Boston has signed left-handed pitcher Nate Reed to a minor league contract reportsBaseball America. After spending the 2013 season with Lancaster of the independent Atlantic League, WEEU.com reports that the 25-year-old was inked after a tryout in the Dominican Republic.
Reed posted a strong 2013 campaign coming out of the Lancaster bullpen, compiling a 2.87 ERA in 45 appearances, striking out 71 and walking 32 in 75 1/3 innings pitched. The 6-foot-3 lefty was drafted in the 40th round by Seattle in 2010 and spent two seasons in the Mariners system, peaking at the High A California League in 2011.
Photo Credit: Nate Reed from lancasterbarnstormers.com
As we close out the regular season, it’s time again to look at the top prospects in the Red Sox farm system.
Much like the case at mid-season, the system is as strong as it has been since early 2007, when the farm included Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, Daniel Bard, Justin Masterson, Jed Lowrie, David Murphy, George Kottaras and Brandon Moss.
As Jose Iglesias had already graduated from prospect status by mid-season, the primary difference is that Rubby De La Rosa graduated from prospect status, a few prospects made greater second-half strides to display their potential future value, and second baseman Mookie Betts continued his march to the top 10.
This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass will be posting their end-of-season Top 40 rankings and answering some questions about their lists. We'll release our aggregate rankings on Friday as well, so don't worry if some of the player-specific questions about being high or low on players don't make sense yet. They will. First up is Senior Columnist Jon Meoli.
In honor of SoxProspects.com's 10th anniversary, Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews joined Executive Editor Chris Hatfield for a special edition of the podcast. They discuss the start of the website, key points in the site's history, and also the role the site played in a major trade for the Red Sox.
Hatfield was busy this week, as he was in Fort Myers for the Fall Instructional League this past weekend. Check out his Twitter account (@SPChrisHatfield) for some good notes on the young prospects. Some of the players he saw include Brian Johnson, Jon Denney, Manuel Margot and Rafael Devers.
The Red Sox added left-hander Miguel Pena (pictured)to the Surprise Saguaros roster this week, making him the eighth player the Red Sox will be sending to the Arizona Fall League. The season starts on October 9, and you can follow the squad on our 2013 Fall-Winter Leagues page.
The Dude, Mike Andrews, makes his triumphant return to the podcast to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the website with Chris. We tried our hardest not to make this a back-slapping, hey-remember-when yuk-fest. Did we succeed? Who knows?
It's difficult to believe that it's been ten years since Mike started SoxProspects.com on September 20, 2003. That October, the site looked something like this. Since then, SoxProspects.com has grown to an incorporated entity receiving more than 15-million page hits per year and a staff of about 30 folks at this point.
First of all, thank you to all of you for continuing to read the site - you're why we do this. Additionally, we want to thank all of the folks who've worked for nothing to make this site what it is. In honor of the site's birthday, here's a look back at big dates in our history: Links and a timeline, after the jump...
After a terrific 2013 season on the farm, the Red Sox announced their minor league award winners on Saturday. While several prospects had great seasons, Mookie Bettsand Henry Owenspulled away from the pack, saving their best performances for the end of the season. Other players who were selected include Blake Swihartand Deven Marrero, joining Owens as former first-round picks to be recognized for the prestigious awards.
Chris, Jon, and Ian (showing some #want by checking in from England) come dangerously close to the two-hour mark as they put a bow on the 2013 minor league season. Nearly no stone is left unturned as the guys go through the SoxProspects.com award winners and All-Stars. And as you might expect with an episode this long, things get a bit punchy. Dropped computers! WWE entrance music! LISTEN NOW!
The Red Sox have recalled right-handed pitchers Steven Wright (pictured) and Brayan Villarreal and infielder Brock Holt from Triple-A Pawtucket, multiple outlets have reported. The three players join the major league roster following Pawtucket's elimination from the International League playoffs on Saturday.
Wright, the knuckleballer acquired in July 2012 in exchange for first baseman Lars Anderson, has made four appearances with the Red Sox this season where he earning a pair of wins in relief. In 24 starts with Pawtucket, Wright was 8-7 with a 3.46 ERA and 99 strikeouts across 135 1/3 innings pitched. While Wright was used exclusively as a starter with the PawSox, he will provide bullpen depth for the Red Sox.
