In his last start for the High-A Salem Red Sox, the 6'7" lefty saw his 19 1/3 inning hit less inning streak snapped. In 20 starts at Salem, the 21-year-old put up an 8-5 record and a 2.92 ERA in 104 2/3 innings. The fourth ranked prospect on SoxProspects.com also racked up 123 strikeouts against 53 walks all to the tune of a .180 batting average against.
As reported early this morning, the Red Sox have acquired
right-handed pitchers Jake Peavy and Brayan Villarreal in a three-team deal.
Infielder Jose Iglesias(pictured) is headed to the Detroit Tigers, and the Chicago White Sox
will receive three minor leaguers from the Red Sox: infielder Cleuluis Rondonand pitchers Francellis "Frank" Montas and Jeffrey "JB" Wendelken. To complete the
deal, Detroit is sending outfielder Avisail Garcia to Chicago. In dealing two
middle infielders and two right-handed pitchers, the Red Sox took advantage of two
of the deeper positions in their farm system to trade up for pitching.
- Iglesias, the most known Red Sox commodity in the deal,
is the only player above A-Ball that the Red Sox included. Since he entered the
system, the 23-year-old has been known for his defensive prowess, which grades
out as an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. Iglesias has soft hands, fluid actions, and
excellent instincts. He really understands how to play the position, taking
excellent angles, and combines all that with a plus arm. The question with
Iglesias has always been whether he would hit enough for the defensive tools to
play. He has plus bat speed and a compact swing, but has always had major
issues with pitch recognition, especially identifying breaking balls, and an immature
approach. His power potential is also limited due to his smallish frame and
arm-heavy swing. In the past he has shown a reluctance to take pitches, often
resulting in him putting the ball in play with weak contact against pitcher’s
- Coming into the season, the expectations for Matt Barnes(pictured)
were very high, but for most of this season the results didn't match. Even
though the results haven’t always been there, however, the scouting report
hasn’t changed and Barnes still has shown the same stuff that resulted in the
lofty expectations and a third starter projection.
During a recent outing in Portland, in less than ideal
conditions, it was clear Barnes was working on a few things, specifically
fastball command and his changeup. Barnes sat 92-95 with his fastball, topping
out at 96 on occasion. He held his velocity into the fifth inning and missed
bats with the pitch, eliciting five swing-and-misses and recording five of his
eight strikeouts on the pitch. Three of the strikeouts were looking, and for
the most part he commanded his fastball throughout the zone, relying on it
heavily for the first three innings. Only once did he really give up solid
contact against the pitch, as he did a great job keeping it out of the middle
of the plate and down in the zone. That one mistake pitch came at a bad time,
however, as the resulting triple drove in the only run he allowed.
7/31 Cup of Coffee: Tuesday's games were overshadowed by trade speculation, with Jackie Bradley, Jr., Anthony Ranaudo, and Jose Iglesias all being rumored to be in a trade at some point in the night. In the end, Iglesias, Cleuluis Rondon, Frank Montas, and Jeffrey Wendelken were involved in the trade for Jake Peavy, while the aforementioned prospects stayed put.
On the field, Luis Diaz was terrific in Greenville, Ty Buttrey continued his solid start in Lowell, and Jake Drehoff made his professional debut.
The PawSox won a back-and-forth contest with the Norfolk Tides (BAL), escaping with a 5-4 victory. Charlie Haeger allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings, and Ryan Rowland-Smith recorded the next two outs in his first appearance since his appendectomy. After the Tides came back to tie the game at four in the eighth, the PawSox answered with a run in the bottom of the inning when Jonathan Diaz scored the go-ahead run on a Justin Henry sacrifice fly.
While we are still waiting on all the details to come in, the Red Sox are close to acquiring right-hander Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox. According to reports, Jose Iglesias(pitcured)will be sent to Detroit, and outfielder Avisail Garcia is going from Detroit to Chicago.
Alex Speier of WEEI.com is reporting that 19-year-old Lowell infielder Cleuluis Rondonis one of three lower-level prospects who will be sent from Boston to Chicago to finalize the deal. We will have more information when this deal becomes final.
UPDATE (12:02 AM): The Red Sox have announced the trade, including the new details that right-handers J.B. Wendelken and Frank Montas, along with Rondon, will head to Chicago as part of the deal. Detroit Triple-A right-hander Brayan Villarreal, who is on Detroit's 40-man roster, will come to Boston as well.
In a week with a number of excellent pitching performances, Lowell right-hander Jamie Callahan (pictured) was chosen as the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week. Pawtucket outfielder Alex Hassan continues to have an excellent 2013 season, and was recognized with his first SoxProspects.com Player of the Week award of the year.
In Callahan's lone start, he dominated the Connecticut Tigers, giving up just one hit in six shutout innings. A second-round pick in the 2012 draft, Callahan did not walk a batter while striking out eight, the highest total of his professional career. It is the first Pitcher of the Week award for the 18-year-old.
7/30 Cup of Coffee: It was a big day on the farm, as yesterday saw the professional debut of Red Sox top draft choice Trey Ball for the GCL Red Sox. While Ball's performance was uneven, his team was able to rally for a comeback victory. It was a tough night elsewhere, as Greenville was the only other affiliate to pick up a victory on the night. Lowell fell in a walk-off, the DSL Red Sox were shut out, while Pawtucket and Salem struggled to generate offense in their defeats.
