SoxProspects News

December 30, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Ramos surges, Vazquez falters


Even though the seasons are coming to a close, many Red Sox prospects continue to see playing time. Henry Ramos (pictured) had a strong week, while Nate Reed continues to impress in Mexico. 

This week's roundup covers Dec. 23-29. 

Dominican Winter League:

The playoffs started on Friday, and no Red Sox players appeared in any of the games over the weekend. Licey and Gigantes are each one win away from advancing to the finals.
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December 23, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Rangers claim Alex Castellanos


Just like that, Alex Castellanos is gone.

The Rangers claimed the 27-year-old outfielder off of waivers Monday. The move comes about a week and a half after the Red Sox designated him for assignment when they re-added Mike Napoli to the 40-man roster.

Castellanos' stay in the system was a short one. The Sox acquired him from the Dodgers in exchange for outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker in October, so he never played a game in the Sox system.

Castellanos hit .257 with a .347 OBP and .468 slugging mark in Triple-A this year, and he owns a .171/.186/.390 slash line in 24 major league games with the Dodgers the last two years.

Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.

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at 10:55 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: J.C. Linares stays hot in VWL


It’s the home stretch for most of the winter leagues, including down in the Dominican, where a handful of Red Sox minor leaguers wrapped up their regular season Sunday.

This week’s roundup covers Dec. 16-22.

Dominican Winter League: 

In two innings of relief, Rubby De La Rosa allowed two runs on three hits. He did not collect any strikeouts or walks.

At the plate, Keury De La Cruz had one hit in each of his three games during a 3-for-8 effort. Two of his hits were doubles. Alex Hassan had a similar 2-for-6, two-walk showing in a pair of contests.

Aneury Tavarez had one hit in seven at-bats.

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December 20, 2013 at 7:00 AM

SoxProspects.com Podcast #49: Alex Speier on Baseball America's Red Sox Top 10


It's ranking season! With the release of Baseball America's Red Sox Top 10 prospects list, we were joined by Alex Speier, also of WEEI.com, to talk about the list. We discussed his process for researching and writing the scouting reports and ranking the players, the tiers that developed at the top of the list and... well, too much stuff to recount here, but trust us, we talked about a lot of stuff. Just listen!


Links and in-site player after the jump.

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December 18, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Sox acquire Herrera from Rockies for Morales, Martin



The Red Sox have acquired utility infielder Jonathan Herrera from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for left-hander Franklin Morales and reliever Chris Martin, according to media reports.

Herrera, 29, has spent his entire 12-year professional career in the Rockies organization and spent the last five at the major league level. Herrera has primarily played as a utility infielder, logging over 100 games at both shortstop and second base during his five years in Colorado. Herrera, who has also seen time at third base, is widely regarded in the game as an above-average fielder.

In over 900 major league at-bats, Herrera has shown little with the bat posting a .658 career OPS. However, in 196 at-bats in 2013 Herrera posted career highs in batting average, .292, and OPS, .701.

Martin, 27, is a 6'7" right-hander who split time in 2013 between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. In 72 innings between the two levels he posted strong numbers including a 1.05 WHIP and a 4.63 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Morales, also 27, began his career with the Rockies and has spent the last three seasons in Boston where he was shuttled between the rotation and the bullpen. After posting solid numbers in 2012, the left-hander struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness in 2013. While inconsistent as a starter, Morales has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to get left-handers out.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Herrera by Doug Pensinger.

Luke Lavoie is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter here.
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at 1:00 PM

Red Sox announce 2014 minor league coaching staffs



The Red Sox announced the field staffs for the minor league affiliates on Wednesday, with a chain promotion among the minor league managers. The breakdown for each team is as follows:

Triple-A Pawtucket

Manager: Kevin Boles (pictured)
Pitching Coach: Rich Sauveur
Hitting Coach: Dave Joppie
Trainer: Jon Jochim
Coach: Bruce Crabbe

Boles has been a manager in the Boston system since 2008, joining the Red Sox after stints coaching in the Marlins, Royals and Twins organizations. After managing the Greenville Drive from 2008-2009, and the Salem Red Sox in 2010, Boles has spent the last three years leading the Portland Sea Dogs. The 38-year-old coach has a career 797-786 record over 13 seasons, and won an Arizona League title with the Royals in 2003. He will replace Gary DiSarcina, who left to become the third base coach for the Los Angeles Angels.

Sauveur will return for his seventh season with the PawSox, and he will be in charge of the highly-touted pitching staff slated to open next season in Pawtucket. Joppie returns for a second season as hitting coach, while Jochim is back for his fifth season as PawSox trainer. Crabbe, who managed the Spinners last season, will join the PawSox staff, though his role is currently unidentified. 
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at 8:45 AM

Sox acquire Watanabe, Carpenter to Japan


The Red Sox announced on Tuesday that they have acquired reliever Shunsuke Watanabe from the Chiba Lotte Mariners of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB). The 37-year-old right-hander with the submarine delivery did not receive a major league spring training invite, so he will report to minor league spring training where he will work as a reliever. 