The Red Sox Instructs schedule will kick off on Friday, September 20 this year down at Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers. For those interested, the games are generally open to the public, but note that the game start times can be fairly loose. Last week we posted this year's roster which includes several players ranked in the top 20 of the current SoxProspects.com rankings. Here's the schedule:
ABERDEEN, Md. -- To the outside observer, the last two MLB drafts might seem to have been nothing if not frustrating for Boston’s 2013 second-round pick, Teddy Stankiewicz.
In 2012, the Mets took Stankiewicz as a high school draftee with the 75th overall pick, only to offer him less than slot money and ultimately not sign him. After he compiled a 4-5 record with a 2.52 ERA last year at Seminole State (Junior) College in Oklahoma, the Red Sox selected Stankiewicz in the second round in 2013, 45th overall, but ultimately cut his bonus from a reported $1.1 million to $915,000 because of an issue that arose in his physical.
Even so, the humble, gracious young Texan is able to see the positives in the detours on the way to his goal of the major leagues. The pitcher Boston drafted this June, he said, was much different from the one the Mets could have signed.
“College was a very smart choice for me because I got to mature a lot more in that year,” Stankiewicz said last week in Aberdeen, Md. as his Lowell Spinners wrapped up their season. “It also helped me see a lifestyle of living away from home, living in a dorm room, making sure I have my own meals -- doing all my stuff on my own instead of having my parents there.”
The 2013 Red Sox minor league season was one to remember, league championships were won, playoffs berths were clinched and prospects, familiar and unheralded, rose to new heights during the course of the year, some even making an impact on the playoff-bound Boston Red Sox. To cap off an unforgettable season, the SoxProspects.com community has voted on its selections for the 2013 year-end All-Stars.
Known more for a defensive exploits than his offense, Vazquez showed improvement with the bat this season, batting .287/.375/.391 in 403 plate appearances between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. The 23-year-old, who was also an Eastern League All-Star and named Portland's team MVP this year, mowed down runners attempting to steal all season, as he threw out an organizational-high 46-percent. His selection ends Ryan Lavarnway's three-year run as SoxProspects.com year-end All-Star.
A 33rd-round pick in 2011, Chester was one of several All-Stars who burst onto the Red Sox minor league scene with a strong 2013 campaign. The 24-year-old started the year in Greenville, where he batted .270/.356/.462 with 13 home runs in 385 plate appearances, before moving to Salem on July 24. In 112 High-A plate appearances, Chester hit .273/.348/.475 with six home runs. His 19 combined home runs tied him with outfielder Bryce Brentz for most in the minor league system.
9/15 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket's bid to defend its Governors' Cup fell short, as the PawSox were defeated by the Durham Bulls (TB), 7-0. After taking the opening game of the best-of-five series, the PawSox lost three straight, struggling to produce any offense against the Durham pitching staff. The promotions of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley, Jr. to Boston proved costly, as their bats were missed in the lineup.
Pawtucket managed only two hits on Saturday, both coming from Jonathan Diaz. The only other batter to reach base was Dan Butler, who was hit by a pitch. The PawSox struck out 11 times and did not draw a walk in the contest.
The game was scoreless for the first 14 innings as both the PawSox and the Bulls could not take advantage of scoring opportunities. While only picking up four hits, the PawSox accrued 12 walks, resulting in 17 men left on base in the game.
The lack of offense spoiled a great performance from starter Matt Barnes, who struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Barnes surrendered only four hits and two walks. Following Barnes six pitchers out of the bullpen then combined to pitch 7 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
The PawSox first real scoring chance came in the fifth inning with Alex Hassan coming to bat with one out and runners on first and second base. During the course of the at bat, the runners advanced to second and third. Hassan was unable to break the tie, as he struck out swinging. Following Hassan was Mark Hamilton, who grounded out to end the inning.
