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SoxProspects News

March 1, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Fort Report: Bradley, De La Rosa, and Webster impress

Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • A trio of Red Sox top prospects dazzled on-lookers with their performance this week. Jackie Bradley Jr.’s strong early spring performance, he's hitting .571 in his first 14 ABs, has Red Sox manager John Farrell fielding questions about the possibility of a 2013 call-up. On the bump, the pair of arms acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers at last year's trading deadline are lighting up radar guns. Right-hander Allen Webster (pictured) touched 98 mph in his Grapefruit League debut Monday, striking out Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, J.P. Arencibia and Brett Lawrie consecutively. However, Rubby De La Rosa was not to be outdone, touching triple-digits several times in his two flawless innings of work the day before.
  • Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com asks if Bradley could break camp with the major league club. The answer: “Good question,” Farrell said to reporters. Edes writes that despite the positive impression made by his performance – he’s reached base nine times in 15 plate appearances – the 22-year-old center fielder's chances of making the opening day roster remain “very remote.” Alex Speier of WEEI.com lays out a possible road map for Bradley’s ascension to the big leagues by comparing his minor league track to those of Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury.
  • New Red Sox special assistant Pedro Martinez believes De La Rosa can be "someone special," according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Martinez likened the 23-year-old Dominican right-hander, who will be limited this spring while recovering from Tommy John surgery, to Juan Marichel and Roger Clemens. Farrell was blown away by De La Rosa's two innings of work, writes Jeff Greer of ESPNBoston.com
  • Veteran Red Sox right-handed pitcher Ryan Dempster praises his locker neighbor Webster for his “electric arm” and “hard-working” mentality, Alex Speier writes. Speier also catalogues Webster's unexpected explosion from a high school shortstop to a top pitching prospect.
  • While those three have generated buzz on the major league side of camp, Matt Barnes is quietly preparing himself for the grind of his second pro season, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.
  • Xander Bogaerts traveled to Taiwan over the weekend to join the Netherlands in training for the upcoming World Baseball Classic, writes Mike Petragalia from WEEI.com. Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald writes that the Red Sox position with Bogaerts, no matter what position he plays, is a good one.
  • Four Red Sox prospects cracked Baseball Prospectus' top 101. Bogaerts ranked 12th , Bradley 27th, Barnes 38th and Webster 69th. All four players, along with Henry Owens, were named to Baseball America's top 100 prospect list last week. 
  • The Red Sox agreed to terms on a minor league deal with left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith. Smith, 30, last pitched in the majors in Seattle in 2010 and logged 77 2/3 innings with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs of the Pacific Coast League last season, posting a 3.94 ERA with 62 strikeouts and 41 walks.
  • Twenty-nine year-old Matt Maloney also signed a minor league deal this week, reports Matt Eddy of Baseball America. Maloney spent parts of four seasons in the majors with Cincinnati and Minnesota, compiling a 5.74 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 31 games. He is currently recovering from the Tommy John surgery he had last July.
  • Emerging knuckleballer Steven Wright (pictured) worked with Tim Wakefield for the first time this week, an experience he described to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal as "awesome." Rob Bradford writes how Wright's smartphone has served as his best pitching coach.  
  • Boston College alum Terry Doyle has continued his strong start, pitching two scoreless innings  in the Red Sox 16-6 victory over Pittsburgh Wednesday. Farrell complimented Doyle's four-pitch repertoire and called him a "strike machine," writes Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald
  • Infielder Brock Holt has come to camp with a chip on his shoulder, according to Tim Britton. The 24-year-old, who was acquired from Pittsburgh in the Joel Hanrahan trade, is out to prove he's more than just a throw-in by claiming the utility infield spot on the Red Sox roster. He's off to a good start, amassing five hits and three runs scored in his first five spring games.
  • The Grapefruit League debut of left-hander Drake Britton was a bit of a mixed bag, writes Tim Britton. Pitching the second and third inning on Saturday, Britton walked two and threw 16 of his 29 pitches for balls. Despite his lack of control, which Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia chalked up to nerves, the 23-year-old surrendered only one hit and showed glimpses of his potential, Britton writes. 
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that Cristian Vasquez is often told he is a clone of Carlos Ruiz. 
  • While Will Middlebrooks' wrist injury seems to be benign, Ron Chimelis of The Republican lays out some potential replacements should Middlebrooks miss any time. His list includes Bogaerts, Pedro Ciricao, Holt and Drew Sutton
  • Here's a list of the players not on the 40-man roster who have appeared in major league games in the last week: David Renfroe, Shannon Wilkerson, Peter Hissey, Drew Hedman, Brandon Jacobs, Heiker Meneses, Ryan Dent, Tony Thomas, Matty Johnson, Matt Spring, Derrik Gibson, J.D. Durbin, Will Latimer, Pete Ruiz, Sergio Espinosa, Brock Huntzinger, Matt Marquis.
  • Be sure to continue to check in to our Prospect Previews, as SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Chris Mellen details the upcoming season for all of the top prospects in the system.

Photo credit: Allen Webster and Steven Wirght by Kelly O'Connor

Luke Lavoie and Jim Crowell are Staff Writers for SoxProspects.com. Follow Luke on Twitter @LukeALavoie. Follow Jim @CrowellJim.