SoxProspects News

November 30, 2013 at 8:42 PM

SoxProspects.com Podcast #48: The Slow Season


There may not be much going on, but Chris, Matt, and Jon still got up from their Thanksgiving naps to answer some reader questions. Among the subjects on tap were how contracts are calculated against the Competitive Balance Tax, how the Sox plan to use Cuban pitcher Dalier Hinojosa, what to make of Brian Johnson's 2013 season, and a lightning round of quick player questions. Inspired by a listener email, we debuted a new regular segment, tentatively called "Where Are They Now?", where we check in on former Sox prospects. Today, we look back at the prospects involved in the Adrian Gonzalez trade.

Links after the jump.

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November 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Attention shifts to Caribbean, Jerez shining in Venezuela


With the Arizona Fall League wrapped up, attention turned to other winter leagues around the world. This week’s roundup covers Nov. 18-24.

Dominican Winter League:

Allen Webster picked up his first victory of the offseason, hurling five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks, punching out seven against Aguilas on Tuesday. 

Bryce Brentz was 0 for 2 in his lone game of the week. 

JC Linares appeared in two contests, going 1 for 5 with a run scored. 

Free agent Rafael Perez continued to pitch well, throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief across two appearances. Perez has allowed just one earned run in 9 1/3 innings. 

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November 22, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Luis Ortega traded to Brewers for reliever Burke Badenhop


The Red Sox have traded left-handed pitcher Luis Ortega (pictured) to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for right-handed reliever Burke Badenhop.

Badenhop, 30, has appeared in 280 games over parts of six seasons with the Marlins, Rays, and Brewers. Consistency has been the calling card of the 6-foot-5 righty since moving to the bullpen full-time in 2010. In each of the last four seasons, he has posted an ERA between 3.03 and 4.10 while throwing between 63 and 68 innings each year. In both 2012 and 2013, Badenhop struck out 42, walked 12, and allowed six home runs in 62 1/3 innings, allowing one fewer hit (62) in the latter year.
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November 21, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Red Sox re-sign infielder Brandon Snyder


The Red Sox have re-signed corner infielder Brandon Snyder (pictured) to a minor league deal, according to the Pawtucket Red Sox official website. The deal also includes an invitation to spring training. The team also lost three minor league relievers this week. Left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith inked a minor league deal with Arizona, while righties Brock Huntzinger and Anthony Carter signed on with Baltimore and San Diego, respectively. 

Snyder, who turns 27 on Saturday, appeared in 68 games with Triple-A Pawtucket and 27 at the big league level. While he has previous professional experience at catcher and in the outfield, he was used almost exclusively at the infield corners last season, with the exception of two innings in the outfield during a blowout victory in September. Snyder hit .261/.332/.454 for the PawSox and went 9 for 50 with two home runs in the majors. He currently projects to begin the season as the starting first baseman for PawSox. 
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November 20, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Cecchini, Ranaudo, Brentz added to 40-man roster


Before Wednesday's deadline to place players on the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft on December 12, the Red Sox have made three additions: third baseman Garin Cecchini, outfielder Bryce Brentz, and right-hander Anthony Ranaudo. Following these moves, Boston has one open slot remaining on its 40-man roster.

Cecchini is coming off a breakout season in which he hit .322/.443/.471 across two levels and rose to the number three prospect in the Boston system on SoxProspects.com. A fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft, Cecchini has been an All-Star in each of the last three seasons, earning honors in the New York-Penn League in 2011, South Atlantic League in 2012, and in the Carolina League in 2013. He was promoted to Double-A Portland on June 21, and selected to play in the Futures Game during the All-Star break. Cecchini projects to begin 2014 as the starting third baseman at Triple-A Pawtucket.
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November 18, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Red Sox 40-man roster additions expected



Look for Boston to make at least three roster moves on Wednesday to protect prospects from selection by other teams in the 2013 Rule 5 Draft. 

Eligible players must be added to their teams’ respective 40-man rosters by close-of-business on Nov. 20 in order to be protected from selection in the Rule 5 Draft, which is scheduled to take place on Dec. 12, the final day of the winter meetings. If selected, the player must stick on the drafting team’s 25-man roster for the entire 2014 season, or must be offered back to the Red Sox. 