In the eighth the PawSox had a runner on third with one out, but back-to-back strikeouts from Hamilton and Bryce Brentz ended the rally. The PawSox put together a few more scoring opportunities in the eighth, ninth, 12th and 14th innings, but obviously were unable to capitalize.
Game 4 in the series will be on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 6:05 p.m. at McCoy Stadium.
Player of the Day: Buried in the long game was the impressive start from Matt Barnes. The outing was likely Barnes' last of the 2013 season, during which he spent most of his time in Double-A Portland. Despite struggling a bit at the level, he posted a 4.33 ERA in 106 innings. The right-hander posted impressive strikeout numbers and earned himself a promotion to Triple-A. Barnes has improved against tougher competition, posting a 3.86 ERA in the postseason.
Photo Credit: Matt Barnes by Kelly O'Connor.
Luke Lavoie is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.
After an impressive 2012 season, Keury De La Cruz (pictured) spent the entire 2013 season with the Salem Red Sox and finished with an overall line of.258/.297/.398 with nine home runs in 535 at-bats. His performance was strong enough to make the end of season Carolina League All-Star Team. He was the only Salem player to make the team.
De La Cruz was not the only player to take home a recent award, as Portland Sea Dogs outfielder JC Linareswas named the Eastern League Player of the Month for the month of August. Splitting time in 2013 between Pawtucket and Portland, Linares finally settled in and finished the month with an impressive 1.065 OPS along with six home runs and 12 doubles in 28 games.
Bogaerts, 20, had a captivating 2013 season that has seen him move through three levels of the organization. Starting the year with Double-A Portland, the young shortstop hit .311/.407/.502 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 56 games before being promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. As a member of the PawSox, Bogaerts hit .284/.369/453 with nine home runs and 32 RBI in 60 games. The Arbua native made his major league debut with the Red Sox on August 20, and has appeared in 11 games, hitting .296/.321/.444 with a home run and four RBI. Widely regarded as one of the best prospects in all of baseball, Bogaerts also appeared in this year's MLB Futures Game, collecting two hits.
The Fall Instructional League gets underway soon, as 45 Red Sox prospects are slated to report to Fort Myers next week. The league kicks off for the Sox with an away game against the Rays (Port Charlotte, Fla.) on Friday, September 20. Also referred to as "Instructs", the Fall Instructional League is a short-season league used to develop Low-A and Rookie-Ball players, often including many recently-drafted prospects. The league focuses on fundamental baseball and includes daily workouts and classroom training akin to the Gulf Coast League. The following players will participate in Instructs for the Red Sox in 2013:
Right-handed knuckleballer Steven Wright pitched well on the road but allowed a pair of unearned runs in his 6 2/3 innings of work. He scattered five hits and three walks, while striking out six.
Pawtucket jumped ahead when catcher Dan Butler and center fielder Justin Henry led off the third with back-to-back singles. Shortstop Heiker Meneses bunted them over, then third baseman Jonathan Diaz grounded out to shortstop to bring Butler home.
9/11 Cup of Coffee: It was a memorable night on the farm, as the Salem Red Sox won the Mills Cup, completing the sweep of the Potomac Nationals (WAS). It was the first time Salem has won the Carolina League championship since 2001, when it was an affiliate of the Rockies, and it was the first time a Red Sox affiliate won a High A league title since the Winston-Salem Red Sox won in 1973. Salem won its last 11 games of the season, including a perfect 5-0 record in the postseason.
In Durham, the PawSox won a classic playoff game, scoring two late runs to earn a thrilling one-run victory. Pawtucket now has a 1-0 series lead as it looks to defend the Governors' Cup.
The 2013 minor league season, not quite over for a pair of Red Sox farm teams, had no shortage of memorable storylines and impressive performances. In keeping with tradition, here are the athletes voted on by the SoxProspects.com community as the best of the year.