Pawtucket fell 9-1 to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI), knocking the PawSox out of first place for the first time since April. Rubby De La Rosa struggled in his start. Three of the four hits he had left the ballpark, and he walked four, giving up seven runs (six earned) in only 4 2/3 innings. After winning the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month for June, De La Rosa has had a July to forget, compiling a 9.28 ERA and walking 17 in 21 1/3 innings. Franklin Morales made an appearance as he continues to rehab from a pectoral injury, and the left-hander struck out all three batters he faced.
Trey Ball, the seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft, will make his professional debut this afternoon for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox. The left-handed pitcher gets the start in a 12:00 noon game against the GCL Rays.
Ball, 19, starred at New Castle (IN) High School, where he was named the USA Today High School Player of the Year and a Rawlings First-Team All-American. The highest selection by Boston since Trot Nixon was also taken seventh back in 1993, Ball received a signing bonus of $2.75 million. At 6-foot-6, 190 pounds, Ball throws a fastball that touches 95, which he complements with a changeup that has plus potential, and a curve in the 74-78 range.
7/29 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Portland rode strong pitching to close victories, while Salem and Greenville both fell late. Lowell split their doubleheader in Vermont.
Steven Wright threw a gem, as Pawtucket silenced the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI), 2-0. Wright was on top of his game Sunday, pitching a complete game and allowing just four hits and a walk, while striking out seven. The right-hander threw only 96 pitches, 72 for strikes.
7/28 Cup of Coffee: The Sea Dogs prevailed in the eighth annual Futures at Fenway, Henry Owens was rained out in Salem, while Brian Johnson was perfect for Greenville. Lowell pitched its way to another victory, anf the PawSox were beaten badly by the IronPigs.
It was a forgettable night in Pawtucket, as the PawSox were pummeled by the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI), 10-0. Chris Hernandez was roughed up, surrendering six runs in five innings, including four in the first inning. Clayton Mortensen could not stop the bleeding, allowing four runs in only two innings. Alex Hassan went 2 for 4 with a double, and Will Middlebrooks went 1 for 4 with a walk and two strikeouts. Dan Butler also went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .270.
7/27 Cup of Coffee: It was a tough day on the farm, as only two of yesterday's eight games resulted in wins for Red Sox affiliates. Four of the six losses were decided by one run, including a 16-inning contest between the Salem Red Sox and the Frederick Keys (BAL). The Lowell Spinners and the GCL Red Sox took home victories, although Lowell was only .500 on the day after dropping the other half of a doubleheader.
After leading for most of the game, the Pawtucket Red Sox lost 4-3 to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (PHI). The PawSox jumped out to an early lead 3-0 lead after scoring one run in the second inning and two runs in the third. Alex Hassan scored the first run of the game on a fielding error and clubbed a two-run home run in the third inning. Behind a strong start from Allen Webster (pictured), the PawSox were able to keep the lead. Webster went six strong innings, giving up three hits, three walks, and two runs to go along with four strikeouts. In the eighth inning, with the score 3-2, reliever Chris Martin surrendered two runs, the lead and the game.
With the trade deadline approaching, Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews outlined the prospects that have been traded by the Red Sox since 2005. While a few of the players have turned into impact major leaguers, many of the players are either still in the minors or out of organized baseball. It is a good reminder that no prospect is a sure thing, and the Red Sox have benefited from trading prospects in the past.
Northeast Scout Ian Cundall profiled two promising players for the Spinners this week, writing a Scouting Scratch on Manuel Margot (pictured)and Simon Mercedes. Margot has shown plus-plus speed and the potential for a plus hit tool, while Mercedes is throwing his fastball 92-94 mph with inconsistent secondary offerings.
Garin Cecchini continues to impress this season with his performance on the field, but Staff Writer Tim Healey takes a look at how a change in his mental approach has allowed his physical skills to shine. Cecchini says he spent a lot of time talking with Red Sox mental skills coach Bob Tewksbury in the offseason.
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. -- By the time Garin Cecchini stepped to the plate for the last time Tuesday night, it had been a long day.
He had seen a combined 15 pitches in his first four at-bats for the Portland Sea Dogs at a damp New Britain Stadium, and mixed in with a strikeout and a pair of groundouts was his lone hit — a bloop to left field that barely fell in fair territory.
But Cecchini’s day wasn’t quite over. After taking southpaw Jose Gonzalez’s first offering high and away for a ball, Cecchini, a left-handed batter, lined a fastball to center to bring shortstop Heiker Meneses in from third with an important insurance run.
The base knock proved to be an important one not only for the Sea Dogs, who scored what became the winning run on the hit, but for Cecchini himself, who walked away with something more tangible after having what he considered successful at-bats earlier in the night.
“It did feel good,” said Cecchini, who is typically a third baseman but handled designated hitting duties that night. “That’s a good sign of where I have come from since I was in Lowell [in 2011]. Maybe that last, fifth at-bat when I was in Lowell, I would have just given it away because I was 1 for 4 already and I didn’t want to be 1 for 4.
7/26 Cup of Coffee: While the major league club was rained out, there was plenty of action Thursday down on the farm. The highlights came in thrilling extra-inning victories by Greenville and the DSL Red Sox, as well as in a standout performance by Xander Bogaerts in Pawtucket's loss. Portland fell in a pitcher's duel, some costly errors led to Salem's demise, and the GCL Sox lost their second straight.
