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SoxProspects News

March 5, 2010 at 8:46 AM

Fort Report: ML pitchers & catchers report


Today is mandatory reporting day for minor league pitchers and catchers, and several are flocking into camp as I write this post. There is not a whole lot of compelling stuff to report from minor league camp, as many players are still reporting, taking their physicals, and just working on drills. However, some of the top prospects have spent time with the big leaguers, particularly on Wednesday during the college exhibitions against Northeastern and Boston College. The minor league campers who got to participate in those games included Bubba Bell, Nate Spears, Tim Federowicz, Ryan Khoury, Matt Sheely, Daniel Nava, Oscar Tejeda, and Alex Hassan.

  • I’m sure you’ve all been clubbed over the head with the news of Casey Kelly’s 1-2-3 inning against Northeastern (video) and Jose Iglesias’ 3 RBI night against Boston College. I won’t rehash those again, but there are a few items of note that can be taken from the box scores: Angel Sanchez has seen action in two of the first three games, playing second base in both games, despite spending almost his entire career at shortstop … Similarly, Yamaico Navarro spent his first game at third base and will start there again this afternoon … Kris Johnson struggled against Boston College, giving up 2 hits and a run in 1 inning of work … Luis Exposito impressed against Northeastern, going 2-for-3 with a double and 4 RBI … Mark Wagner delivered the game-winning hit in Boston’s win over Minnesota on Thursday.

  • Kelly’s next start will be on Sunday against the Orioles in Sarasota, his hometown. Fox Boston notes that the phenom has not stopped smiling since his last outing, which to him felt like his college debut. That being said, the 20-year-old has no regrets about giving up his scholarship to sign with the Sox.

  • This week there were several reports on the depth of catchers in the Sox system. I would be remiss if I didn't mention our own Chris Hatfield's recent organizational outlook on this very topic. Also, Lou Merloni talked with Sox catching coordinator Chad Epperson, who raved about the club's depth behind the plate and gave his thoughts on the respective strengths of Wagner, Exposito, and Federowicz. Alex Speier of WEEI also broke down the club's catching situation in a companion column, while Evan Brunell of NESN notes that the long-term solution at catcher may already be in the organization.

  • There were also a couple reports this week on Che-Hsuan Lin, likely to be tapped as Portland's starting center fielder in 2010. Sean McAdam of Comcast Sports talked to the 21-year-old native of Taiwan through an interpreter, and Lin indicated that he really likes the atmosphere in the big league clubhouse. McAdam also notes that Mike Hazen spoke enthusiastically about Lin's athleticism, defense, power, speed, strike zone control, and instincts. You really can't ask for a better scouting report than that. Additionally, Lin spoke with Peter Abraham of Boston.com and discussed the importance of his ability to make contact, his improved confidence at the plate, and "learning from the best" in major league camp.

  • There has been a lot of attention on Lars Anderson (pictured) this week as well. Amalie Benjamin of Boston.com, Ron Borges on the Boston Herald, and Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston all talked to the first baseman about his disappointing 2009 campaign and his hopes for a rebound year in 2010. Anderson told Benjamin that he will be focusing on "being aware, being present, and trying to be objective and let the ego kind of drift away." Speaking of the 2009 season, the 22-year-old stated to Borges, “people ask me if I can put it out of my mind ... I don’t want to put it out of my mind. I’m happy last year happened.” McDonald talked to Hazen, who indicated that "Every player is going to struggle at some point during their career ... it's about processing that the right way and going out and continuing to get better every day. Everything we've seen from him this year, he seems to process it really well." Ultimately, Anderson will likely return to Portland to start the season in Double-A for a second consecutive year, but a return to elite prospect status is not out of the question with a bounce-back year in 2010.

  • Abraham touched on outfielder Ryan Kalish in a recent article, noting that he may be the next of Boston's top prospects to make his major league debut. Meanwhile, Speier spoke with Terry Francona, who has been impressed by Kalish's aggressiveness on the field. Francona told Speier, “Whenever he plays, he’ll be one of the manager’s and coaches’ favorite guys ... he’s like an animal out there.”

  • Speier also notes that pitcher Jorge Sosa was the last player to report to major league camp on Wednesday. Sosa experienced delays due to visa issues in the Dominican Republic, which resulted from the right-hander's 2008 suspension for the use of amphetamines.

  • Christopher L. Gasper of Boston.com talked with left-hander Dustin Richardson about his quest for the last spot in Boston's bullpen. Talking about the open roster spot, Richardson told Gasper, "they've definitely had talks with me to let me know that there is a spot right now in the bullpen ... right now, what I'm trying to do is put myself in the best situation and go out there and do what I've always done."

  • I spoke with Drake Britton yesterday, and he informed me that he feels that his arm is 100% back from September 2008 Tommy John surgery, and that he's working on his changeup and marinating consistency in his delivery this spring. Look for a Q&A with Britton on Monday.

  • We're heading down to minor league spring training for five days in a few weeks (March 24, can't wait). At that point we'll be providing daily updates from camp, and might even be updating our Twitter feed from the field on an hourly-basis. Please sign up to follow us on Twitter if you haven't already done so!

Chris Hatfield, Jonathan Singer, John Gray, and Corey Hersch of SoxProspects.com contributed to this article. Photo by Dave Letizi.