Offensive Player of the Year and Breakout Player of the Year: Mookie Betts
No Red Sox prospect shot up the rankings this season quite like Betts did. He started off by tearing apart South Atlantic League pitching to the tune of a .296 average while getting on base at a .418 clip and slugging .477 in 76 games for Low A Greenville. After an early July promotion to High A Salem, the 20-year-old second baseman got even better. He put together a .341/.414/.551 slash line in 51 games while walking 20 times and striking out on 17 occasions. While Betts showed good speed, stealing 38 bases in 42 attempts between the two levels, what was even more surprising was his sudden power. Betts, who is listed at just 5-foot-9 and 156 pound, had nine extra-base hits with Lowell — eight doubles, one triple — last year but totaled 55, including 15 homers, in 2013. He moved up from 53rd to 12th in the SoxProspects.com rankings.
9/9 Cup of Coffee: Superb pitching was the story of the day, as both Pawtucket and Salem proved victorious on Sunday. The victory in a decisive game five puts the PawSox back in the Governor's Cup, while Salem's hot streak continued, putting the Red Sox one win away from a title.
Pawtucket pitching allowed just four hits, as the PawSox defeated the Rochester Red Wings (MIN), 3-0. Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger picked up the victory, tossing 5 1/3 innings and allowing just four hits and three walks, while punching out four. Chris Martin, Ryan Rowland-Smith, and Anthony Carter combined to hurl 3 2/3 innings of flawless relief.
9/8 Cup of Coffee: The PawSox could not seal the deal, falling to the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) in the fourth game of the Governors' Cup semi-finals, and the two teams will now square off in a decisive Game Five this afternoon. Salem fared better in the first game of the Mills Cup championship series, led by Heri Quevedo's (pictured) dominant performance.
Rochester got out to an early lead and did not look back, defeating the PawSox, 9-1. Matt Barnes struggled in his second Triple-A start, allowing five runs, four earned, in four innings. When he left the game, the score was 2-0 and the bases were loaded in the fifth, but Alex Wilson allowed all three inherited runners to score, and then allowed three runs of his own, as the Red Wings plated six in the inning to take an 8-0 lead.
9/6 Cup of Coffee: The Pawtucket Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the Governor's Cup semi-finals Friday on the strength of knuckleballer Steven Wright's six shutout innings.
The Pawtucket Red Sox are just one win away from advancing to their second straight Governor's Cup final following Friday's 5-1 win over the Rochester Red Wings (MIN). The PawSox opened the scoring in the second inning with the help of a Red Wings error. Leading off the inning, catcher Dan Butler singled and advanced into scoring position on a throwing error by Rochester shortstop Eduardo Escobar.Butler would score the first run of the game on a Brock Holt RBI single.
Just before we turned the page on the month of August last weekend, the Red Sox announced the addition of five players to the major league roster as part of September roster expansion. Three of the five, catcher Ryan Lavarnway, right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, and infielder Brandon Snyder, have spent the majority of the 2013 season in Pawtucket. Joining the trio in Boston were recently acquired hitters Quintin Berry and John McDonald, who was dealt for Salem pitcher Nefi Ogando on Saturday.
September also signals the end of the season which, for some outstanding achievers, means awards. Recently promoted shortstop Xander Bogaerts(pictured) was named USA Today Sports' Minor League Player of the Year, making him the first Red Sox minor leaguer to win the award since its inception in 1988. The 20-year-old Aruban, who was promoted to Boston on Aug. 19, produced an overall 2013 line of .297/.388/.477 with 23 doubles, 15 home runs, and 67 RBI.
Right-handed pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, just days after being named an Eastern League All-Star, was awarded Eastern League Pitcher of the Year. The 23-year-oldstruck out 106 batters in 109 2/3 innings and posted a 2.95 ERA in 19 games for Portland before being promoted.
9/6 Cup of Coffee: It was a successful night of playoff baseball. Pawtucket earned a win on the road to pull even in the Governors Cup semi-finals. Meanwhile, Salem completed a sweep with its second straight extra-inning win and heads to the Mills Cup final.
Pawtucket never trailed in its 7-2 win over the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) at Frontier Field. The win ties the semi-final series even at one game apiece as Pawtucket attempts to repeat as Governors Cup champions. Rehabbing right-hander Clay Buchholz got the start for the PawSox and was mostly sharp, getting through three scoreless before the Red Wings touched him for two in the fourth. In all, he allowed two runs on four hits in 3 2/3, striking out five and walking just two.