Pawtucket fell short in its comeback attempt, losing 6-5 to the Norfolk Tides (BAL). After falling into a 4-0 hole, the PawSox worked to claw their way back in. Leading the charge was Bogaerts. The Tide were unable to retire the shortstop, who went 3 for 3 with a walk, two doubles, and two runs scored. Bogaerts is riding a six-game hitting streak, and he has now reached base safely in 22 straight. Alex Hassan continues to produce for Pawtucket, delivering a two-run homer in the fifth. Will Middlebrooks also went deep as part of his fourth consecutive two-hit game.
7/25 Cup of Coffee: The Red Sox farm system saw a bit of a role reversal Wednesday, with the Sea Dogs and Spinners playing matinees under the sun, while the GCL squad played under the lights in Fort Myers. It was also a day featuring a pretty drastic split — the top three teams to play (Pawtucket, Portland, Salem) came away with wins, while the Lowell, GCL and DSL teams all lost at home after the visiting teams mounted ninth-inning rallies.
This week's SoxProspects.com Player and Pitcher of the Week honorees hail from the lower levels of the Red Sox system, in the form of Salem's Henry Owens and the GCL Red Sox's Wendell Rijo.
In his sole start of the week July 17 at Frederick (Orioles) Owens worked six no-hit, shutout innings, striking out ten while walking only four and earning the win. On the season Owens is 8-4 with a 2.78 ERA, having allowed 30 earned runs on 62 hits, striking out 116 while walking 50 in 97.0 innings pitched over 19 starts, and has held opposing batters to a .182 batting average. Owens also was named Carolina League Pitcher of the week for the same period. He is currently the sixth-ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.
The Red Sox have promoted David Chester from Low A Greenville to High A Salem. The Bunyan-esque 6-foot-7, 270-pound first baseman was named a South Atlantic League All-Star earlier this season, his first with the Drive.
Chester was a 33rd-round selection by the Red Sox in the 2011 out of the University of Pittsburgh after leading the Big East in home runs as a senior. He ranked second in the South Atlantic League with 71 runs batted in, and his .270/.356/.462 batting line included career high totals of 25 doubles and 13 home runs. The promotion will mark Chester's second stint with Salem, as he appeared in seven games there in 2012 due to a roster crunch.
- The Lowell Spinners roster has some very interesting
players, but thus far the one who stands out is outfielder Manuel Margot (pictured). Chris
Mellen first profiled Margot last year during Fall Instructs and identified him
as someone who could gain traction when he came stateside. That is exactly what
Margot has done this year, showing progress at the plate since Mellen’s profile
and an impressive overall tools package as well.
Margot is still only 18 years old and clearly has some
physical maturing yet to do, but his athleticism stands out regardless of who
else is on the field. He isn’t particularly large, listed at 5-foot-11and 170
pounds. Currently, his best tool is speed, which allows him to impact the game
both offensively and defensively. He is already a plus-plus runner, and once he
gets going, he can reach another gear easily and turn gap shots into triples.
His speed also puts pressure on the opposing defense, causing infielders to
rush on ground balls as I've clocked him down the line in under 4.15 seconds. Then if
he reaches base, pitchers get distracted trying to keep him close in order to
prevent him from easily stealing. His speed also plays in the field, where he
gets good jumps and covers a lot of ground. He tracks the ball well and has
shown off an average arm.
7/24 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket was swept in a doubleheader, Portland slugged its way to a victory, and Salem was shut out in Potomac. The Drive got a walk-off single from Aneury Tavarez,and Wendell Rijo stayed hot in the Gulf Coast League.
In the first game of a doubleheader, the PawSox fell to the Norfolk Tides (BAL), 9-7. Dan Butler (pictured)hit two home runs, which were surprisingly the only two extra-base hits for the PawSox in the game. Will Middlebrooks, Alex Hassan, and Jeremy Hazelbaker also added two hits, with Middlebrooks driving in two runs. Steven Wright was not sharp, allowing eight runs and 12 hits in 4 2/3 innings. The PawSox did most of their damage off Baltimore farmhand Zach Brittonwho has struggled in Triple-A this season.
Last week, I took a look at which prospects the Red Sox might make available at the trade deadline. For an idea of what types of "prospects" the club has traded in the past, here's a list of minor leaguers that Boston has traded since the spring of 2005, sorted chronologically by the date of the trade (along with 2013 stats as of July 22). Note that this list does not include the full-fledged major leaguers that the team dealt during that time period or the minor leaguers that Boston sent to other teams in exchange for cash considerations.
Ultimately, only a few traded Red Sox prospects have gone on to become long-term impact major leaguers: Hanley Ramirez, Justin Masterson, and Anibal Sanchez. (Admittedly, Masterson was essentially already a full-fledged major leaguer by the time he was traded).
Some still have the potential to develop into long-term impact players, such as Josh Reddick, Anthony Rizzo, Casey Kelly, Nick Hagadone, Roman Mendez, Raul Alcantara, Engel Beltre, Stolmy Pimentel, Stephen Fife, and Miles Head.
A handful of others have gone on to become cost-effective major league contributors, ranging from valuable platoon players to replacement level up-and-down players. This list would include the likes of David Murphy, Michael Bowden, Tim Federowicz, Kyle Weiland, Yamaico Navarro, Chris McGuiness, David Pauley, and Luis Mendoza.