Watanabe worked primarily as a starter in Japan, where he compiled an 87-82 record with a 3.65 ERA. He does not miss many bats, striking out only 4.8 batters per nine innings in his career, but he has also showed good control as he has walked only 2.2 batters per nine. Watanabe's submarine delivery received national attention during his appearances in the World Baseball Classic, where he pitched for Japan in 2006 and 2009. As you can see in this photo from the Washington Post, Watanabe's hand is almost scraping the ground when he releases the ball.  
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December 16, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Red Sox sign Dayan Diaz, Carlos Rivero


The Red Sox have signed right-handed reliever Dayan Diaz and third baseman Carlos Rivero to minor league contracts, reports Matt Eddy of Baseball America. Going in the other direction is Mark Hamilton who has signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves after spending the 2013 season with Pawtucket.

Diaz, 24, has a live arm that has been held back by injuries. Originally signed out of Colombia by the Astros, the 5-foot-10 righty debuted in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2006. According to Brett Taylor of the Cubs website Bleacher Nation, Diaz was set to come stateside in 2009, but an elbow injury necessitated Tommy John surgery. He missed all of that season and returned to pitch only twice in 2010. He opened eyes in 2011 and 2012, striking out 134 in 108 1/3 innings between Short Season-A Tri-City and Low A Lexington, compiling a 1.91 ERA but issuing 39 walks. 
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at 8:37 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Doyle and Linares shine


With many off-season leagues winding down their action, Red Sox prospects saw a lot of late season action around the world this week. 

This week's roundup covers December 9-15 

Dominican Winter League:

Alex Hassan went 4 for 14 with a solo home run, three walks and two runs scored in five games. 

Aneury Tavarez appeared in just two games, going 0 for 8.

Rafael Perez tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one walk across three relief appearances.

Rubby De La Rosa made his debut on December 10 against Este, allowing an unearned run on two hits and a walk in 2/3 innings pitched. 

Mexican Pacific League:

Terry Doyle (pictured) had a fantastic two start week. He picked up two wins, hurling 13 innings, allowing just one run on 10 hits and eight walks, punching out eight.

Macro Duarte appeared in two games, tossing 3 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out two.

Nate Reed made one start this week, hurling 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits and a walk, striking out six.

Jesus Loya was 0 for 5 with a run scored and a stolen base in limited action. 
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December 14, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Red Sox sign John Ely, re-sign Celestino; Kalish to Cubs


The Red Sox announced today that they have signed right-handed pitchers John Ely and Miguel Celestino to minor league contracts. The team also made official the previously reported minor league deal with infielder Brandon Snyder. Outfielder Ryan Kalish, non-tendered last week, has agreed with the Chicago Cubs to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

Ely, 27, joins his fourth organization. Originally selected by the Chicago White Sox in the third round of the 2007 draft, he rose quickly through the minors, excelling at Double-A Birmingham in 2009 with a 14-2 record, 2.82 ERA, and 1.215 WHIP. After that breakout season, Ely was traded to Los Angeles as part of deal for outfielder Juan Pierre in December 2009. He made his major league debut the following season, and pitched in 25 games, including 19 starts, for the Dodgers between 2010 and 2012.
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December 12, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Help Wanted: Staff Editor, Scouts


We are opening a Staff Editor position and two SoxProspects Scout positions for 2014:

Help Wanted: Staff Editor
Position Overview: We're looking for a Staff Editor to join the SoxProspects.com staff for 2014. The primary responsibility of the position will be to edit the Cup of Coffee story every morning during the season in a timely manner. There will also be an opportunity to work on pre-editing feature stories by our writers as needed. This position could be expanded to include writing on news and feature stories if the applicant has the desire and shows aptitude. This is a great opportunity for an aspiring editor/journalist to gain some experience and exposure in the field.

Basic Requirements
- Minimum one year commitment for 2014
- Proficient writing and editing skills
- Strong attention to detail
- Proficiency with AP Style is highly  preferred
- Basic word processing skills, including hyper-linking and adding images
- Must be able and available to review and edit the Cup of Coffee every morning prior to 9 am during the season with limited exceptions
- Close familiarity with SoxProspects.com and the Red Sox minor league system
- College-level academic writing/journalism coursework strongly preferred
- Professional attitude and demeanor
- Age 18+

Compensation
This is an unpaid volunteer position, as are all positions on the staff. That being said, we still expect all applications to be professional. If you're interested in applying, please email mhuegel@soxprospects.com by 2:00 pm ET on December 13, 2013. Please provide a basic overview of your skills and experience with respect to the requirements outlined above. A resume is not required, but it can't hurt either. We look forward to hearing from you!

