SoxProspects News

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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at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Mookie Betts


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.

#10: Mookie Betts, 2B
2013 Team: Greenville Drive/Salem Red Sox
Final Stats: 551 PA, .314/.417/.506, 15 HR, 36 2B, 4 3B, 81 BB, 57 K, 38 SB

Links:

Pre-2013: Boston drafted Betts, a Louisville Slugger High School All-American, out of Overton (Tenn.) High School in the fifth round in 2011. The 18-year-old shortstop signed a hefty $750,000 bonus five minutes before the midnight deadline, electing to forego his commitment to the University of Tennessee. Betts reported to extended spring training in Fort Myers following the signing, and made his pro debut in the GCL that same year, getting two hits in four at-bats with a stolen base in what would be his lone game of the year.

Last year, Betts was assigned to short-season Lowell. Betts, playing as one of the youngest members on the Spinners at 19, split his time between shortstop and second base in his first 18 games in the New York Penn League before the organization permanently moved him to second in early July. Betts committed six total errors while serving as Lowell’s shortstop in 2012, three in his final game at the position. Coincidentally, Betts displayed minor improvement at the plate following the positional change, as he hit .275/.378/.319 in 218 plate appearances after the transition compared to his .246/.274/.275 in 74 plate appearances prior to the move. For the season, Betts batted .267/.352/.307 with eight doubles, one triple, 32 walks, 30 strikeouts and 20 stolen bases, and put himself on the edge of the radar as a player to watch in 2013.
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October 25, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Drake Britton and Brandon Workman


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.

#12 Drake Britton, LHP
2013 Teams: Portland Sea Dogs/Pawtucket Red Sox/Boston Red Sox
Final Stats: 102 2/3 IP, 7-7, 3.77 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 85 SO, 37 BB (minors)
21 IP, 1-1, 3.86 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 17 SO, 7 BB (majors)

Links:

Season in Review: Britton’s season got off to a rough start both on and off the field after he was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence during spring training, and then struggled in his first month and a half in Portland. Over his first 48 innings, Britton had a 4.69 ERA and was allowing over a hit per inning, although he still had 44 strikeouts, showing that his stuff was still there. Britton began to turn things around near the end of May, throwing the ball as well as he has in his entire career. Over his final eight starts in Portland, he posted a 2.32 ERA, with eight of the 13 earned runs he allowed in 50 1/3 innings coming in one game. He went at least seven innings four times during that stretch and not allowing a run four times. He was promoted to Pawtucket on July 9, and appeared in only one game for the PawSox before he got the call to Boston on July 14. The Red Sox made Britton a reliever for the first time in his life, and he responded by not allowing a run over his first nine innings over seven appearances, used mostly in low-leverage situations. His success dwindled later in the season, as he gave up nine runs in his final 12 innings and struggled with his control, but Britton proved that he can get major league hitters out. 
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October 24, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Manuel Margot and Christian Vazquez


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.

#14: Manuel Margot, OF
2013 Team: Lowell Spinners
Final Stats: 216 PA, .270/.346/.351, 1 HR, 8 2B, 22 BB, 40 K, 18 SB

Links:

Season in Review: Following a successful professional debut in 2012, Margot was assigned to the short-season Lowell Spinners for the first state-side assignment of his young career. While he did manage to get a hit in 12 out of his first 15 games, he got out to a relatively nondescript start, hitting .254/.343/.307 through July 24, when a hamstring injury laid him up. After a DL stint, he returned on August 16 with a vengeance, showing glimpses of his potential with a .447/.475/.658 line over his first eight games back. He came back down to earth to close the year (.121/.216/.152 in his final nine games), but while his overall numbers don’t necessarily pop, the 18-year-old held his own during an aggressive assignment, especially when one considers he faced older pitchers in all but two plate appearances this season. Playing with older competition did affect his game in other ways as well: after stealing 33 bases on 42 attempts last year, he had just a 68 percent rate this year, swiping 19 in 28 attempts. He also showed little power—his lone home run was of the inside-the-park variety.
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October 23, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Red Sox acquire Alex Castellanos from Dodgers in exchange for Jeremy Hazelbaker


The Red Sox announced on Wednesday that they acquired the versatile Alex Castellanos from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker (pictured) and cash considerations. In order to make room for Castellanos on the 40-man roster, the club designated Pedro Beato for assignment. Castellanos could compete for a spot on Boston's bench in 2014, but he has one option remaining and could see time in Pawtucket as well.