Prospects traded in 2013
OF Brandon Jacobs (traded to the White Sox for Matt Thornton in July 2013)
2013 Stats: .333/.400/.417 in 12 at-bats for Double-A Birmingham (CWS)
7/23 Cup of Coffee: The Red Sox affiliates had an excellent Monday, with only a single loss on the day. Portland and the DSL Red Sox both had thrilling extra-inning wins as part of their doubleheader sweeps, while Salem and the GCL Red Sox had great pitching carry them to wins. Greenville took the one defeat, while Pawtucket and Lowell were called due to rain.
Pawtucket's matchup against the Norfolk Tides (BAL) was rained out and will be made up today as part of a doubleheader beginning at 6:05.
In game one of its doubleheader, Portland held on for a 5-4 win over the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN). Tony Thomas delivered the big blow, a three-run, third-inning home run that gave the Sea Dogs a lead they would not relinquish. Garin Cecchini had a 2 for 4 night with an RBI and a pair of runs scored, while Christian Vazquez and Heiker Meneses added two hits apiece. Keith Couch got the start and notched his seventh win of the year, allowing four runs on eight hits in six innings. Rafael Perez tossed a hitless seventh for the save.
7/22 Cup of Coffee: Portland picked up the lone affiliate victory on Sunday, as Pawtucket was on the wrong side of a slugfest, and Salem, Greenville and Lowell all lost close contests.
A back-and-forth slugfest went the way of the Durham Bulls (TB), as Pawtucket fell 14-13. Allen Webster was hammered for seven runs on three hits and five walks in just 1 1/3 innings. Will Latimer allowed three runs on five hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings of relief. Anthony Carter allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits in only 1 1/3 innings. Chris Carpenter and Brock Huntzinger combined to toss three scoreless innings at the end of the contest.
7/21 Cup of Coffee: It seemed like Matt Barnes was due for a bounce back start, and that is exactly what he got on Saturday. The pitching was strong throughout the system, as young arms Francellis Montas and Ty Buttrey also turned in strong performances, while Jackie Bradley, Jr. put on an impressive power display for the PawSox.
A late rally by the Durham Bulls (TB) fell short, as the PawSox escaped with a 9-6 victory. Charlie Haeger cruised through the first seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits, but things fell apart in the eighth. After getting the second out of the inning, Haeger gave up a single and then back-to-back home runs before getting pulled from the game. His final line of six runs, five earned, in 7 2/3 innings does not reflect how well he pitched for most of the game. Brandon Lyon pitched the next 1 1/3 innings, allowing only one baserunner to pick up the save in his first appearance with the PawSox since 2003.
7/20 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Salem both scored eight runs or more, but only one took home a victory. Meanwhile, the Spinners and Sea Dogs lost close games, while the GCL and DSL Red Sox prevailed by a combined three runs. The Drive, thanks to a strong performance on the mound, cruised to a 6-0 victory.
The Pawtucket Red Sox slugged their way to victory Friday, winning 9-7 against the Durham Bulls (TB). The PawSox 12-hit onslaught was led by catcher Dan Butler (pictured), who went 2 for 3 with a home run, four RBI and two walks. Designated hitter Mark Hamilton also went deep, his ninth home run of the season. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks went 3 for 5 in the game batting in the three-hole. He also picked up one double and two RBI.
The Red Sox have announced that they have signed right-handed relievers Brandon Lyon and Jose Contreras to minor league contracts. Both pitchers have been assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
The signing marks a second stint in the Red Sox organization for Lyon, 33. He was first claimed off waivers by Boston after the 2002 season, and spent a short stint in 2003 as the team's closer. Lyon posted a 4.12 ERA and nine saves in 59 innings that year before being sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of the deal that brought Curt Schilling to Boston. Since leaving the Red Sox, he has pitched for five different organizations, saving at least 20 games in a season for both Arizona and Houston. Overall, the Utah native has appeared in 572 career games, posting a 4.16 ERA, 1.381 WHIP and 79 saves.
The Red Sox have promoted left-handed pitcher Daniel McGrath from the Gulf Coast League Red Sox to the Short Season-A Lowell Spinners, the team announced.
McGrath, 19, was originally signed to a $400,000 bonus in February 2012 out of the Australian amateur league, with the provision that he would remain home that summer to complete high school. Making his stateside debut this season with the GCL Red Sox, McGrath was out to an excellent start. In 20 innings across four appearances, the lefty allowed only three runs on 8 hits. He walked only six batters, while his 30 strikeouts placed him third in the league. His 0.700 WHIP and 13.5 K/9 ratio were both tops among Gulf Coast League starting pitchers.
After a standout performance in the Futures Game as part of the All-Star festivities in New York, the spotlight is shining brightly on shortstop Xander Bogaerts (pictured), the top ranked player on SoxProspects.com all season. Batting third for the World Team, Bogaerts went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. While he did not earn MVP honors, Baseball America selected him as Best Overall Player in the game. Dave Schoenfield of ESPN.com came away impressed, openly wondering "if he'll play his way onto the Red Sox roster before September."
