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SoxProspects News

January 9, 2013 at 4:19 PM

December Notes: Rosters, staffs take shape

Red Sox minor league notes for December:

  • Quite a few prospects changed hands in the six-player deal that brought new closer Joel Hanrahan to Boston. The Red Sox acquired infielder Brock Holt, who debuted at #16 on the SoxProspects.com rankings. Stolmy Pimentel (pictured), ranked #20 at the time of the deal, was the primary prospect heading to Pittsburgh. The right-hander peaked at #5 at the beginning of the 2011 season.
  • There was a great deal of Red Sox-related activity in the Rule 5 draft at the Winter Meetings. Relievers Josh Fields and Ryan Pressly were selected with the first and fourth overall picks by the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins, respectively. With the seventh pick, the Red Sox nabbed second baseman Jeff Kobernus from the Nationals, and flipped him to the Tigers for utilityman Justin Henry.
  • In the Triple-A portion of the draft, the Red Sox made a pair of selections. Jack McGeary, a graduate of Boston's Roxbury Latin School, was taken from the Nationals. McGeary had been given a $1.8 million signing bonus by Washington to convince him not to attend Stanford, but he has been beset by arm trouble ever since. Boston also took pitcher Jonathan Bachanov from the Angels. Bachanov was originally signed by newly hired Red Sox scout Tom Kotchman when Kotchman was working for Los Angeles. 
  • A pair of players with Red Sox ties were also picked. First baseman Chris McGuiness was selected with the fifth pick by the Indians. McGuiness was sent to the Rangers in July 2010 as part of the package that brought Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Boston. Third baseman Marquez Smith, who spent most of the the 2012 season with Double-A Portland, had signed a minor league deal with the Reds but was snagged by the Rangers in the Triple-A portion.   
  • Top prospect ratings from other publications have started to trickle in. John Sickels of Minorleagueball.com has his Top 20, while Jim Callis of Baseball America rated the Red Sox the fifth best system in baseball. 
  • The 2013 minor league coaching staff was announced. One of the youngest members of the staff is Aly Gonzalez, who played for three years with the Dominican Summer League Red Sox. The 21-year-old transitioned to a player-coach role in 2012 (though he did not appear in any games), and officially retired from playing to take on a full-time coaching role in 2013. Gonzalez originally signed in 2008 out of Venezuela, and hit .250/.364/.289 across three seasons in the DSL.
  • In addition to on-field staff, the Red Sox also announced changes to the baseball operations team.
  • Yeiper Castillo, a long-time member of the organization, signed a minor league deal with Oakland. Originally signed back in 2005, Castillo pitched in 112 games, reaching High-A Salem in 2012. The lanky Venezuelan right-hander had a strong comeback from labrum surgery that cost him the 2011 season, compiling a 3.60 ERA between Salem and Low-A Greenville in 137 2/3 innings.
  • The Red Sox also lost first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez, who signed a minor league deal with the Minnesota Twins. Originally signed by the Yankees, he was released in 2007 and signed by Boston after an impressive showing with Yuma of the independent Golden Baseball League in 2009. Rodriguez showed some power in his time with the Red Sox organization, slugging .579 with Salem in 2011, and .505 with Portland this season. He was a member of the 2012 Eastern League All-Star team.
  • Veteran right-hander Nelson Figueroa, a key figure in Pawtucket's victory in the Governor's Cup, is also moving on. He signed a minor league deal to rejoin the Diamondbacks, the club that first brought Figueroa to the major leagues back in 2000.
  • To get a handle on how the minor league roster configuration is shaking out, check out the SoxProspects.com 2013 Roster Projections page, and this more in-depth breakdown by Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews of the roster that new PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina will lead. 
  • In the latest episode of the SoxProspects.com Podcast, Chris Hatfield, Chris Mellen, Matt Huegel, and Mike Andrews got together to discuss the rising "new core" of homegrown Sox players, and how that core could be factoring in to the organization's planning. They also discussed their internal debates when ranking the system's top 10 prospects.
  • Ex-Red Sox minor leaguers on the move this month included:
    • Outfielder Che-hsuan Lin, claimed by the Houston Astros on waivers earlier in the offseason, was designated for assignment and outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock
    • Niuman Romero, the utility infielder who spent most of 2010 with Pawtucket and got a couple cups of coffee with the major league club, agreed to a minor league deal with Baltimore.
    • Chih-Hsien Chiang signed a minor league contract with Texas. One of the many moving parts in the 2011 Erik Bedard deal, Chiang struggled with the Seattle organization.
    • After his release in June, Chorye Spoone hooked on with the Toronto Blue Jays organization and spent the rest of 2012 at Double-A New Hampshire. He re-upped with the Blue Jays for 2013.
    • Justin Germano (pictured) will be joining Spoone with the Toronto organization. The right-hander was fantastic with the PawSox in the first half of 2012, earning International League All-Star recognition, before he was dealt to the Chicago Cubs. Germano also pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings against the Yankees in his only outing with the major league club.
    • Infielder Yamaico Navarro was traded by the Pirates to the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Jhondaniel Medina. Navarro was dealt to the Royals in 2011 for Mike Aviles.
  • Good luck to longtime PawSox broadcaster Steve Hyder, who has stepped down after nine years covering the team, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reported. Hyder plans to write a book about his experiences with the team. 
  • We were also excited to announce that Matt Huegel and Jon Meoli have joined the ownership team here at SoxProspects.com.
Photo credit: Stolmy Pimentel and Justin Germano, both by Kelly O'Connor.