Help Wanted: SoxProspects Scout
Position Overview: We are looking to add two new scouts to the SoxProspects Scouting Department for 2014. Both roles will involve first-hand scouting, contributing observations to scouting features, and helping to maintain and update the scouting reports on the site. Some low-level video work may also be involved. Successful applicants must be able to carry themselves in a professional manner without supervision when attending games. In addition, applicants must be able to attend games as an objective talent evaluator rather than as a fan. An ideal candidate would already possess sound talent evaluation skills. Previous experience writing about prospects from a scouting perspective is preferred, but not necessary. Driving proximity to Red Sox affiliate games is required. This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking to gain more experience/exposure in the scouting world or for someone who is looking to break into the industry.
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at 8:53 PM

Castellanos designated for assignment with Napoli signing official


The Red Sox designated Alex Castellanos for assignment today after making the signing of first baseman Mike Napoli official. Castellanos was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in October in exchange for outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker and cash considerations.

This season, while playing for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, he hit .257/.347/.468, but those numbers were inflated by playing in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He also got a short cup of coffee with the Dodgers, but only hit .167/.167/.389 in eight games.

Over the course of his professional career, Castellanos has played every position in the field with the exception of catcher and pitcher. His best position is in a corner outfield spot, but he has shown the ability to fill in at either second base or third base. Due to that type of versatility, he was expected to play a super utility role wherever he ended up being assigned in 2014.
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at 9:32 AM

Michael Almanzar selected in Rule 5 draft


The Baltimore Orioles have selected infielder Michael Almanzar from the Red Sox in Thursday morning's Rule 5 draft. In the minor league phase of the draft, the Red Sox chose utility man Jonathan Roof from the Philadelphia Phillies

Almanzar, 23, spent the entire 2013 campaign with Double-A Portland. He got off to a fast start, hitting .319/.367/.560 in April and earning recognition as an Eastern League All-Star. However, he tailed off in the second half and finished with a .268/.328/.432 line. Despite the slow finish, a second straight solid season helped to restore some of his prospect status. Originally signed to a $1.5 million bonus in 2007 out of the Dominican Republic, Almanzar struggled for years with both on-field difficulties and attitude issues.
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December 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Preliminary 'New Stars for Young Stars' lineup announced


"New Stars for Young Stars" is back for a ninth year, the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston announced, and the annual autograph-signing event for a good cause has no shortage of top prospects scheduled to be in attendance.

The tentative lineup includes: SoxProspects.com Offensive Player of the Year Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart, Drake Britton and Rubby De La Rosa. Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports new Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski is also expected to be there.

More players will likely be added as the event draws closer to its Jan. 11 date (11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) at Jillian's Boston on Ipswich Street.

Aside from the autograph session, there will also be a bowling competition, buffet lunch, sports memorabilia sale and silent auction. 

Tickets, which can be purchased here, start at $89, and VIP tickets are $250. All proceeds will go to the Jimmy Fund. The first eight editions of "New Stars for Young Stars" have raised more than $221,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.

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December 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Big weeks for Acosta and Welch


As a majority of the winter leagues are winding down, many Red Sox prospects are still seeing significant playing time in their respective leagues. A handful of players had big weeks, led by an Australian who also earned a place on an All-Star team. 

This week's roundup covers December 2-8. 

Dominican Winter League:

Alex Hassan went only 3 for 15 this week, but one of the hits was a game-winning single in the eighth inning off of former teammate Brock Huntzinger

Appearing in his first game since November 16, Keury De La Cruz went 0 for 4 with a strikeout. 

Newcomer Aneury Tavarez joined the league this week, going 1 for 6 with a double for the Estrellas de Oriente. 

Mexican Pacific League:

Seeing his first action since the end of the 2013 season, Nate Reed pitched three shutout innings while striking out three. 

Jesus Loya was held hitless this week, going 0 for 7 with a walk. 
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December 5, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Gary DiSarcina named Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year



Outgoing Pawtucket Red Sox manager Gary DiSarcina has been named the 2013 Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year. The 46-year-old native of Malden, Mass. guided the PawSox to an 80-63 record and a return to the Governor's Cup finals. After the season, DiSarcina left the Red Sox organization to become the third base coach with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the team where he spent his entire 12-year major league playing career. 
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December 3, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Red Sox non-tender Ryan Kalish, Andrew Bailey


A series of injuries underlies Boston's decision yesterday not to tender contracts to outfielder Ryan Kalish (pictured) and reliever Andrew Bailey for the 2014 season. While both arrived in Boston carrying exceptional talent and great expectations - Kalish after a sterling minor league career and Bailey after a blockbuster trade - neither have been able to overcome a series of frustrating setbacks that have made the two unable to capitalize on their outstanding tools. 

Kalish, 25, was the top prospect in the Boston system who has seen his career sidetracked. Drafted in the ninth round of the 2006 draft out of Red Bank (NJ) Catholic High School,  he impressed from the start, earning all-star recognition playing for Short-Season A Lowell in 2007, his first full pro season. A broken hamate bone in his right wrist ended that 2007 season early and delayed the start of his 2008. Fully healthy in 2009, Kalish was named the Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year and the SoxProspects.com Breakout Player of the Year, compiling a .279/.364/.457 line with 18 home runs and 21 stolen bases between High A Salem and Double-A Portland. He followed that by made his major league debut in 2010, appearing in 53 games and hitting .252/305/.405. After that promising debut, however, it has been a series of disappointments for the young outfielder. 
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December 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Jesus Loya solid at the plate in Mexico


All of the offseason leagues are well into their season, but that doesn't prohibit movement from the personnel. Alex Hassan, J.C. Linares and Stefan Welch are all new to their respective leagues relative to their teammates.