7/19 Cup of Coffee: It was a busy day down on the farm, with every team in action, and three playing in doubleheaders. Greenville and the GCL Red Sox both came away with sweeps, while the DSL Red Sox won in their completion of a suspended July 2 game only to fall in the regularly scheduled contest. Lowell and Pawtucket eked out one-run victories, Salem was on the other end of a nail-biter, and Portland fell despite getting its offense back on track.
Pawtucket clawed its way to a 4-3 victory over the Durham Bulls (TB) in its first game back from the All-Star break. The PawSox had only one extra-base hit, but ripped seven singles and walked seven times to keep pressure on the Durham pitching. Unsurprisingly, it was Xander Bogaerts who delivered the lone double, driving in a run in the second inning. Every member of the Pawtucket starting lineup reached base at least once in the victory. Steven Wright got the start for the PawSox but went only three innings, allowing two runs on three hits. Wright is a candidate to start on Tuesday for the major league club. Brock Huntzinger earned the win with three shutout innings, while Chris Martin allowed just one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless to record the save.
It would have been tough for Alex Hassan's season to get off to a rockier start. Injuries twice delayed his debut: First, a broken bone in his left foot held him out for a large portion of spring training, and then while he was with Pawtucket in April getting ready to make his season debut, he injured his calf muscle in pre-game warm-ups and headed back to the disabled list.
However, he has quickly made up for lost time since returning to the PawSox on June 14, putting up a line of .329/.441/.529 in 26 Triple-A games.
"Injuries are always frustrating, but they're part of the game," said the 25-year-old Hassan. "Just something you have to deal with and move on."
"He's come back from his injury, and his progression's been slow as far as a couple days on, a couple days off," said Pawtucket manager Gary DiSarcina. "The one thing that he's done really well is work the zone, command the zone and swing at strikes. He's done a really good job at that. He's got a line drive stroke and he goes the other way, uses the whole field."
7/18 Cup of Coffee: On what was supposed to be a slow night in sports, Henry Owens (pictured)led Salem to the team's first no-hitter since 2002. Owens combined with Matty Ott and Mathew Price to keep the Frederick Keys (BAL) out of the hit column. Be sure to read Jon Meoli's report from the game.
Aside from the excitement in Frederick, the GCL and DSL Red Sox each won close games, while Portland and Lowell struggled mightily to get anything going offensively.
Portland struggled to produce any offense, falling to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), 4-0. Peter Hissey and Michael Almanzar each went 2 for 4, with both of Hissey's hits going for doubles. Almanzar was struggling entering the game, batting .100/.122/.100 in his last 40-at bats. Garin Cecchini was the only other Sea Dogs player to collect a hit, going 1 for 4. Keith Couch allowed three runs in five innings, walking three and striking out three. Miguel Celestino allowed one run in relief, and Rafael Perez tossed a scoreless eighth.
FREDERICK, Md. -- Salem left-hander Henry Owens rode what he said was the best curveball he’s had all season to six no-hit, shutout innings as part of a combined no-hitter in Salem’s 6-0 win Wednesday at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick.
“(The curveball) today was the best it’s been all year,” Owens said. “Earlier in the year, I’d have some drift up and in to lefties, but today it was either a strike or a ball low, so that was good. And my breaking ball was there. The fastball sets up the breaking ball, and the changeup is good every start.
Owens, who turns 21 on Sunday, pitched off his 91-93 mph fastball with a changeup that sat 77-80 mph and his low-70s curveball with tremendous success against the Keys. He fanned ten, walked four, and hit a batter, but allowed just one ball to be hit out of the infield.
The non-waiver trade deadline is just two weeks away, and as is the case every year, I’ve been getting lots of questions about what prospects the Red Sox may be willing to part with in a potential deadline deal. The club is certainly in an interesting position: While the front office may have gone into this season considering it to be a rebuilding year, the team has the most wins in the league as of the All-Star break. On top of that, the farm system is as stocked as it has been in several years, in terms of both top-level talent and depth.
On the one hand, Boston may be poised for a playoff run, especially if Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester can return to early-season form. On the other hand, the team has the potential to be loaded with young, cost-effective talent for years to come if it stands pat and refuses to unload its top prospects.
Ultimately, the front office will have a lot of options heading into the deadline. Here’s a list of potential trade commodities, broken down into five categories.
The Dominican Summer League has announced its 2013 All-Stars, and two players from the Red Sox affiliate have been named to the American League squad: right-handed pitcher Jose Almonte and third baseman Victor Acosta.
Almonte, a 17-year-old out of Venezuela, received the largest bonus the Red Sox gave out in the 2012-13 signing period at $610,000. He has lived up to his high expectations early on, with a stellar 1.80 ERA and 1.033 WHIP in 30 innings through his first seven professional starts. Almonte leads the DSL Sox with 31 strikeouts, and has walked only 13.
- 2013 fifth-round selection Corey Littrellis on the Red
Sox throwing program for new draftees, thus he is only throwing two-inning
stints in game action at this point. Though those two innings don’t provide an
ideal opportunity to get a complete look at Littrell’s arsenal, they are good
for getting a feel for what kind of pitcher he is. Littrell has a nice,
athletic pitcher's frame, listed at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds. Even though he is a
three-year college player, he has some projection in the frame and room to fill
out, especially in his lower-body. He showed good pitchability and did a good
job controlling runners, varying his time to the plate with a quick delivery
around 1.2 seconds and a slower one that also gave him the option to pick the
runner off between 1.5 and 1.6 seconds.