Check out the full column on ESPN Boston.
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at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Surprise wins title, struggles continue for Webster


Arizona Fall League:

Mookie Betts went 5 for 12 this week, which included a 1 for 3 performance in the AFL Championship Game on Saturday. Betts hit an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth that stretched Surprise's lead to two. Betts finished the AFL with a .271/.368/.373 line, walking nine times and striking out 10 times in 59 at-bats.

While he did not show much power in Arizona, Garin Cecchini still posted a .434 on-base percentage, which is right in line with the .443 on-base percentage he had in 129 games between Salem and Portland this season. He went 4 for 11 this week and went 0 for 3 with a walk in the title game.
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November 17, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Cecchini receives Stenson Award


Before his Surprise Saguaros wrapped up their Arizona Fall League season with a 2-0 win in the league's championship game, Red Sox prospect Garin Cecchini was honored with the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award on Saturday. The award is given to the player who exemplifies the hard work, leadership and humility that former Reds outfielder Stenson demonstrated before his death in 2003.

Cecchini was the first Boston prospect to receive the award since its inception in 2004. The five other finalists were Andy Burns (Blue Jays), Travis Mattair (Reds), Jonathan Meyer (Astros), Devon Travis (Tigers) and Cory Vaughn (Mets). The award is named after former Red Sox outfield prospect Dernell Stenson, the system's top prospect in 2001 according to Baseball America, who was tragically killed in 2003 while playing in the AFL as a member of the Reds organization.

Cecchini has displayed unselfishness from day one of his professional career. Upon signing a $1.31 million bonus as a fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft, Cecchini donated $20,000 to the Jimmy Fund. He has also given money to churches in Louisiana to aid in their mission work in Nicaragua, whose orphans have also received baseball equipment from the Red Sox farmhand. For more on Cecchini's past largesse, see D.J. Bean's article on WEEI.com.
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at 10:03 AM

Ian Cundall promoted to Director of Scouting


I'm happy to announce that Ian Cundall has been promoted to SoxProspects Director of Scouting.  Ian joined the staff in October 2010 as a Northeast Scout under the tutelage of Chris Mellen. Since that time, he has been a regular at Pawtucket, Portland, and Lowell, while also making several trips to Ft. Myers.  Ian has also authored the site's Scouting Scratch feature and been a regular guest on our Podcast.  In his new role, Ian will take over responsibility for the site's scouting reports.  Mellen, now a scout and writer for Baseball Prospectus, will stay with SoxProspects as Senior Scouting Advisor

Additionally, Steve Henley has been promoted to Senior Web Editor; Alex Skillin, Rebecca Fishbein, and Keith Wade have each been promoted to Web Editor; and Matt Picard has been promoted to Web Editor & Moderator. 

I'm also excited to announce that all other members of the SoxProspects Staff will be back for 2014, hopefully making for another great year. We also may be opening up a few new positions in the coming weeks.
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November 15, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Red Sox re-sign Mario Martinez, add Tommy Layne and Mike McCoy


According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Red Sox have re-signed third baseman Mario Martinez, and signed left-handed reliever Tommy Layne (pictured) and utility man Mike McCoy to minor league contracts. Per the Baseball America minor league free agent tracker, infielder Jonathan Diaz has signed with the Blue Jays and righty Nate Striz has a deal with Colorado. 

Martinez was originally signed to minor league deal by Boston on May 30th and was assigned to Low A Greenville. The minor league veteran hit .285/.328/.424, driving in 54 runs in 76 games while shoring up third base for the Drive. 

Layne, 29, made 40 appearances out of the San Diego bullpen between 2012 and 2013. Layne was used primarily as a left-handed specialist with the Padres, as 27 of the 39 batters he faced on the year hit from the left side. In all, he has compiled a 2.85 ERA and 1.066 WHIP, striking out 31 and walking 8 in 24 1/3 innings. Despite a low ERA, Layne struggled with his control in 2013, walking 27 in 46 Triple-A innings and five in 8 2/3 at the big league level. After being designated for assignment, San Diego outrighted Layne on October 25, making him a free agent. 
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November 11, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Travis Shaw’s big week has Surprise close to clinching


Right as the Roberto Clemente League is getting into full gear, the Arizona Fall League is hitting the home stretch of its regular season. With four games to go — one each Monday through Thursday — the Surprise Saguaros could clinch the division as soon as Tuesday afternoon. This week’s roundup covers Nov. 4-10.

Arizona Fall League:

A 3-3 week for the Saguaros left the team with a 2.5-game lead over the Glendale Desert Dogs, its magic number in the AFL West down to three.