This week’s roundup covers Nov. 25-Dec. 1.

Dominican Winter League: 

Hassan, the only Sox player to see action, got into three games during his second week in the DWL. He finished 3 for 11 with a double, a walk and six strikeouts.

Mexican Pacific League:

After seeing single at-bats in three games, Jesus Loya got back-to-back starts and made the most of it. He went 4 for 8 with a homer and four RBI.

Venezuelan Winter League: 

Linares played in a quartet of contests during his first week in the VWL, turning in a 4-for-15 effort with a double and three RBI.
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at 5:00 AM

Help Wanted: Staff Editor, Scouts


We are opening a Staff Editor position and two SoxProspects Scout positions for 2014:

Help Wanted: Staff Editor
Position Overview: We're looking for a Staff Editor to join the SoxProspects.com staff for 2014. The primary responsibility of the position will be to edit the Cup of Coffee story every morning during the season in a timely manner. There will also be an opportunity to work on pre-editing feature stories by our writers as needed. This position could be expanded to include writing on news and feature stories if the applicant has the desire and shows aptitude. This is a great opportunity for an aspiring editor/journalist to gain some experience and exposure in the field.

Basic Requirements
- Minimum one year commitment for 2014
- Proficient writing and editing skills
- Strong attention to detail
- Proficiency with AP Style is highly  preferred
- Basic word processing skills, including hyper-linking and adding images
- Must be able and available to review and edit the Cup of Coffee every morning prior to 9 am during the season with limited exceptions
- Close familiarity with SoxProspects.com and the Red Sox minor league system
- College-level academic writing/journalism coursework strongly preferred
- Professional attitude and demeanor
- Age 18+

Compensation
This is an unpaid volunteer position, as are all positions on the staff. That being said, we still expect all applications to be professional. If you're interested in applying, please email mhuegel@soxprospects.com by 2:00 pm ET on December 13, 2013. Please provide a basic overview of your skills and experience with respect to the requirements outlined above. A resume is not required, but it can't hurt either. We look forward to hearing from you!

Help Wanted: SoxProspects Scout
Position Overview: We are looking to add two new scouts to the SoxProspects Scouting Department for 2014. Both roles will involve first-hand scouting, contributing observations to scouting features, and helping to maintain and update the scouting reports on the site. Some low-level video work may also be involved. Successful applicants must be able to carry themselves in a professional manner without supervision when attending games. In addition, applicants must be able to attend games as an objective talent evaluator rather than as a fan. An ideal candidate would already possess sound talent evaluation skills. Previous experience writing about prospects from a scouting perspective is preferred, but not necessary. Driving proximity to Red Sox affiliate games is required. This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking to gain more experience/exposure in the scouting world or for someone who is looking to break into the industry.
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November 30, 2013 at 8:42 PM

SoxProspects.com Podcast #48: The Slow Season


There may not be much going on, but Chris, Matt, and Jon still got up from their Thanksgiving naps to answer some reader questions. Among the subjects on tap were how contracts are calculated against the Competitive Balance Tax, how the Sox plan to use Cuban pitcher Dalier Hinojosa, what to make of Brian Johnson's 2013 season, and a lightning round of quick player questions. Inspired by a listener email, we debuted a new regular segment, tentatively called "Where Are They Now?", where we check in on former Sox prospects. Today, we look back at the prospects involved in the Adrian Gonzalez trade.

Links after the jump.

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November 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Attention shifts to Caribbean, Jerez shining in Venezuela


With the Arizona Fall League wrapped up, attention turned to other winter leagues around the world. This week’s roundup covers Nov. 18-24.

Dominican Winter League:

Allen Webster picked up his first victory of the offseason, hurling five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks, punching out seven against Aguilas on Tuesday. 

Bryce Brentz was 0 for 2 in his lone game of the week. 

JC Linares appeared in two contests, going 1 for 5 with a run scored. 

Free agent Rafael Perez continued to pitch well, throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief across two appearances. Perez has allowed just one earned run in 9 1/3 innings. 

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November 22, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Luis Ortega traded to Brewers for reliever Burke Badenhop


The Red Sox have traded left-handed pitcher Luis Ortega (pictured) to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for right-handed reliever Burke Badenhop.