Continuing this year's trend of first time SoxProspect award winners are Salem infielder Stefan Welch(pictured)and Lowell right-hander Ty Buttrey, whom the community voted as SoxProspects Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for this week.
Welch, who also won the Carolina League Player of the Week, batted .542/.552/.708 with a home run, double and four walks to three strikeouts in 29 plate appearances last week. Since coming over from the Pittsburgh Pirates system to the Red Sox in June, Welch is batting .330/.422/.428 in 135 plate appearances with Salem. In 84 Double-A plate appearances prior to the trade, the 24-year-old batted .149/.250/.216.
7/17 Cup of Coffee: Tuesday was, by and large, widely uneventful for the Red Sox farm system, with half of the teams getting the day off from game action. Of the three squads that did play, only the DSL Red Sox found success - taking both ends of a doubleheader against the DSL Royals - while a ninth-inning rally fell just short for the GCL Red Sox.
7/16 Cup of Coffee: While Boston and Pawtucket are off on their respective All-Star breaks, there was a lot of close action further down on the farm. Lowell took home a win on a walk-off error, while the GCL Red Sox were on the wrong side of a one-run contest. Greenville also got a win in its last at-bat in the completion of Saturday's suspended contest, before falling in its regularly scheduled meeting. The DSL Sox continue to roll, while Portland and Salem both struggled on the day.
Portland failed to get any runner as far as third base in a 5-0 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR). The lack of support dropped starter Mike McCarthy to 0-3 on the season, as the right-hander allowed five runs on five hits in his five innings of work. Noe Ramirez threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, striking out three. It was the first time Ramirez did not allow a run in four relief appearances since his late June promotion to the Sea Dogs.
Every Monday during the season we will feature a video here from the SoxProspects YouTube page.
Today's video is of top prospects Xander Bogaerts from his time in Portland in April. In it, you can seethe most-talked about prospect in yesterday's Futures Game beat up on Eastern League pitching. Follow the link to the YouTube page
to view many other prospect videos.
Chris is joined by Matt Huegel and Ian Cundall to talk about... well... everything that's happened since last episode, and that happens to be a lot of stuff. We hit the draft signing deadline. We hit the opening of the international signing season. We talk about the promotions of Brandon Workman, Drake Britton, and Mookie Betts. We talk about Brandon Jacobs getting traded to Chicago. We talk about the Futures Game. Why? Because we like you.
7/15 Cup of Coffee: Only Salem managed a victory Sunday, as it was a quiet day all around for the affiliates. Greenville saw another day of heavy rain postpone its games with Savannah, but the major story was the performance of Red Sox prospects in the 2013 Futures Game.
The 15th annual Futures Game saw the U.S. squad defeat the World team, 4-2.Xander Bogaerts received the start at shortstop for the World team, going 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. Garin Cecchini had a key RBI double in the eighth inning after coming off the bench for the US team in the fifth.
7/14 Cup of Coffee: It was a quiet night for the affiliates, as only Salem and Lowell came away with victories. Pawtucket and Portland struggled with their star players in New York for the Futures Game, while Salem used a balance offensive attack to defeat Potomac.
Be sure to catch the Futures Game today at 2 PM EST on MLB.com and ESPN 2. Xander Bogaerts is batting third and playing shortstop for the World Team, Anthony Ranaudo is scheduled to pitch fourth for the U.S. Team, and Garin Cecchini will be coming off the bench for the U.S. Team.
The PawSox struggled to get any offense going without Xander Bogaerts, falling to the Rochester Red Wings (MIN), 5-1. With Bogaerts in New York, Jonathan Diaz filled in at shortstop, going 2 for 4 with a walk. Alex Hassan went 2 for 3 with two doubles and a walk, and Ronald Bermudez went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. Unfortunately only one other PawSox batter got a hit, and they left 10 men on base.
The Red Sox formally announced yesterday that they had come to terms with 36th round selection, right-hander Pat Goetze, and 26th rounder, shortstop Mauricio Dubon. The announcement additionally verified the signings of fourth-rounder Myles Smith, 30th rounder Nick Longhi, 35th rounder Rafael Olivares, and 39th rounder K.J. Trader. Boston ended up signing 27 of their 40 selections, including 18 of their top 19 picks.
Goetze, who had reportedly signed earlier on Friday, was originally committed to attend Louisburg College. The 6-foot-6 right-hander was homeschooled and played as part of the Wake County Home School Warriors. Goetze missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Lanigan, a 2008 draftee who signed as a minor league free agent after spending most of his professional career in the Twins organization, got through two scoreless before Binghamton plated a pair to tie things at five. In all, Lanigan allowed a pair of runs on three hits and two walks in three innings of work. He also struck out three and threw about 60 percent of his pitches for strikes (37 of 62).
The Red Sox made a plethora of roster moves this week, but the biggest came on Friday night when the club sent outfield prospect Brandon Jacobs (pictured) to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for 36-year-old, left-handed reliever Matt Thornton and cash considerations. Jacobs, 22, peaked at number eight in the SoxProspect rankings during his five-year stint in the system. He was promoted to Portland on Thursday, a move which was potentially made to allow Chicago's scouts to get a better look at the left fielder.