In the final week of the regular season, Portland outfielder J.C. Linares bashed his way to the SoxProspects.com Player of the Week, while a pair of outstanding performances propelled Sergio Gomezto SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week. It is the second player of the week award for Gomez, who won in August 2012. Surprisingly, Linares is a first-time winner.
Linares had a largely disappointing season between Portland and Pawtucket, but the outfielder had an August revival which he capped with an outstanding final week. In eight games, Linares had a monster .486/.500/1.000 line, going 17 for 35 with four home runs and four doubles. As Portland made a long-shot run at the Eastern League wild card spot, Linares went 11 for 19 with three homers and 10 RBI in a four game set against New Hampshire.
The Lowell Spinners wrapped up their 2013 campaign with a loss, while the only two affiliates still playing — the PawSox and Salem Sox — opened their playoff runs but came out with opposite results. Salem is a win away from their league finals; Pawtucket not so much.
A week after the initial rosters were announced, the final Red Sox representative was chosen for the Arizona Fall League. 20-year-old second baseman Mookie Bettswill join the infield of the Surprise Saguaros, looking to continue the success he has had during his breakout campaign in Greenville and Salem in 2013. Betts finished the regular season with a .314/.417/.506 line between the two levels, and hit .439/.518/.704 in his last 98 at-bats.
Betts is projected to start the 2014 season in Portland, and this will be a good test to get him acclimated to the tougher competition. He is the only Red Sox player in the AFL who has yet to appear in Double-A. It is likely that Sean Coylewas the first choice to head out to Arizona after he missed most of the season with injuries, but Coyle is still not healthy, as he was placed on the disabled list this afternoon.
After spending all of 2013 with Low A Greenville, Tavarez, who played mostly right field for the Drive in 2013, will join the Salem Red Sox for their Carolina League playoff run. He is not in the lineup for Wednesday's Game 1 of the Southern Division Championship Series.
In 125 games this season, Tavarez hit .257 while getting on base at a .295 clip and slugging .388. His 28 doubles were a team-high, and his 55 RBI were second only to David Chester, who was promoted to Salem in late July.
After being designated for assignment on Sunday, Daniel Bardwas claimed this afternoon by the Chicago Cubs. The 28-year-old right-hander has struggled mightily the last two seasons, walking 101 batters in only 107 2/3 innings since the start of 2012. Bard will be reunited with Theo Epstein, Jason McLeod, and Jed Hoyer, all of whom saw Bard turn around his career after a poor 2007 season to become one of the best set-up men in baseball.
While many people point to Bard's failed attempt to become a starting pitcher as the reason for his struggles, there were signs back in September of 2011 that Bard had tough times ahead. In his last nine games of the 2011 season, Bard allowed 13 runs in 8 2/3 innings, surrendering nine hits and nine walks while striking out eight.
The official release announcing the award stated "the fast climb to the majors, his standout season and obvious tools made Bogaerts' the logical choice as USA TODAY Sports' Minor League Player of the Year." Bogaerts, 20, began the year with Double-A Portland. There, he dominated the Eastern League with a .311/.407/.502 line in 259 plate appearances. In his final 24 games at the level, he forced his way to a promotion with a .364/.472/.625 line.
9/4 Cup of Coffee: The Spinners will need help to extend their season, as they fell to the Aberdeen IronBirds (BAL), 8-7. The game started off poorly for Teddy Stankiewicz, as he allowed a three-run home run in the bottom of the first to put the Spinners in an early hole. He would settle down, pitching a scoreless second and third, while striking out two.
Down by three in the fifth, Carlos Asuaje laced an RBI double, and he came around to score on an error by the second baseman. The Spinners tied the game in the sixth on an error by the third baseman, and then took the lead on another error by the shortstop. Asuaje added an RBI single in the sixth to extend the lead to 7-4.
The August awards go to a pair of players on the playoff-bound Salem Red Sox. Both were awarded earlier in the season while members of the Greenville Drive and have continued to excel in the Carolina League. SoxProspects.com Player of the MonthMookie Betts was twice named Player of the Week in August by both the Carolina League and by the SoxProspects.com community. He previously was awarded in May. It is the second consecutive SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month victory for Luis Diaz, whose month included an August 20 promotion from the South Atlantic League.