Castellanos, 27, was designated for assignment on October 17. Originally drafted by, ironically, the St. Louis Cardinals in the 10th round of the 2008 draft, he was traded to Los Angeles at the trade deadline in 2011 in exchange for Rafael Furcal. He made his major league debut last season, and has hit just .171/.186/.390 in 43 plate appearances over 24 games. 2013 was a down season for Castellanos in the hitter-friendly Triple-A Pacific Coast League as well, as he hit just .257/.347/.468, albeit with 19 home runs, in 439 plate appearances for Albuquerque after a pair of extremely successful minor league campaigns.
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at 9:00 AM

SoxProspects.com Podcast #46: Listener Question Bonanza!


During a lull before the World Series, Chris, Jon, and Ian got together to answer a bunch of your questions. Bogaerts and Workman on baseball's biggest stage! What players have made the biggest improvements this year? Who's everyone's next prospect binkie going to be? Just how ridiculous of a double-entendre can Chris use to describe his beard? All this and much more await. Listen now!

Links and in-site player after the jump.

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at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Teddy Stankiewicz and Brian Johnson


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: Lowell Spinners
Final Stats: 19 2/3 IP, 0-0, 2.29 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 15 SO, 2 BB


Season in Review: Stankiewicz, a second-round pick of the Mets in 2012, spent a year at Seminole State College after not signing. The move paid off, as the Red Sox selected Stankiewicz with the 45th overall selection. He originally signed for a reported $1.1M, but his bonus was cut to $915K after his physical revealed a minor issue. He debuted on July 21 for the Lowell Spinners, and the Red Sox limited his innings by having him work his way up from one to three innings per start. Stankiewicz dominated the New York-Penn League, as he did not allow his second run until his sixth appearance, and ultimately had a WHIP below 1.00 over nine games. The 19-year-old showed impressive control as he walked only two batters over 19 2/3 innings, while striking out 15. 
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October 22, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Xander Bogaerts Prospect Retrospective


Xander Bogaerts has reportedly been installed as having 15-1 odds to win the World Series MVP this year, and we've heard many writers comment that that bet would be a great value proposition. 
Could anybody have pegged that as even a one-in-a-million possibility a year ago?  But here we are, the Red Sox slated to start Game 1 of the Word Series on Wednesday night, and Bogaerts primed to play a big role in the series. It's the essence of what makes baseball -- and following prospects on their climb up the minor league ladder -- so riveting.  

Bogaerts' story may be new to many on the national stage, but here at SoxProspects we've been covering the Aruban phenom in depth for years. Here's a cross section of some of our coverage on Bogaerts over the years:

2009
Sox sign Jair & Xander Bogaerts (Mike Andrews, Sept. 1, 2009 (forum post))

2010
2010 SoxProspects.com Players of the Year (Matt Huegel, Sept. 17, 2010)
The Book: Xander Bogaerts (Chris Mellen, Oct. 8, 2010)

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at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Bryce Brentz and Deven Marrero


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.

#18: Bryce Brentz, OF
2013 Teams: GCL Red Sox/Pawtucket Red Sox 
Final Stats: 368 PA, .262/.313/.487, 19 HR, 18 2B, 21 BB, 90 K