Top prospect Xander Bogaerts, who will also be playing in the Futures Game for the World Team, continues to impress in Pawtucket, as written by SoxProspects.com Managing Editor Matt Huegel for ESPNBoston.com. Bogaerts now has more home runs in Triple-A than he did in twice as many plate appearances in Double-A.
7/12 Cup of Coffee: Of the six Red Sox affiliates in action Friday, five took home victories. Pawtucket, the GCL Red Sox and Salem all edged their opponents by just one run, while Portland won by three in extra innings. Lowell fought hard in its contest, losing on a late-inning run, while the DSL Red Sox scored six in the ninth to take home the win.
The Pawtucket Red Sox were able to snap their nine-game losing streak Friday in an 8-7 win over the Rochester Red Wings (Min). The PawSox bats powered them to victory, as the team collected eight hits and eight walks in the game. Leading the charge for the PawSox was Alex Hassan (pictured), whose three-run home run in the seventh inning secured the lead for Pawtucket. Third basemen Will Middlebrooks, who hit third in the lineup, went 2 for 4 in the game with a walk and a run scored.
The Red Sox traded Portland outfielder Brandon Jacobs to the Chicago White Sox on Friday night, acquiring left-handed reliever Matt Thornton. There had been reports in recent days, following the likely season-ending injury to Andrew Miller (who was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Thornton on the 40-man roster), that the club was stepping up its efforts to acquire relief help. The Sox pulled the trigger on Friday, acquiring the former all-star Thornton in exchange for Jacobs, who had just been promoted to Portland on Thursday.
The 36-year-old Thornton has been a major league mainstay since 2005, pitching at least 54 innings in every season since. He made his only all-star appearance in 2010, as season that culminated an outstanding three-year stretch in which he posted a 2.70 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, allowing 147 hits and 59 walks while striking out 245 batters in 200 1/3 innings.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Red Sox top prospect Xander Bogaerts put up sparkling numbers in 56 games with Portland to start the season before receiving a promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket. In 28 games since that promotion, he has somehow continued to impress and surprise, as the 20-year old shortstop has already hit more home runs than he did in more than twice as many plate appearances in Double-A.
How exactly does Bogaerts explain this power surge? "I don't know, man," he said chuckling. "In Portland, I hit a lot of doubles that would have been home runs I would say. I guess maybe it's that."
This isn't the first time Bogaerts has gotten off to a slow start in the power department, only to erupt as the weather got warmer. Last season, he had just four home runs over the first two months of the season in Salem, and then proceeded to hit 11 more in June and July before receiving a promotion to Portland.
If the Red Sox failed to sign any hidden gems or late bloomers from the 2013 MLB Draft, they will not have come from the first 10 rounds.
By signing right-handed pitcher Myles Smith, the team's fourth-round pick out of Lee University, in last month's draft, the Red Sox have inked all 10 of their picks from the top 10 rounds. According to Alex Speier of WEEI.com, who confirmed the deal Friday, Smith signed for $400,000 — just under the $454,800 recommended bonus.
Speier writes that it is the same figure that the organization thought Smith agreed to sign for in June, but after "a more protracted-than-expected negotiating period" it took a little longer to get the deal done.
7/12 Cup of Coffee: It was a mixed bag for the affiliates yesterday, with several strong pitching performances, but inconsistent offense. Xander Bogaerts hit another long home run, an Eastern League team finally cooled off Garin Cecchini, and Henry Owens and Miguel Pena (pictured) combined to give Salem great pitching in its doubleheader.
The PawSox dropped their ninth straight game, falling to the Rochester Red Wings (MIN), 7-6. The PawSox rotation has been depleted by recent roster moves, and they were forced to have a bullpen game yesterday. Chris Carpenter and Will Latimer combined to throw the first 4 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits and seven walks. Anthony Carter and Jose De La Torre were able to keep the Red Wings off the board the rest of the way, giving the offense a chance to come back.
Right-handed hitting outfielder Brandon Jacobs has been promoted from the Single-A Salem Red Sox to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs Thursday.
The move was first reported by Sea Dogs radio announcer Mike Antonellis. As a corresponding move, the Sea Dogs activated outfielder Matty Johnson from the disabled list and assigned him to Salem.
Jacobs, the 36th ranked prospecton SoxProspects.com, has spent the last two seasons in Salem where he hit .248 with 24 home runs in 195 games. In 81 games this season, the 22-year-old produced a .244/.334/.440 line, with 11 home runs.
Garin Cecchinihas been added to the U.S. Team for the Futures Game, replacing Texas Rangers' prospect Joey Gallo, who was recently placed on the disabled list with a groin strain. Cecchini finished second in the Futures Finalist fan vote, so his inclusion made perfect sense after Gallo went down. Cecchini figures to play four or five innings at the hot corner, sharing the position with Matt Davidson of the Diamondbacks.
Cecchini has been one of the best performers in all of the minor leagues this season, hitting .350/.469/.547 in 63 games with High A Salem, and is now hitting .407/.514/.576 in his first 17 games with Double-A Portland. Cecchini was rated as the 39th best prospect in the game by Baseball Prospectus in their mid-season Top 50 list, and Baseball America rated him as the 41st best prospect about two weeks later.
According to Alex Speier of WEEI.com, the Red Sox have agreed to terms with 30th round selection, outfielder Nick Longhi. Jim Callis of Baseball Americais reporting that Longhi's bonus is $440,000.