Badenhop, 30, has appeared in 280 games over parts of six seasons with the Marlins, Rays, and Brewers. Consistency has been the calling card of the 6-foot-5 righty since moving to the bullpen full-time in 2010. In each of the last four seasons, he has posted an ERA between 3.03 and 4.10 while throwing between 63 and 68 innings each year. In both 2012 and 2013, Badenhop struck out 42, walked 12, and allowed six home runs in 62 1/3 innings, allowing one fewer hit (62) in the latter year.
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November 21, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Red Sox re-sign infielder Brandon Snyder


The Red Sox have re-signed corner infielder Brandon Snyder (pictured) to a minor league deal, according to the Pawtucket Red Sox official website. The deal also includes an invitation to spring training. The team also lost three minor league relievers this week. Left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith inked a minor league deal with Arizona, while righties Brock Huntzinger and Anthony Carter signed on with Baltimore and San Diego, respectively. 

Snyder, who turns 27 on Saturday, appeared in 68 games with Triple-A Pawtucket and 27 at the big league level. While he has previous professional experience at catcher and in the outfield, he was used almost exclusively at the infield corners last season, with the exception of two innings in the outfield during a blowout victory in September. Snyder hit .261/.332/.454 for the PawSox and went 9 for 50 with two home runs in the majors. He currently projects to begin the season as the starting first baseman for PawSox. 
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November 20, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Cecchini, Ranaudo, Brentz added to 40-man roster


Before Wednesday's deadline to place players on the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft on December 12, the Red Sox have made three additions: third baseman Garin Cecchini, outfielder Bryce Brentz, and right-hander Anthony Ranaudo. Following these moves, Boston has one open slot remaining on its 40-man roster.

Cecchini is coming off a breakout season in which he hit .322/.443/.471 across two levels and rose to the number three prospect in the Boston system on SoxProspects.com. A fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft, Cecchini has been an All-Star in each of the last three seasons, earning honors in the New York-Penn League in 2011, South Atlantic League in 2012, and in the Carolina League in 2013. He was promoted to Double-A Portland on June 21, and selected to play in the Futures Game during the All-Star break. Cecchini projects to begin 2014 as the starting third baseman at Triple-A Pawtucket.
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November 18, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Red Sox 40-man roster additions expected



Look for Boston to make at least three roster moves on Wednesday to protect prospects from selection by other teams in the 2013 Rule 5 Draft. 

Eligible players must be added to their teams’ respective 40-man rosters by close-of-business on Nov. 20 in order to be protected from selection in the Rule 5 Draft, which is scheduled to take place on Dec. 12, the final day of the winter meetings. If selected, the player must stick on the drafting team’s 25-man roster for the entire 2014 season, or must be offered back to the Red Sox. 


Check out the full column on ESPN Boston.
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at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Surprise wins title, struggles continue for Webster


Arizona Fall League:

Mookie Betts went 5 for 12 this week, which included a 1 for 3 performance in the AFL Championship Game on Saturday. Betts hit an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth that stretched Surprise's lead to two. Betts finished the AFL with a .271/.368/.373 line, walking nine times and striking out 10 times in 59 at-bats.

While he did not show much power in Arizona, Garin Cecchini still posted a .434 on-base percentage, which is right in line with the .443 on-base percentage he had in 129 games between Salem and Portland this season. He went 4 for 11 this week and went 0 for 3 with a walk in the title game.
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November 17, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Cecchini receives Stenson Award


Before his Surprise Saguaros wrapped up their Arizona Fall League season with a 2-0 win in the league's championship game, Red Sox prospect Garin Cecchini was honored with the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award on Saturday. The award is given to the player who exemplifies the hard work, leadership and humility that former Reds outfielder Stenson demonstrated before his death in 2003.

Cecchini was the first Boston prospect to receive the award since its inception in 2004. The five other finalists were Andy Burns (Blue Jays), Travis Mattair (Reds), Jonathan Meyer (Astros), Devon Travis (Tigers) and Cory Vaughn (Mets). The award is named after former Red Sox outfield prospect Dernell Stenson, the system's top prospect in 2001 according to Baseball America, who was tragically killed in 2003 while playing in the AFL as a member of the Reds organization.

Cecchini has displayed unselfishness from day one of his professional career. Upon signing a $1.31 million bonus as a fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft, Cecchini donated $20,000 to the Jimmy Fund. He has also given money to churches in Louisiana to aid in their mission work in Nicaragua, whose orphans have also received baseball equipment from the Red Sox farmhand. For more on Cecchini's past largesse, see D.J. Bean's article on WEEI.com.
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at 10:03 AM

Ian Cundall promoted to Director of Scouting


I'm happy to announce that Ian Cundall has been promoted to SoxProspects Director of Scouting.  Ian joined the staff in October 2010 as a Northeast Scout under the tutelage of Chris Mellen. Since that time, he has been a regular at Pawtucket, Portland, and Lowell, while also making several trips to Ft. Myers.  Ian has also authored the site's Scouting Scratch feature and been a regular guest on our Podcast.  In his new role, Ian will take over responsibility for the site's scouting reports.  Mellen, now a scout and writer for Baseball Prospectus, will stay with SoxProspects as Senior Scouting Advisor

Additionally, Steve Henley has been promoted to Senior Web Editor; Alex Skillin, Rebecca Fishbein, and Keith Wade have each been promoted to Web Editor; and Matt Picard has been promoted to Web Editor & Moderator. 