Season in Review: Coming off an impressive 2012 season, 2013 did not start off as planned for Brentz, who missed much of Spring Training recovering from an injury due to an accidental gun discharge. Brentz was ready for the start of the year, however, and he was his typical, power-hitting self, putting up a .272/.321/.487 line with 16 home runs in 75 games through July 5, almost perfectly in line with his career averages. On July 5, Brentz injured his knee sliding into second base and suffered a torn meniscus, leading many to think his season was over following surgery. But after healing rapidly, Brentz joined the GCL Red Sox on a rehab assignment in late August and returned to Pawtucket on August 25, homering in his first game back. Post injury, Brentz only appeared in seven games for Pawtucket, hitting .167 with a home run and three RBI, then hitting .118 in eight playoff games. Despite the shortened season, Brentz was named a 2013 SoxProspects.com All-Star, as his 19 home runs tied for the system lead and his .487 slugging percentage good for third.
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October 21, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Saguaros get on a roll, Dominican League begins


The Dominican Winter League began this week as offseason baseball kicked into full swing. This week's roundup covers the period of October 14-20.

Arizona Fall League:

The Surprise Saguaros went 4-2 this week, and are currently on a three game winning streak. Mookie Betts appeared in three games this week, going 2 for 8 with a double, RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. Fellow infielder Garin Cecchini (pictured) had a nice week, going 6 for 15 two doubles, two RBI and four walks in four contests. 

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at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Wendell Rijo and Jon Denney


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.

#20: Wendell Rijo, 2B 
2013 Teams: GCL Red Sox/Lowell Spinners 
Final Stats: .277/.367/.375, 16 2B, 0 HR, 22 BB, 32 K

Links: 
Smith, Rijo, Flores, Meyers added to Lowell from GCL
SoxProspects Video of the Week: Young international hitters
Dispatches from the Fort
Dispatches from the Fort: Fall Instructs edition

Season in Review: Just 17 until the very last day of his season, Rijo, who signed out of the Dominican Republic in July 2012, jumped straight to the GCL and held his own. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound second baseman had team-highs in runs (28), hits (46), doubles (15), RBI (20), and steals (15). Rijo’s season was punctuated by a monster 16-game stretch in July, during which he hit .415/.508/.585 with nine doubles and nine walks, and he hit .299/.373/.416 in his final 43 games. Rijo’s GCL efforts were enough to merit a three-game stint with the Spinners in September. He went 5-for-14 with a double and triple, as well as at least one hit in each game.
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October 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Red Sox sign righty Hinojosa, acquire infielder Rider


The Red Sox have made a pair of minor-league deals. Per Ben Badler of Baseball America, Boston has signed right-handed pitcher Dalier Hinojosa to a minor league contract. Hinojosa defected from Cuba in June. Per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Hinojosa received a bonus of $4 million. Because of his age, his bonus will not count against the Red Sox international cap.

Matt Eddy, also of Baseball America, reports that the Red Sox have acquired infielder Jimmy Rider from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for future considerations. 

Hinojosa, 27, a 6-foot, 210-pound right-hander, was with the Guantanamo team in Cuba's Serie Nacional from 2005 until he defected this season. Per Jesse Sanchez at MLB.com, he throws a four-seam fastball in the low-to-mid 90s, supplemented by a two-seam fastball, slider, curve, and change. During the 2011-12 season, his final full campaign in Cuba, Hinojosa had a 3.40 ERA in 121 2/3 innings, striking out 115 and walking 35.
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October 18, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Luis Diaz and Alex Hassan


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.


#22 Luis Diaz, RHP
2013 Team: Greenville Drive/Salem Red Sox
Final Stats: 101 IP, 9-4, 1.96 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 94 SO, 24 BB

Links:

Season in Review: Diaz got a late start to his 2013 campaign, not making his debut until May 27. He showed some rust to start, as the 21-year-old pitched to a 4.55 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP in 27 2/3 innings over his first five starts with Greenville. But things clicked in late June for the Venezuelan, and from his start on June 25 onward, he was arguably the best pitcher in the system. In his 10 starts for the Drive before a promotion to Salem on August 20, he allowed just 38 hits and 11 walks in 62 innings, posting an 0.87 ERA and striking out 63 hitters. He continued his dominance in the Carolina League, where he surrendered two runs while striking out eight and walking four over 12 innings, then threw eight shutout innings in his lone start in Salem’s five-game sweep through the playoffs. Over the course of that run, he was named the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month for both July and August. Among pitchers with at least 80 innings, Diaz led the organization in ERA (1.96) and WHIP (1.08), while placing in the top five in BB/9 (2.14) and wins (nine).
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October 17, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Jamie Callahan and Ty Buttrey


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.

