pitch is his slider, primarily thrown in the 84-87 mph range. The pitch has tight rotation and depth that allows it to serve as a potential plus outpitch. Wilson has feel for the slider and the confidence to throw it in any count. In the higher end of velocity range, the pitch shortens up and looks more like a cutter. On those occasions, he’ll throw it in the high-80s with short, horizontal movement. Wilson’s final pitch is an 86-88 mph changeup that he throws sparingly. The pitch is below-average as it lacks velocity separation from his fastball as well as movement.
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at 12:58 PM

Astros select Jason Garcia in Rule 5 draft, trade him to Orioles


Capping off an eventful morning, the Houston Astros selected right-hander Jason Garcia from the Red Sox with the fourth pick of the Rule 5 draft, then trading him to the Baltimore Orioles for a player to be named or cash. The Red Sox selected Jandel Gustave from the Astros with the sixth pick, but reports are that he will be flipped to the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations.

Garcia, currently ranked as the 36th best propsect in the system, has seen his stock rise in recent months after reports came out in the fall that he was hitting 100 and sitting in the high 90s with his fastball. The 22-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013, and came back to throw 56 1/3 innings in 2014 between Lowell and Greenville, with an ERA of 3.67. He appeared in his first game on June 13, and after shaking off some rust, he ended the season on a tear for Greenville, going 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA over his last 29 innings for the Drive, striking out 32. 
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