I'm also excited to announce that all other members of the SoxProspects Staff will be back for 2014, hopefully making for another great year. We also may be opening up a few new positions in the coming weeks.
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November 15, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Red Sox re-sign Mario Martinez, add Tommy Layne and Mike McCoy


According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Red Sox have re-signed third baseman Mario Martinez, and signed left-handed reliever Tommy Layne (pictured) and utility man Mike McCoy to minor league contracts. Per the Baseball America minor league free agent tracker, infielder Jonathan Diaz has signed with the Blue Jays and righty Nate Striz has a deal with Colorado. 

Martinez was originally signed to minor league deal by Boston on May 30th and was assigned to Low A Greenville. The minor league veteran hit .285/.328/.424, driving in 54 runs in 76 games while shoring up third base for the Drive. 

Layne, 29, made 40 appearances out of the San Diego bullpen between 2012 and 2013. Layne was used primarily as a left-handed specialist with the Padres, as 27 of the 39 batters he faced on the year hit from the left side. In all, he has compiled a 2.85 ERA and 1.066 WHIP, striking out 31 and walking 8 in 24 1/3 innings. Despite a low ERA, Layne struggled with his control in 2013, walking 27 in 46 Triple-A innings and five in 8 2/3 at the big league level. After being designated for assignment, San Diego outrighted Layne on October 25, making him a free agent. 
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November 11, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Travis Shaw’s big week has Surprise close to clinching


Right as the Roberto Clemente League is getting into full gear, the Arizona Fall League is hitting the home stretch of its regular season. With four games to go — one each Monday through Thursday — the Surprise Saguaros could clinch the division as soon as Tuesday afternoon. This week’s roundup covers Nov. 4-10.

Arizona Fall League:

A 3-3 week for the Saguaros left the team with a 2.5-game lead over the Glendale Desert Dogs, its magic number in the AFL West down to three.

Travis Shaw put together a huge week, going 7 for 13 with five runs scored and two driven in. He walked five times — at least once in each of his four games — while scoring as many runs. His fall slash line is up to .352/.446/.722.
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November 8, 2013 at 8:22 AM

A look at potential Sox rookies in 2014


The World Series trophy in hand, the Red Sox can look forward to 2014 with confidence on a number of fronts. First and foremost, a significant portion of the core of the 2013 championship team is under contract and expected to return. Even a few of the recently filed free agents may return. 

On top of that, the upper levels of the farm system are stacked with talent, whether it be as potential impact starters, role players, emergency depth, or potential September call-ups. In fact, “Baseball America” recently ranked Boston as the No. 1 system in the majors in terms of prospects poised to deliver short-term value. (And frankly, the Astros weren't that close at No. 2). 

Check out the full column on ESPN Boston.
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at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Xander Bogaerts


Today, we wrap up our 2013 Top 40 Season in Review with who else but Boston's budding Aruban superstar. You can check out the other entries in this year’s series here.

2013 Teams: Portland Sea Dogs/Pawtucket Red Sox/Boston Red Sox
Final Stats: 515 PA, .297/.388/.477, 15 HR, 23 2B, 63 BB, 95 K (minors)
50 PA, .250/.320/.364, 1 HR, 2 2B, 5 BB, 13 K (majors)

Links:

Pre-2013: Entering this year, Bogaerts was already among the game’s brightest young prospects, considered unanimously to be one of the top 20 prospects in the game after three seasons as a pro. The Aruban shortstop signed with the Red Sox in August 2009 along with his twin brother, Jair, and received a $510,000 signing bonus. Debuting the following summer in the Dominican Summer League, he showed the talent that had first excited Red Sox scouts after seeing him on the backfields of Aruba, hitting .314/.396/.423 with three home runs and seven doubles over 239 at-bats. SoxProspects.com readers voted him the system’s Rookie of the Year, and the Red Sox tabbed him as Latin Program Player of the Year.
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November 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Jackie Bradley, Jr.


This week, SoxProspects.com wraps up its season-end countdown of the top 40 prospects in the system, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

2013 Team: Pawtucket Red Sox/Boston Red Sox
Final Stats: 374 PA, .275/.374/.469, 26 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 41 BB, 75 SO, 7 SB (minors)
107 PA, .189/.280/.337, 5 2B, 3 HR, 10 BB, 31 SO, 2 SB (majors)

Links:

Pre-2013: Bradley was projected to be a high first-round draft pick coming out of South Carolina in 2011 following a year in which he earned Most Outstanding Player honors in the College World Series, but a torn ligament in his wrist caused him to slump to a .259/.361/.468 line that season, dropping his draft stock. Fortunately for the Red Sox, Bradley dropped to the supplemental first round, where the team drafted him with the 40th pick overall. The outfielder signed for a $1.1 million bonus that August, and appeared in 10 games between Lowell and Greenville that season to get a taste of pro ball.
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November 6, 2013 at 8:30 AM

SoxProspects.com Podcast #47: Offseason Preview


After shaking off their World Series hangovers, Chris, Matt, and Ian pulled themselves together to set up the offseason. Listener e-mails covered which upper-level pitchers might move to the bullpen, a review of who the heck Devern Hansack was, and how players get picked for the Arizona Fall League. The offseason preview covered the rest of the winter leagues, the Rule 5 draft, free agency, and everything you need to know to get you through until pitchers and catchers.