#24: Jamie Callahan, RHP

2013 Team: Lowell Spinners
Final Stats: 59.7 IP, 5-1, 3.92 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 54 SO, 17 BB

Links:

Season in Review: After being selected in the second round of the 2012 draft by the Red Sox, Callahan pitched just 8 2/3 innings last season in the GCL. He impressed with the Lowell Spinners in 2013, however, striking out 54 batters in 59 2/3 innings pitched. Following a strong first start and a few bumps in the road in early July, Callahan caught fire just before August, striking out 17 batters and giving up just one hit while facing the minimum in 12 innings over two starts. These two outings earned him two straight Pitcher of the Week Awards on both SoxProspects.com and in the New York-Penn League, and started a stretch of eight starts to end the year in which he allowed 24 hits and eight walks over 38 innings, striking out 39 batters and posting a 2.84 ERA.
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October 16, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Michael Almanzar and Rafael Devers


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.

#26 Michael Almanzar, 3B/1B
2013 Team: Portland Sea Dogs
Final Stats: .268/.328/.432, 16 HR, 81 RBI, 42 BB, 100 K

Links:

Season in Review: Six years after signing a $1.5 million contract, Almanzar reached Double-A following a strong 2012 with Salem. He responded with a fast start, logging eight hits in the Sea Dogs’ first four games, including five for extra bases. By mid-May, Almanzar was hitting .302/.370/.525 and had forced his way into the SoxProspects.com Top 20 for the first time since May 2009, and later earning Eastern League All-Star honors. Unfortunately, he sputtered after his hot start, hitting just .255/.312/.397 from May 18 forward. Almanzar still finished in the top ten in the Eastern League in several offensive categories, including hits (tenth), doubles (ninth), RBI (fifth) and total bases (sixth). Almanzar’s 16 home runs tied him for third in the Red Sox organization, and his 13 stolen bases were a new career high. However, of the 16 home runs, just five came after June 5.
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October 15, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Cody Kukuk and Sean Coyle


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.

#28: Cody Kukuk, LHP
2013 Team: Greenville Drive
Final Stats: 107 IP, 4-13, 4.63 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 113 K, 81 BB

Links:

Season in Review: After a lost 2012, Kukuk spent 2013 getting his first taste of full-season ball with the Drive. He was able to log 107 innings after getting just 10 innings in the GCL last year, and he was also able to strike out more than a batter an inning. He hit a particularly rough patch in a two-start stretch in May, failing to get out of the first inning in either appearance. Although he gave up just a single hit in each start, he walked eight and hit another batter in just 1 1/3 combined, throwing 38 strikes in 91 pitches. Two games pitching out of the bullpen to follow that, however, seemed to straighten him out some, and he followed with his best start on June 10, when he went 5 1/3 innings, striking out nine, while allowing only two hits and three walks. As impressive as his strikeout totals were, he finished with an unimpressive walk total of 81, due in part to nine starts in which he walked at least a batter an inning.
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October 14, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Dan Butler and Alex Wilson


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.

#30: Dan Butler, C
2013 Team: Pawtucket Red Sox
Final Stats: 323 PA, .262/.350/.479, 14 HR, 45 RBI, 19 2B, 34 BB, 59 K

Links:

Season in Review: After finishing 2012 with Triple-A Pawtucket, Butler returned to the PawSox for the 2013 campaign. The 26-year-old made strides at the plate, hitting a career-best 14 home runs while continuing to have a penchant for getting on base. Splitting time with Ryan Lavarnway to start the season, Butler got off to a pedestrian .218/.329/.370 start in his first 36 games. However, once he took over full-time starting duties behind the dish, Butler took off, hitting .294/.366/.558 the rest of the way, clubbing 11 home runs in 48 games. Butler got hot enough in July, hitting .362/.464/.690 with five home runs and 11 RBI, that he was named the SoxProspects.com Player of the Month.
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at 8:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Fall seasons begin


The fall leagues kicked off this week, with the Arizona Fall League, Venezuelan Winter League, and the Mexican Pacific League all beginning games. The Dominican Winter League begins play on October 18, and the Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico) Baseball League begins on November 1.