A rare prospect that bats right-handed but throws left-handed, Longhi slipped in the draft due to a belief that he was strongly committed to Louisiana State. The 6-foot-2, 17-year-old outfielder is seen to have plus power potential and could profile as a corner outfielder or first baseman. The product of Venice High School in Florida, Longhi was also prominent presence on the mound, reportedly featuring a low 90's fastball and a solid curveball.
Longhi's bonus is commensurate with fourth round money, below many projections that believed Longhi would be looking for second or first round money to sign.
7/11 Cup of Coffee: Wednesday was slower than most other days for the Red Sox farm system, with rain postponing the Salem and DSL Red Sox’ contests, and the All-Star break meaning most of the Sea Dogs had the day off. Only the Spinners and GCL Red Sox came away with wins.
Right-hander Charlie Haeger, making a spot start during the Sea Dogs’ All-Star break, gave up nine runs in 5 2/3 innings to take the loss. The IronPigs collected 14 hits (two home runs) and four walks against the 29-year-old knuckleballer. Fellow right-hander Clayton Mortensen was inefficient, throwing just 26 of his 44 pitches for strikes, but he worked around two hits and two walks in a pair of scoreless innings.
The Red Sox made several roster moves today across the minor leagues. Pitchers Charlie Haegerand Will Latimer and outfielder JC Linares have been promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, and Haeger will start tonight's game. Infielder Reed Gragnani (pictured) moves from Short Season A Lowell to Low A Greenville, taking the roster spot of Mookie Betts, who was promoted to Salem. Taking Gragnani's spot on the Spinners roster is third baseman Jantzen Witte, moved up from the Gulf Coast League. Pitcher Brian Johnson has begun a rehab stint with the Gulf Coast League squad as he works his way back from a shoulder surgery.
The injury-ravaged Red Sox bullpen has left the PawSox a little short too, apparently. The Long Island Ducks - who play in the independent Atlantic League - announced Tuesday that left-handed reliever Eric Niesen signed with Boston and was assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Niesen made his debut Tuesday night, allowing one run on two hits in one inning of work in a 6-1 PawSox loss to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI).
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound southpaw was in the midst of a solid 2013 season, his second with the Long Island organization, posting a 3.23 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 39 innings spread out over 35 relief appearances. He also averaged a strikeout per inning and had a 3.25 K/BB ratio.
7/10 Cup of Coffee: Pitching was the story of the day on Tuesday, as Boston's affiliates got several strong outings from some intriguing arms, particularly in the lower end of the system. Greenville and Lowell had stellar performances from their starting pitching lead them to victory, while Salem received top-notch work from its bullpen. The DSL squad found itself on the short end of a pitchers duel. Pawtucket continues to sputter, while the GCL squad continues to be interrupted by rain.
Pawtucket dropped its seventh straight (including Monday's suspended game completion), falling 6-1 to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI). Left-hander Drake Britton was on the mound making his much-anticipated PawSox debut. The lefty was solid though four scoreless innings but began to run out of gas, allowing five runs on five hits and a walk from the fifth on. In all, he made it through 5 1/3, giving up the five runs and a total of 10 hits, striking out five and walking just the one batter. A positive sign was Britton's ability to pound the strike zone, throwing 59 of his 85 pitches for strikes.
The Red Sox roster merry-go-round continued spinning on Tuesday. To help shore up a beleaguered bullpen and injury-riddled outfield, the team selected the contract of right-handed pitcherBrandon Workman (pictured) and recalled center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. from Pawtucket. To make room on the roster, the team placed Alex Wilson on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right thumb and optioned right-hander Jose De La Torre to Pawtucket. Bradley is in tonight's lineup, batting ninth and playing center field, while Workman will be available out of the bullpen.
Workman received his first major league call-up after a strong season split between Portland and Pawtucket. Workman has worked as a starter for the entirety of his minor league career, but Red Sox manager John Farrell intimated to reporters that Workman would have the opportunity to pin down a full-time role in the major league bullpen. With just over three weeks until the non-waiver trade deadline, the club is likely evaluating Workman as an internal option to help shore up a bullpen weakened by the recent season-ending injury to Andrew Miller. Workman took the spot on the club's 40-man roster vacated when Jonathan Diaz was outrighted to Pawtucket.
Portland's Garin Cecchini posted a .500/.593/.818 (11-for-22) line with one home run, four doubles and took five bases on balls in 27 plate appearances over seven games last week, winning the SoxProspects.com Player of the Week poll unanimously. Salem's Mike Augliera made a single start last week at Carolina (Indians) on Independence Day working eight shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out seven while walking none and earning the win along with SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week honors.
Cecchini is batting .364/.480/.555 (99-for-272) in 79 games, 16 with Portland) in 2013 with six home runs, 26 doubles and four triples, taking 56 walks versus 48 strikeouts and has stolen 15 bases (8 CS). He is currently the third-ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.
It has been a breakout season for Betts, 20, a fifth round pick in the 2011 draft out of Overton (TN) High School. He has a solid .296/.418/.477 slash line, earning recognition as a South Atlantic League All-Star. Betts leads the league in walks with 58, and ranks in the top 10 with his .418 on-base percentage and 24 doubles. After an inconsistent April adjusting to Low A pitching, Betts had an outstanding May, hitting .356/.472/.663 and winning the SoxProspects.com Player of the Month.