Links after the jump.

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at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Garin Cecchini


This week, SoxProspects.com wraps up its season-end countdown of the top 40 prospects in the system, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#3 Garin Cecchini, 3B

2013 Teams: Salem Red Sox/Portland Sea Dogs
Final Stats: 557 PA, .322/.443/.471, 7 HR, 33 2B, 7 3B, 94 BB, 86 SO, 23 SB

Links:

Pre-2013: After an ACL injury during his senior year in high school weakened his draft stock, the Red Sox scooped up Cecchini in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, signing him away from a commitment to LSU with a $1.31 million signing bonus. He made his professional debut in 2011 with the Lowell Spinners, making the transition from shortstop to third base. He struggled a bit in his first taste of pro ball, beginning his year in a 5 for 32 rut and hitting .215 as late as 21 games into his season. However, he still showed an ability to draw walks and drive the ball when he made contact, with a .311 on-base percentage and .392 slugging mark at that point, and the breakout those numbers portended came to be, as he hit safely in nine of his final 11 games that season for a .486/.581/.743 line. Unfortunately, a wrist fracture on July 23 ended his season just as he was getting hot. In all, he posted a .298/.398/.500 line with three home runs, 12 doubles, and 12 stolen bases in 32 games, showing his inexperience at the hot corner with 10 errors, while also transitioning from shortstop to third base.
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at 7:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Cecchini shines in AFL All-Star Game


The Puerto Rican Winter League began action this week as an increasing amount of Red Sox prospects made impacts in leagues around the globe. Additionally, two top prospects were highlighted in Saturday's Arizona Fall League All-Star contest. This week's roundup covers the period of October 28-November 3.

Arizona Fall League:

The Surprise Saguaros went 3-1-1 this week, and hold a three and a half game lead in the AFL Western Division.  Mookie Betts appeared in two games this week, going 1 for 9 with a run scored and three stolen bases. Betts also appeared in the AFL All-Star game, starting at second base, going 0 for 1 with a walk and a run scored. Fellow infielder Garin Cecchini (pictured) has cooled off as of late, going 0 for 7 with two walks in two games this week. Cecchini joined Betts in the AFL All-Star game, going 1 for 2 with a solo home run in the eighth inning. The West Stars defeated the East Stars, 9-2. 

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November 5, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Henry Owens


This week, SoxProspects.com wraps up its season-end countdown of the top 40 prospects in the system, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#4 Henry Owens, LHP
2013 Teams: Salem Red Sox/Portland Sea Dogs
Final Stats: 135 IP, 11-6, 2.67 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 169 SO, 68 BB

Links:

Pre-2013: The Red Sox selected California high schooler Owens in the supplemental first round (36th overall) in the 2011 Draft as a tall, projectable left-hander with a high ceiling. He signed in mid-August at the deadline, with $1.55 million enough to lure him away from his commitment to the University of Miami. Although he signed too late to make his pro debut that season, he participated in the Fall Instructional League.
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November 4, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Matt Barnes


This week, SoxProspects.com wraps up its season-end countdown of the top 40 prospects in the system, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#5 Matt Barnes, RHP
2013 Teams: Portland Sea Dogs/Pawtucket Red Sox
2013 Stats: 113 1/3 IP, 6-10, 4.13 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 142 K, 48 BB

Links:

Pre-2013: After an extremely impressive performance in the Cape Cod League followed up by a dominant junior season at the University of Connecticut, the Red Sox made Barnes the 19th overall selection in the 2011 draft. The 6-foot-4 right-hander did not sign until the August 15 deadline, so Barnes’ professional debut had to wait until the following spring. Barnes was initially assigned to the Greenville Drive, but the Low A South Atlantic League proved no match for him. In five starts at that level, Barnes was charged with only one run, and even that was an inherited runner. To go with the 0.34 ERA over 26 2/3 innings, he also compiled a 0.60 WHIP, striking out 42 while walking only four. The Red Sox were convinced that Barnes had sufficiently adjusted to pro ball, and he was promoted to Salem on April 29. 
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November 1, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Anthony Ranaudo


SoxProspects.com is counting down its season-end top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

2013 Teams: Portland Sea Dogs/Pawtucket Red Sox
Final Stats: 140 IP, 11-5, 2.96 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 127 SO, 47 BB

Links:

Pre-2013: After a dominant sophomore campaign in 2009 at Louisiana State University (LSU), many projected Ranaudo to be a top-five pick in the 2010 draft. After battling through injuries and ineffectiveness in his junior season, Ranaudo fell to the 39th pick in the draft, where the Red Sox selected him with the compensation pick they received for Billy Wagner. Ranaudo agreed to a $2,550,000 deal minutes before the signing deadline, so he did not make his first professional appearance until 2011. Ranaudo opened the 2011 season in Greenville, and he made only 10 starts with the Drive, only allowing runs in half of those, before getting bumped up to Salem. Ranaudo pitched well after his promotion, allowing seven runs in 23 innings over his first four starts, but he appeared to tire as the summer went on. In his next 35 2/3 innings over 7 starts, Ranaudo allowed 26 earned runs and struck out only 24 batters, a disappointing number for a pitcher who finished third in the nation in strikeouts during his sophomore season at LSU. He bounced back from this rough stretch to end the season strong, giving him something to build on as he entered 2012.
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October 31, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Allen Webster


SoxProspects.com is counting down its season-end top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#7 Allen Webster, RHP
2013 Teams: Pawtucket Red Sox/Boston Red Sox
2013 Stats: 105 IP, 8-4, 3.60 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 116 K, 43 BB (minors)
30 1/3 IP, 1-2, 8.60 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 23 K, 18 BB (majors)

Links:

Pre-2013: The starting shortstop at McMichael (NC) High School, Allen Webster caught the eye of veteran scout Lon Joyce when he pitched an inning of mop-up duty in a blowout. Impressed, Joyce got the Dodgers to take a flier on Webster in the 18th round of the 2008 draft. He signed quickly but worked his way up the ladder slowly, spending that season and all of 2009 in Rookie ball making the transition to pitching full-time. He made a solid debut in full-season ball in 2010 with Great Lakes of the Midwest League, striking out 114 batters in 131 1/3 innings, but also walking 53, showing the control issues with which he still struggles. Webster established himself as a prospect in 2011, at 21 in his third year as a full-time pitcher, starting the season with a short, successful stint in the notoriously hitter-friendly environs of the California League. He posted a 2.33 ERA through nine starts and allowed less than a hit per inning while striking out 62 in 54 innings. He was challenged with a promotion to Double-A Chattanooga in late May. While he posted a 5.05 ERA at the level, he struck out 73 in 91 innings against the more mature competition, earning him recognition as the number 95 prospect on the Baseball America Top 100.
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October 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Blake Swihart


SoxProspects.com is counting down its season-end top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

2013 Team: Salem Red Sox
Final Stats: 422 PA, .298/.366/.428, 2 HR, 29 2B, 7 3B, 41 BB, 63 SO; 42% caught stealing

Links: 

Pre-2013: The 2011 draft was a strong one for the Red Sox; their first four picks all currently rank in the top eight in the SoxProspects.com rankings. This includes Swihart, whom the Red Sox selected with the 26th overall pick despite his strong commitment to the University of Texas. It took a $2.5 million bonus, the third-highest ever given out by the Red Sox to that point, to convince him to pass up college. He was drafted as a catcher despite being so athletic that his New Mexico high school team often played him all over the field, including at shortstop. That year he got only a small taste of professional baseball, playing in just two games for the GCL Red Sox after signing.
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October 29, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Trey Ball


SoxProspects.com is counting down its season-end top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#9: Trey Ball, LHP
2013 Team: GCL Red Sox
Final Stats: 7 IP, 0-1, 6.43 ERA, 1.86 WHIP, 5 SO, 6 BB

Links:

Season in Review: The Red Sox, having their highest draft choice since selecting Trot Nixon in 1993, selected Ball with the seventh-overall pick of the 2013 draft. One of the best two-way players in the country, Ball gained attention for his performance on the mound (6-0, 0.76 ERA, 93 strikeouts, 13 walks, 46 IP) for New Castle Chrysler High School in Indiana. Previously committed to attend the University of Texas, Ball signed with Boston for $2.75 million on June 19, but fans eager for him to debut had to wait more than another month. The 6-foot-6 left-hander finally made his professional debut on July 29 in the GCL, and by the end of the season had appeared in just five regular season games and pitched seven innings, plus a scoreless two-inning start in the playoffs. Given his two-month layoff between the end of the high school season and his pro debut, his struggles—he allowed runs to score in four of his five regular season starts, and never went longer than two innings due to his pitch count—are easier to understand.
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October 28, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Cecchini, Saguaros lead AFL West



The Fall/Winter leagues aren’t quite in full swing, with Puerto Rica, Australia and Colombia set to get underway early next month, but there’s been no shortage of notable performances from the Red Sox farm system. This week’s roundup covers Oct. 21-27.

Arizona Fall League:

It was another successful week for the Surprise Saguaros, who again went 4-2 and sit atop the AFL West.

The Sox infielders with Surprise contributed to that success to varying degrees. Second baseman Mookie Betts went 2-for-13 with a double and two walks, but finished his week on a 0 for 9 skid. Third baseman Garin Cecchini put together a 5-for-18 effort with zero extra-base hits. First baseman Travis Shaw had more strikeouts (four) than hits (three, two doubles) in his 13 at-bats, while Derrik Gibson went 0 for 5. He drew three walks but is still looking for his first AFL hit.
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