This is the first in our series of weekly roundups of the Fall/Winter Leagues, and look for coverage to continue every Monday morning into January. This week's roundup covers the period of October 7-13.

Arizona Fall League:

Games started on October 8, with eight Red Sox prospects seeing action for the Surprise Saguaros. Mookie Betts has played both second base and shortstop, going 3 for 9 with a walk and two stolen bases. Fellow top prospect Garin Cecchini is hitless in his first eight at-bats, but has walked three times and also stolen two bases.
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October 11, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Keury De La Cruz and Henry Ramos


For the next five weeks, SoxProspects.com will count down its season-end top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead for them in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

2013 Team: Salem Red Sox
Final Stats: 575 PA, .258/.297/.398, 9 HR, 36 2B, 31 BB, 130 K, 16 SB

Links:

Season in Review: After a strong year in 2012 at Low A Greenville earned him a late-season promotion to High A, Keury De La Cruz struggled in his return to Salem in 2013. Ranked 17th in the system back in April, De La Cruz’s stock dropped over the course of the summer and nearly all his offensive numbers fell from their totals during the previous season. In many ways, the outfielder’s aggressive approach caught up with him, as his on-base percentage fell below .300, and he finished with just 31 walks in 575 plate appearances. Though he did have an impressive June, winning the SoxProspects.com Player of the Month award after hitting .387/.415/.523, that was by far his best month for the 21-year-old Dominican. He hit the wall particularly hard in August, hitting just .180/.221/.303 for the month with 42 strikeouts in 131 plate appearances, although he continued to hit for good power for the pitcher-friendly Carolina League. – Alex Skillin
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October 10, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Sergio Gomez and Simon Mercedes


For the next five weeks, SoxProspects.com will count down its season-end top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead for them in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#34: Sergio Gomez, RHP
2013 Teams: Lowell Spinners/Greenville Drive
Final Stats: 78 IP, 4-4, 2.08 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 80 K, 24 BB


Season in Review: Gomez, who turned 20 in August, had a successful season, albeit his fourth as a professional and the first in which he completely avoided the GCL. After a spot-start for Greenville in June, the 6-foot-3, 155-pound Gomez reported to Lowell, where he was the Spinners’ opening day starter and he dominated the New York-Penn League to the tune of a 3.93 strikeout-to-walk ratio while fanning more than a batter per inning. Those numbers decreased when he moved back up to Greenville—he posted a 1.17 ERA over six games (30 2/3 innings) to earn the promotion—but he still impressed. Gomez’ season ended on a two-start, 12-inning scoreless streak in which he struck out nine and allowed five hits.
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October 9, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Daniel McGrath and Pat Light


For the next five weeks, SoxProspects.com will count down its season-end top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead for them in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#36: Daniel McGrath, LHP
2013 Teams: GCL Red Sox/Lowell Spinners
Final Stats: 53 1/3 IP, 3-4, 3.54 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 65 K, 19 BB

Links:

Season in Review: After signing in 2012 for $400,000, McGrath made his pro debut in 2013, and it did not take long for the young 6-foot-3 left-hander to prove he belonged. Named the GCL opening day starter, he needed just four starts to show he was ready to move on, allowing only three earned runs on eight hits and six walks over 20 innings, while striking out 30. Based on that strong start, the Red Sox promoted the 18 year-old to short-season Lowell on July 19, where he went 3-3 with a 4.86 ERA and 1.26 WHIP and 35 strikeouts to 13 walks over 33 1/3 innings. Perhaps most impressive was the streak of 25 consecutive batters he retired over four appearances from July 26 to August 18. He tailed off a bit in his last few starts, but overall, it was a strong season for the 18-year-old Aussie. The numbers at Lowell were not quite as dominant, but the strikeout rate remained strong and the overall performance was enough to win McGrath the SoxProspects.com Rookie of the Year award.
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October 8, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Myles Smith and Tzu-Wei Lin


For the next five weeks, SoxProspects.com will count down its season-end top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead for them in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#38: Myles Smith, RHP
2013 Teams: GCL Red Sox/Lowell Spinners
Final Stats: 10 2/3 IP, 0-0, 1.69 ERA, 0.47 WHIP, 12 K, 0 BB

Links

Season in Review: After he was selected in the fourth round by the Red Sox out of NAIA Lee University, things got off to a bumpy start for Smith. He was the last of Boston's top 10 picks to sign amid unconfirmed rumors about either side of the negotiations reneging on an agreed-to bonus, and he eventually received a $400,000 signing bonus the day before the signing deadline. However, once he started pitching, things took off for the right-hander, who had only committed to pitching full-time in 2012. In four, two-inning starts in the Gulf Coast League, Smith allowed just three baserunners, on a single, a hit-by-pitch, and a fielding error, while striking out eight. That dominant performance earned him a promotion to Lowell for one start, the Spinners' final game of the season, and he gave up two runs on four hits, striking out three in 2 2/3 innings.

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October 7, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Nick Longhi and Corey Littrell


For the next five weeks, SoxProspects.com will count down its end-of-season top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and looking at what's ahead for them in 2014. Please note that we will be using the site's official end-of-season rankings, meaning that any moves after September 28 will not be reflected in the countdown. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#40: Nick Longhi, OF/1B
2013 Team: GCL Red Sox
Final Stats: 50 PA, .178/.245/.356, 1 HR, 5 2B, 3 BB, 12 K

Links:

Season in Review: While he was not selected until the 30th round, Longhi was one of the most exciting players to join the Red Sox organization in 2013. Longhi was ranked as a top-300 prospect in the 2013 draft class by Baseball America, but fell because teams were worried that he would be a tough sign. Indeed, it took $440,000, the fourth-highest bonus handed out by the Sox, for Longhi to forgo his commitment to LSU. With only 50 professional plate appearances, it is tough to read much from Longhi’s 2013 stat line, but it is worth noting that six of his eight hits went for extra bases, reflecting his plus power potential. Longhi split his time with the GCL Red Sox between left field and first base, where he got six appearances apiece.
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October 4, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Weekly Notes: Ranking season begins


This week's minor league notes:

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at 12:00 PM

Dispatches from the Fort: Fall Instructs edition


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A couple weeks ago, I got the chance to attend a couple days of the first week of the Fall Instructional League, better known as Instructs. Although much of what I was able to see was originally posted on Twitter, what follows is a compendium of what I was able to catch over the two days.

Saturday: Game @ Twins

Forgive me if this is light on hitter information. On Saturday, the Twins threw stud prospect (and former Red Sox draftee) Alex Meyer for the first three innings, keeping the right-hander ready for the Arizona Fall League. He was sitting in the mid-to-high 90s—there were gasps from the pitchers behind the backstop when he hit 99 mph—with a great slider and change in the mid-80s, so the Low A-and-below lineup fielded by the Sox stood NO chance. He struck out six in three innings, giving up just one hit and one walk.

The Twins followed with Alex Wimmers, a former first-round pick who has, like Meyer, reached Double-A. However, he is coming back from Tommy John surgery and looked it, sitting in the mid-80s. So generally, it was hard to take much from Red Sox players’ at-bats for the first six innings, for opposite reasons.