Travis Shaw put together a huge week, going 7 for 13 with five runs scored and two driven in. He walked five times — at least once in each of his four games — while scoring as many runs. His fall slash line is up to .352/.446/.722.
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November 8, 2013 at 8:22 AM

A look at potential Sox rookies in 2014


The World Series trophy in hand, the Red Sox can look forward to 2014 with confidence on a number of fronts. First and foremost, a significant portion of the core of the 2013 championship team is under contract and expected to return. Even a few of the recently filed free agents may return. 

On top of that, the upper levels of the farm system are stacked with talent, whether it be as potential impact starters, role players, emergency depth, or potential September call-ups. In fact, “Baseball America” recently ranked Boston as the No. 1 system in the majors in terms of prospects poised to deliver short-term value. (And frankly, the Astros weren't that close at No. 2). 

Check out the full column on ESPN Boston.
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at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Xander Bogaerts


Today, we wrap up our 2013 Top 40 Season in Review with who else but Boston's budding Aruban superstar. You can check out the other entries in this year’s series here.

2013 Teams: Portland Sea Dogs/Pawtucket Red Sox/Boston Red Sox
Final Stats: 515 PA, .297/.388/.477, 15 HR, 23 2B, 63 BB, 95 K (minors)
50 PA, .250/.320/.364, 1 HR, 2 2B, 5 BB, 13 K (majors)

Links:

Pre-2013: Entering this year, Bogaerts was already among the game’s brightest young prospects, considered unanimously to be one of the top 20 prospects in the game after three seasons as a pro. The Aruban shortstop signed with the Red Sox in August 2009 along with his twin brother, Jair, and received a $510,000 signing bonus. Debuting the following summer in the Dominican Summer League, he showed the talent that had first excited Red Sox scouts after seeing him on the backfields of Aruba, hitting .314/.396/.423 with three home runs and seven doubles over 239 at-bats. SoxProspects.com readers voted him the system’s Rookie of the Year, and the Red Sox tabbed him as Latin Program Player of the Year.
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November 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Jackie Bradley, Jr.


This week, SoxProspects.com wraps up its season-end countdown of the top 40 prospects in the system, 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: Pawtucket Red Sox/Boston Red Sox
Final Stats: 374 PA, .275/.374/.469, 26 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 41 BB, 75 SO, 7 SB (minors)
107 PA, .189/.280/.337, 5 2B, 3 HR, 10 BB, 31 SO, 2 SB (majors)

Links:

Pre-2013: Bradley was projected to be a high first-round draft pick coming out of South Carolina in 2011 following a year in which he earned Most Outstanding Player honors in the College World Series, but a torn ligament in his wrist caused him to slump to a .259/.361/.468 line that season, dropping his draft stock. Fortunately for the Red Sox, Bradley dropped to the supplemental first round, where the team drafted him with the 40th pick overall. The outfielder signed for a $1.1 million bonus that August, and appeared in 10 games between Lowell and Greenville that season to get a taste of pro ball.
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November 6, 2013 at 8:30 AM

SoxProspects.com Podcast #47: Offseason Preview


After shaking off their World Series hangovers, Chris, Matt, and Ian pulled themselves together to set up the offseason. Listener e-mails covered which upper-level pitchers might move to the bullpen, a review of who the heck Devern Hansack was, and how players get picked for the Arizona Fall League. The offseason preview covered the rest of the winter leagues, the Rule 5 draft, free agency, and everything you need to know to get you through until pitchers and catchers.

Links after the jump.

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at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Garin Cecchini


This week, SoxProspects.com wraps up its season-end countdown of the top 40 prospects in the system, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#3 Garin Cecchini, 3B

2013 Teams: Salem Red Sox/Portland Sea Dogs
Final Stats: 557 PA, .322/.443/.471, 7 HR, 33 2B, 7 3B, 94 BB, 86 SO, 23 SB

Links:

Pre-2013: After an ACL injury during his senior year in high school weakened his draft stock, the Red Sox scooped up Cecchini in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, signing him away from a commitment to LSU with a $1.31 million signing bonus. He made his professional debut in 2011 with the Lowell Spinners, making the transition from shortstop to third base. He struggled a bit in his first taste of pro ball, beginning his year in a 5 for 32 rut and hitting .215 as late as 21 games into his season. However, he still showed an ability to draw walks and drive the ball when he made contact, with a .311 on-base percentage and .392 slugging mark at that point, and the breakout those numbers portended came to be, as he hit safely in nine of his final 11 games that season for a .486/.581/.743 line. Unfortunately, a wrist fracture on July 23 ended his season just as he was getting hot. In all, he posted a .298/.398/.500 line with three home runs, 12 doubles, and 12 stolen bases in 32 games, showing his inexperience at the hot corner with 10 errors, while also transitioning from shortstop to third base.
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at 7:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Cecchini shines in AFL All-Star Game


The Puerto Rican Winter League began action this week as an increasing amount of Red Sox prospects made impacts in leagues around the globe. Additionally, two top prospects were highlighted in Saturday's Arizona Fall League All-Star contest. This week's roundup covers the period of October 28-November 3.

Arizona Fall League:

The Surprise Saguaros went 3-1-1 this week, and hold a three and a half game lead in the AFL Western Division.  Mookie Betts appeared in two games this week, going 1 for 9 with a run scored and three stolen bases. Betts also appeared in the AFL All-Star game, starting at second base, going 0 for 1 with a walk and a run scored. Fellow infielder Garin Cecchini (pictured) has cooled off as of late, going 0 for 7 with two walks in two games this week. Cecchini joined Betts in the AFL All-Star game, going 1 for 2 with a solo home run in the eighth inning. The West Stars defeated the East Stars, 9-2. 

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November 5, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Henry Owens


This week, SoxProspects.com wraps up its season-end countdown of the top 40 prospects in the system, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#4 Henry Owens, LHP
2013 Teams: Salem Red Sox/Portland Sea Dogs
Final Stats: 135 IP, 11-6, 2.67 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 169 SO, 68 BB

Links:

Pre-2013: The Red Sox selected California high schooler Owens in the supplemental first round (36th overall) in the 2011 Draft as a tall, projectable left-hander with a high ceiling. He signed in mid-August at the deadline, with $1.55 million enough to lure him away from his commitment to the University of Miami. Although he signed too late to make his pro debut that season, he participated in the Fall Instructional League.
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November 4, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Matt Barnes


This week, SoxProspects.com wraps up its season-end countdown of the top 40 prospects in the system, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#5 Matt Barnes, RHP
2013 Teams: Portland Sea Dogs/Pawtucket Red Sox
2013 Stats: 113 1/3 IP, 6-10, 4.13 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 142 K, 48 BB

Links:

Pre-2013: After an extremely impressive performance in the Cape Cod League followed up by a dominant junior season at the University of Connecticut, the Red Sox made Barnes the 19th overall selection in the 2011 draft. The 6-foot-4 right-hander did not sign until the August 15 deadline, so Barnes’ professional debut had to wait until the following spring. Barnes was initially assigned to the Greenville Drive, but the Low A South Atlantic League proved no match for him. In five starts at that level, Barnes was charged with only one run, and even that was an inherited runner. To go with the 0.34 ERA over 26 2/3 innings, he also compiled a 0.60 WHIP, striking out 42 while walking only four. The Red Sox were convinced that Barnes had sufficiently adjusted to pro ball, and he was promoted to Salem on April 29. 
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November 1, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Anthony Ranaudo


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 Teams: Portland Sea Dogs/Pawtucket Red Sox
Final Stats: 140 IP, 11-5, 2.96 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 127 SO, 47 BB

Links:

Pre-2013: After a dominant sophomore campaign in 2009 at Louisiana State University (LSU), many projected Ranaudo to be a top-five pick in the 2010 draft. After battling through injuries and ineffectiveness in his junior season, Ranaudo fell to the 39th pick in the draft, where the Red Sox selected him with the compensation pick they received for Billy Wagner. Ranaudo agreed to a $2,550,000 deal minutes before the signing deadline, so he did not make his first professional appearance until 2011. Ranaudo opened the 2011 season in Greenville, and he made only 10 starts with the Drive, only allowing runs in half of those, before getting bumped up to Salem. Ranaudo pitched well after his promotion, allowing seven runs in 23 innings over his first four starts, but he appeared to tire as the summer went on. In his next 35 2/3 innings over 7 starts, Ranaudo allowed 26 earned runs and struck out only 24 batters, a disappointing number for a pitcher who finished third in the nation in strikeouts during his sophomore season at LSU. He bounced back from this rough stretch to end the season strong, giving him something to build on as he entered 2012.
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