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SoxProspects News

March 30, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Fort Report: March 30

This week’s minor league notes:

Jose Vinicio (Kelly O'Connor)
  • Northeast Scout Ian Cundall was one of many members of our SoxProspects team reporting from Fort Myers. Cundall took in the Low A Greenville game last Saturday. He said that Jose Vinicio impacted the game at the plate, on the bases, and in the field. He reached base four times in the game, three times because his speed caused defenders to rush their throws, and looked comfortable  in the field, showing good range and easy, fluid mechanics on defense. 
  • Cundall also noted that 2011 first-round pick Blake Swihart showed off a strong arm behind the plate. Jordan Weems was swinging late on fastballs in his first two at bats, but made an adjustment in his third, shortening his swing and lining a fastball to left for a single. Keury de la Cruz had three plate appearances where he hit the ball the other way, including one solidly driven double. The other two appearances were a groundout to the third baseman and a flyout to left. Cundall notes that de la Cruz has filled out physically since last season, which should help him  square up fastballs and drive them with authority.
  • Meanwhile, SoxProspects.com’s Director of Scouting Chris Mellen reports from Fort Myers that Pete Hissey is the most improved hitter in camp. Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews had Mario Alcantara sitting 92-94 in a simulated game, Madison Younginer hitting 93-94, and Frank Montas impressively touching 98 while also showing a slider at 83 and change in the high 80’s. Andrews thinks both off-speed offerings can be major-league-quality pitches.
  • Andrews also reports that it appears Triple-A Rule 5 draftee Gerardo Olivares is being converted to a pitcher after being a catcher for his entire professional career.
  • The week’s biggest news was that the Red Sox ended the spring-long media debate and optioned Jose Iglesias to Triple-A Pawtucket, as Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports. However, the time in the minors is only temporary, says ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes. MacPherson talks to Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan, who weighs in on Iglesias’s approach at the plate this spring. Magadan said Iglesias showed positive strides at the plate, but was unable to maintain the improvements after experiencing not having success for a couple games.
  • Lars Anderson, who was experiencing a spring renaissance, was also optioned to Triple-A. He is expected to continue to see time in left field after getting his first game action out there this spring according to MacPherson.
  • Vicente Padilla signed with the Red Sox because he wanted a chance to win a rotation spot, per WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. However, Bradford adds that Padilla would rather pitch out of the Sox bullpen than find another team.
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Aaron Cook, who is widely expected to open the season with Pawtucket, looked good on Wednesday in a minor league game against Tampa Bay
  • Chris Carpenter, received as part of the Theo Epstein compensation deal, needs elbow surgery to remove bone spurs and will be out indefinitely. The Sox sent Jair Bogaerts, twin brother of Xander, to Chicago this week to complete the compensation for Epstein.
  • Bobby Valentine is impressed with Doubront’s progress, as ESPNBoston’s Matt Porter writes after a strong six inning performance Saturday against Miami. NESN.com’s Didier Morales believes that Doubront’s time to shine may have come.
  • MacPherson is impressed with Ryan Lavarnway and he’s not the only one.
  • WEEI.com’s Alex Speier sat down for an excellent interview with Ryan Westmoreland in this short podcast.
  • FanGraphs’s David Laurila hits Henry Owens with ten questions.
  • SoxProspects Digital Correspondent Jonathan Singer reports that the Red Sox have signed three free agents from Venezuela: left-handed pitchers Carlos Garcia and Jervis Torrealba and catcher Kevin Segovia.
  • Rosters will be shaping up over the next few days, so make sure to check in to SoxProspects.com and to follow us on Twitter @SoxProspects to get up-to-the minute news. 
Dan Hanson & James Dunne are Staff Writers for SoxProspects.com. Follow James on Twitter @JamesMDunne.