As for that Sox lineup on Saturday, it was as follows (the second column of players entered in the fifth):

DH Bryan Hudson
2B Mike Miller / Wendell Rijo
LF Aneury Tavarez / Mike Meyers
C Alixon Suarez / David Sopilka
3B Rafael Devers / Deiner Lopez
RF Joseph Monge
1B Nick Longhi / Nick Moore
CF Jordon Austin / Manuel Margot
SS Raymel Flores / Javier Guerra
DH Jon Denney
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at 8:30 AM

Staff Top 40 Rankings: Wrap-up


This week, we wrapped up the season with our staff top 40 ranking lists. To start, here are links to all of the lists:

Monday - Jon Meoli (@JonMeoli)
Tuesday - Chris Hatfield (@SPChrisHatfield)
Wednesday - Matt Huegel (@MattHuegelSP)
Thursday - Ian Cundall (@IanCundall)
Friday - Mike Andrews (@MikeAndrewsSP)

Now that everything is said and done, here is how the five of us came out, on average:

1. Xander Bogaerts
2. Jackie Bradley, Jr.
3. Henry Owens
4. Garin Cecchini
5. Blake Swihart
6. Allen Webster
7. Matt Barnes
8. Anthony Ranaudo
9. Mookie Betts
10. Brandon Workman

11. Trey Ball
12. Drake Britton
13. Christian Vazquez
14. Manuel Margot
15. Teddy Stankiewicz
16. Bryce Brentz
17. Brian Johnson
18. Deven Marrero
19. Wendell Rijo
20. Jon Denney
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at 8:00 AM

Staff Top 40 Rankings: Mike Andrews


This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass have been posting their end-of-season Top 40 rankings and answering some questions about their lists. We'll release our aggregate rankings later today along with the final results of the voting on our site forum. Winding up the series is Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews, which list also happens to be the site rankings, since he's the Boss the Dude.

The Rankings:
1. Xander Bogaerts
2. Jackie Bradley, Jr.
3. Garin Cecchini
4. Henry Owens
5. Matt Barnes
6. Anthony Ranaudo
7. Allen Webster
8. Blake Swihart
9. Trey Ball
10. Mookie Betts

11. Brandon Workman
12. Drake Britton
13. Christian Vazquez
14. Manuel Margot
15. Brian Johnson
16. Teddy Stankiewicz
17. Deven Marrero
18. Bryce Brentz
19. Jon Denney
20. Wendell Rijo
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October 3, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Staff Top 40 Rankings: Ian Cundall


This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass are 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. Up next, coming to you from across the pond in London, is Northeast Scout Ian Cundall.

The Rankings:

1. Xander Bogaerts
2. Jackie Bradley Jr.
3. Henry Owens
4. Blake Swihart
5. Allen Webster
6. Garin Cecchini
7. Matt Barnes
8. Mookie Betts
9. Brandon Workman
10. Anthony Ranaudo

11. Christian Vazquez
12. Manuel Margot
13. Teddy Stankiewicz
14. Drake Britton
15. Bryce Brentz
16. Trey Ball
17. Brian Johnson
18. Rafael Devers
19. Alex Hassan
20. Wendell Rijo
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October 2, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Staff Top 40 Rankings: Matt Huegel


This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass are 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. Bringing you his list for Hump Day is Managing Editor Matt Huegel.

The Rankings:
1. Xander Bogaerts
2. Jackie Bradley Jr.
3. Garin Cecchini
4. Henry Owens
5. Blake Swihart
6. Allen Webster
7. Matt Barnes
8. Anthony Ranaudo
9. Trey Ball
10. Mookie Betts

11. Christian Vazquez
12. Manuel Margot
13. Brandon Workman
14. Drake Britton
15. Deven Marrero
16. Teddy Stankiewicz
17. Brian Johnson
18. Bryce Brentz
19. Alex Hassan
20. Jon Denney
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October 1, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Staff Top 40 Rankings: Chris Hatfield


This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass are 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. Bringing you today’s list is Executive Editor Chris Hatfield.

The Rankings:
1. Xander Bogaerts
2. Jackie Bradley, Jr.
3. Henry Owens
4. Garin Cecchini
5. Blake Swihart
6. Matt Barnes
7. Allen Webster
8. Anthony Ranaudo
9. Mookie Betts
10. Trey Ball

11. Brandon Workman
12. Drake Britton
13. Manuel Margot
14. Teddy Stankiewicz
15. Christian Vazquez
16. Brian Johnson
17. Bryce Brentz
18. Wendell Rijo
19. Rafael Devers
20. Deven Marrero

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