9/3 Cup of Coffee: Three affiliates ended their seasons on top on Sunday, while the chances for postseason play for a fourth took a hit. In tuneups for their upcoming playoff series, Pawtucket and Salem came out victorious. Greenville came out on top of its season finale as well. Lowell took a loss, and missed its chance to move into a tie in the wild care race.
Pawtucket cruised in its final regular-season contest with a 4-0 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI). It was a true team effort, as five pitchers combined for the shutout, while the offense churned out 11 hits. Charlie Haeger got the start and allowed just one hit in his four innings, and Alex Wilson was credited with the win for his scoreless frame. Dan Butler was 2 for 4 with a double to lead the offense. Christian Vazquez made his Triple-A debut, going 0 for 3 with a walk.
The PawSox travel to Frontier Field on Wednesday to being a best-of-five series with the Rochester Red Wings (MIN).
With the Lowell Spinners a half game out of a playoff spot with three games to play, the team has announced that right-hander Myles Smithand second baseman Wendell Rijo(pictured) have been called up from the GCL Red Sox.
SoxProspects.com sources have learned that shortstop Raymel Flores and left fielder Mike Meyersare also with the Spinners. Lowell is slated to start a three-game series at the Aberdeen IronBirds (BAL) later today. The club needs the reinforcements for their playoff push, as outfielder Forrestt Allday and reliever Greg Larson are reportedly injured and will miss the rest of the season.
Smith, the team's fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft, has allowed only one hit in his first eight innings as a professional, walking none and striking out nine. The 21-year-old will face more age-appropriate competition in the New York-Penn League.
9/2 Cup of Coffee: The playoff push continued, as the affiliates turned in a mixed bag on Sunday. Pawtucket cruised in a shortened contest, Portland fell victim to the Thunder, Salem swept a doubleheader, and Greenville picked up a close victory.
Elsewhere on the farm, Lowell took a step back in its playoff hopes, losing to their division nemesis. The GCL Red Sox saw their 2013 season come to a close.
Pawtucket won a rain shortened contest against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI), 5-0 in six innings.
The 23-year-old Vazquez has spent the entire 2013 season with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, hitting .289/.376/.395 with five home runs and 48 RBI. He comes off of a hot month of August, in which he hit .368/.431/.442 with 13 RBI in 24 games. A 2013 Eastern League All-Star, Vazquez is known for his strong defensive ability behind the plate. He has thrown out a career high 47% of base-stealers this season, above his stellar career average of 37%. Vazquez will look to add strength on both sides of the ball to a PawSox team about to begin the playoffs.
Photo credit: Christian Vazquez by Kelly O'Connor. John Gray is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @JohnRGray.
With rosters expanding on Sunday to 40 players, the Red Sox reportedly have added four players to the roster in addition to last night's announced acquisition of John McDonald. The club recalled Ryan Lavarnway (pictured, left) and Rubby De La Rosa from Pawtucket, purchased the contract of Quintin Berry, and activated Brandon Snyder from the DL, bringing the number of players on the active roster to 30.
But the bigger news arguably was the designation of once-elite reliever Daniel Bard for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Berry. Bard, who has spent most of this season in the minors trying to recover his lost command and stuff, had thrown just nine of 31 pitches for strikes while walking four and striking out two in a scoreless inning of work for Lowell on Saturday, the third game of a rehab assignment. Including his rehab assignment, Bard has walked 27 batters and thrown 11 wild pitches in 17 1/3 innings this season. Over the next 10 days, he must be either traded, released, or placed on waivers.
9/1 Cup of Coffee: Labor Day weekend means a final push for minor league teams everywhere, but that didn’t go too well for most Red Sox affiliates Saturday. Only Lowell came away victorious, while Portland and Greenville lost both ends of doubleheaders and Pawtucket, who will likely have a handful of players called up to the big league team Sunday, lost late.
Division title already in hand, the Pawtucket Red Sox dropped a 2-1 decision to the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS).