SoxProspects News

December 30, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Ramos surges, Vazquez falters


Even though the seasons are coming to a close, many Red Sox prospects continue to see playing time. Henry Ramos (pictured) had a strong week, while Nate Reed continues to impress in Mexico. 

This week's roundup covers Dec. 23-29. 

Dominican Winter League:

The playoffs started on Friday, and no Red Sox players appeared in any of the games over the weekend. Licey and Gigantes are each one win away from advancing to the finals.
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December 23, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Rangers claim Alex Castellanos


Just like that, Alex Castellanos is gone.

The Rangers claimed the 27-year-old outfielder off of waivers Monday. The move comes about a week and a half after the Red Sox designated him for assignment when they re-added Mike Napoli to the 40-man roster.

Castellanos' stay in the system was a short one. The Sox acquired him from the Dodgers in exchange for outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker in October, so he never played a game in the Sox system.

Castellanos hit .257 with a .347 OBP and .468 slugging mark in Triple-A this year, and he owns a .171/.186/.390 slash line in 24 major league games with the Dodgers the last two years.

Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.

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at 10:55 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: J.C. Linares stays hot in VWL


It’s the home stretch for most of the winter leagues, including down in the Dominican, where a handful of Red Sox minor leaguers wrapped up their regular season Sunday.

This week’s roundup covers Dec. 16-22.

Dominican Winter League: 

In two innings of relief, Rubby De La Rosa allowed two runs on three hits. He did not collect any strikeouts or walks.

At the plate, Keury De La Cruz had one hit in each of his three games during a 3-for-8 effort. Two of his hits were doubles. Alex Hassan had a similar 2-for-6, two-walk showing in a pair of contests.

Aneury Tavarez had one hit in seven at-bats.

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December 20, 2013 at 7:00 AM

SoxProspects.com Podcast #49: Alex Speier on Baseball America's Red Sox Top 10


It's ranking season! With the release of Baseball America's Red Sox Top 10 prospects list, we were joined by Alex Speier, also of WEEI.com, to talk about the list. We discussed his process for researching and writing the scouting reports and ranking the players, the tiers that developed at the top of the list and... well, too much stuff to recount here, but trust us, we talked about a lot of stuff. Just listen!


Links and in-site player after the jump.

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December 18, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Sox acquire Herrera from Rockies for Morales, Martin



The Red Sox have acquired utility infielder Jonathan Herrera from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for left-hander Franklin Morales and reliever Chris Martin, according to media reports.

Herrera, 29, has spent his entire 12-year professional career in the Rockies organization and spent the last five at the major league level. Herrera has primarily played as a utility infielder, logging over 100 games at both shortstop and second base during his five years in Colorado. Herrera, who has also seen time at third base, is widely regarded in the game as an above-average fielder.

In over 900 major league at-bats, Herrera has shown little with the bat posting a .658 career OPS. However, in 196 at-bats in 2013 Herrera posted career highs in batting average, .292, and OPS, .701.

Martin, 27, is a 6'7" right-hander who split time in 2013 between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. In 72 innings between the two levels he posted strong numbers including a 1.05 WHIP and a 4.63 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Morales, also 27, began his career with the Rockies and has spent the last three seasons in Boston where he was shuttled between the rotation and the bullpen. After posting solid numbers in 2012, the left-hander struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness in 2013. While inconsistent as a starter, Morales has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to get left-handers out.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Herrera by Doug Pensinger.

Luke Lavoie is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter here.
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at 1:00 PM

Red Sox announce 2014 minor league coaching staffs



The Red Sox announced the field staffs for the minor league affiliates on Wednesday, with a chain promotion among the minor league managers. The breakdown for each team is as follows:

Triple-A Pawtucket

Manager: Kevin Boles (pictured)
Pitching Coach: Rich Sauveur
Hitting Coach: Dave Joppie
Trainer: Jon Jochim
Coach: Bruce Crabbe

Boles has been a manager in the Boston system since 2008, joining the Red Sox after stints coaching in the Marlins, Royals and Twins organizations. After managing the Greenville Drive from 2008-2009, and the Salem Red Sox in 2010, Boles has spent the last three years leading the Portland Sea Dogs. The 38-year-old coach has a career 797-786 record over 13 seasons, and won an Arizona League title with the Royals in 2003. He will replace Gary DiSarcina, who left to become the third base coach for the Los Angeles Angels.

Sauveur will return for his seventh season with the PawSox, and he will be in charge of the highly-touted pitching staff slated to open next season in Pawtucket. Joppie returns for a second season as hitting coach, while Jochim is back for his fifth season as PawSox trainer. Crabbe, who managed the Spinners last season, will join the PawSox staff, though his role is currently unidentified. 
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at 8:45 AM

Sox acquire Watanabe, Carpenter to Japan


The Red Sox announced on Tuesday that they have acquired reliever Shunsuke Watanabe from the Chiba Lotte Mariners of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB). The 37-year-old right-hander with the submarine delivery did not receive a major league spring training invite, so he will report to minor league spring training where he will work as a reliever. 

Watanabe worked primarily as a starter in Japan, where he compiled an 87-82 record with a 3.65 ERA. He does not miss many bats, striking out only 4.8 batters per nine innings in his career, but he has also showed good control as he has walked only 2.2 batters per nine. Watanabe's submarine delivery received national attention during his appearances in the World Baseball Classic, where he pitched for Japan in 2006 and 2009. As you can see in this photo from the Washington Post, Watanabe's hand is almost scraping the ground when he releases the ball.  
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December 16, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Red Sox sign Dayan Diaz, Carlos Rivero


The Red Sox have signed right-handed reliever Dayan Diaz and third baseman Carlos Rivero to minor league contracts, reports Matt Eddy of Baseball America. Going in the other direction is Mark Hamilton who has signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves after spending the 2013 season with Pawtucket.

Diaz, 24, has a live arm that has been held back by injuries. Originally signed out of Colombia by the Astros, the 5-foot-10 righty debuted in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2006. According to Brett Taylor of the Cubs website Bleacher Nation, Diaz was set to come stateside in 2009, but an elbow injury necessitated Tommy John surgery. He missed all of that season and returned to pitch only twice in 2010. He opened eyes in 2011 and 2012, striking out 134 in 108 1/3 innings between Short Season-A Tri-City and Low A Lexington, compiling a 1.91 ERA but issuing 39 walks. 
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at 8:37 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Doyle and Linares shine


With many off-season leagues winding down their action, Red Sox prospects saw a lot of late season action around the world this week. 

This week's roundup covers December 9-15 

Dominican Winter League:

Alex Hassan went 4 for 14 with a solo home run, three walks and two runs scored in five games. 

Aneury Tavarez appeared in just two games, going 0 for 8.

Rafael Perez tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one walk across three relief appearances.

Rubby De La Rosa made his debut on December 10 against Este, allowing an unearned run on two hits and a walk in 2/3 innings pitched. 

Mexican Pacific League:

Terry Doyle (pictured) had a fantastic two start week. He picked up two wins, hurling 13 innings, allowing just one run on 10 hits and eight walks, punching out eight.

Macro Duarte appeared in two games, tossing 3 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out two.

Nate Reed made one start this week, hurling 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits and a walk, striking out six.

Jesus Loya was 0 for 5 with a run scored and a stolen base in limited action. 
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December 14, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Red Sox sign John Ely, re-sign Celestino; Kalish to Cubs


The Red Sox announced today that they have signed right-handed pitchers John Ely and Miguel Celestino to minor league contracts. The team also made official the previously reported minor league deal with infielder Brandon Snyder. Outfielder Ryan Kalish, non-tendered last week, has agreed with the Chicago Cubs to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

Ely, 27, joins his fourth organization. Originally selected by the Chicago White Sox in the third round of the 2007 draft, he rose quickly through the minors, excelling at Double-A Birmingham in 2009 with a 14-2 record, 2.82 ERA, and 1.215 WHIP. After that breakout season, Ely was traded to Los Angeles as part of deal for outfielder Juan Pierre in December 2009. He made his major league debut the following season, and pitched in 25 games, including 19 starts, for the Dodgers between 2010 and 2012.
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December 12, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Help Wanted: Staff Editor, Scouts


We are opening a Staff Editor position and two SoxProspects Scout positions for 2014:

Help Wanted: Staff Editor
Position Overview: We're looking for a Staff Editor to join the SoxProspects.com staff for 2014. The primary responsibility of the position will be to edit the Cup of Coffee story every morning during the season in a timely manner. There will also be an opportunity to work on pre-editing feature stories by our writers as needed. This position could be expanded to include writing on news and feature stories if the applicant has the desire and shows aptitude. This is a great opportunity for an aspiring editor/journalist to gain some experience and exposure in the field.

Basic Requirements
- Minimum one year commitment for 2014
- Proficient writing and editing skills
- Strong attention to detail
- Proficiency with AP Style is highly  preferred
- Basic word processing skills, including hyper-linking and adding images
- Must be able and available to review and edit the Cup of Coffee every morning prior to 9 am during the season with limited exceptions
- Close familiarity with SoxProspects.com and the Red Sox minor league system
- College-level academic writing/journalism coursework strongly preferred
- Professional attitude and demeanor
- Age 18+

Compensation
This is an unpaid volunteer position, as are all positions on the staff. That being said, we still expect all applications to be professional. If you're interested in applying, please email mhuegel@soxprospects.com by 2:00 pm ET on December 13, 2013. Please provide a basic overview of your skills and experience with respect to the requirements outlined above. A resume is not required, but it can't hurt either. We look forward to hearing from you!

Help Wanted: SoxProspects Scout
Position Overview: We are looking to add two new scouts to the SoxProspects Scouting Department for 2014. Both roles will involve first-hand scouting, contributing observations to scouting features, and helping to maintain and update the scouting reports on the site. Some low-level video work may also be involved. Successful applicants must be able to carry themselves in a professional manner without supervision when attending games. In addition, applicants must be able to attend games as an objective talent evaluator rather than as a fan. An ideal candidate would already possess sound talent evaluation skills. Previous experience writing about prospects from a scouting perspective is preferred, but not necessary. Driving proximity to Red Sox affiliate games is required. This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking to gain more experience/exposure in the scouting world or for someone who is looking to break into the industry.
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at 8:53 PM

Castellanos designated for assignment with Napoli signing official


The Red Sox designated Alex Castellanos for assignment today after making the signing of first baseman Mike Napoli official. Castellanos was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in October in exchange for outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker and cash considerations.

This season, while playing for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, he hit .257/.347/.468, but those numbers were inflated by playing in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He also got a short cup of coffee with the Dodgers, but only hit .167/.167/.389 in eight games.

Over the course of his professional career, Castellanos has played every position in the field with the exception of catcher and pitcher. His best position is in a corner outfield spot, but he has shown the ability to fill in at either second base or third base. Due to that type of versatility, he was expected to play a super utility role wherever he ended up being assigned in 2014.
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at 9:32 AM

Michael Almanzar selected in Rule 5 draft


The Baltimore Orioles have selected infielder Michael Almanzar from the Red Sox in Thursday morning's Rule 5 draft. In the minor league phase of the draft, the Red Sox chose utility man Jonathan Roof from the Philadelphia Phillies

Almanzar, 23, spent the entire 2013 campaign with Double-A Portland. He got off to a fast start, hitting .319/.367/.560 in April and earning recognition as an Eastern League All-Star. However, he tailed off in the second half and finished with a .268/.328/.432 line. Despite the slow finish, a second straight solid season helped to restore some of his prospect status. Originally signed to a $1.5 million bonus in 2007 out of the Dominican Republic, Almanzar struggled for years with both on-field difficulties and attitude issues.
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December 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Preliminary 'New Stars for Young Stars' lineup announced


"New Stars for Young Stars" is back for a ninth year, the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston announced, and the annual autograph-signing event for a good cause has no shortage of top prospects scheduled to be in attendance.

The tentative lineup includes: SoxProspects.com Offensive Player of the Year Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart, Drake Britton and Rubby De La Rosa. Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports new Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski is also expected to be there.

More players will likely be added as the event draws closer to its Jan. 11 date (11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) at Jillian's Boston on Ipswich Street.

Aside from the autograph session, there will also be a bowling competition, buffet lunch, sports memorabilia sale and silent auction. 

Tickets, which can be purchased here, start at $89, and VIP tickets are $250. All proceeds will go to the Jimmy Fund. The first eight editions of "New Stars for Young Stars" have raised more than $221,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.

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December 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Big weeks for Acosta and Welch


As a majority of the winter leagues are winding down, many Red Sox prospects are still seeing significant playing time in their respective leagues. A handful of players had big weeks, led by an Australian who also earned a place on an All-Star team. 

This week's roundup covers December 2-8. 

Dominican Winter League:

Alex Hassan went only 3 for 15 this week, but one of the hits was a game-winning single in the eighth inning off of former teammate Brock Huntzinger

Appearing in his first game since November 16, Keury De La Cruz went 0 for 4 with a strikeout. 

Newcomer Aneury Tavarez joined the league this week, going 1 for 6 with a double for the Estrellas de Oriente. 

Mexican Pacific League:

Seeing his first action since the end of the 2013 season, Nate Reed pitched three shutout innings while striking out three. 

Jesus Loya was held hitless this week, going 0 for 7 with a walk. 
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December 5, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Gary DiSarcina named Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year



Outgoing Pawtucket Red Sox manager Gary DiSarcina has been named the 2013 Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year. The 46-year-old native of Malden, Mass. guided the PawSox to an 80-63 record and a return to the Governor's Cup finals. After the season, DiSarcina left the Red Sox organization to become the third base coach with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the team where he spent his entire 12-year major league playing career. 
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December 3, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Red Sox non-tender Ryan Kalish, Andrew Bailey


A series of injuries underlies Boston's decision yesterday not to tender contracts to outfielder Ryan Kalish (pictured) and reliever Andrew Bailey for the 2014 season. While both arrived in Boston carrying exceptional talent and great expectations - Kalish after a sterling minor league career and Bailey after a blockbuster trade - neither have been able to overcome a series of frustrating setbacks that have made the two unable to capitalize on their outstanding tools. 

Kalish, 25, was the top prospect in the Boston system who has seen his career sidetracked. Drafted in the ninth round of the 2006 draft out of Red Bank (NJ) Catholic High School,  he impressed from the start, earning all-star recognition playing for Short-Season A Lowell in 2007, his first full pro season. A broken hamate bone in his right wrist ended that 2007 season early and delayed the start of his 2008. Fully healthy in 2009, Kalish was named the Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year and the SoxProspects.com Breakout Player of the Year, compiling a .279/.364/.457 line with 18 home runs and 21 stolen bases between High A Salem and Double-A Portland. He followed that by made his major league debut in 2010, appearing in 53 games and hitting .252/305/.405. After that promising debut, however, it has been a series of disappointments for the young outfielder. 
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December 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Jesus Loya solid at the plate in Mexico


All of the offseason leagues are well into their season, but that doesn't prohibit movement from the personnel. Alex Hassan, J.C. Linares and Stefan Welch are all new to their respective leagues relative to their teammates.

This week’s roundup covers Nov. 25-Dec. 1.

Dominican Winter League: 

Hassan, the only Sox player to see action, got into three games during his second week in the DWL. He finished 3 for 11 with a double, a walk and six strikeouts.

Mexican Pacific League:

After seeing single at-bats in three games, Jesus Loya got back-to-back starts and made the most of it. He went 4 for 8 with a homer and four RBI.

Venezuelan Winter League: 

Linares played in a quartet of contests during his first week in the VWL, turning in a 4-for-15 effort with a double and three RBI.
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at 5:00 AM

Help Wanted: Staff Editor, Scouts


We are opening a Staff Editor position and two SoxProspects Scout positions for 2014:

Help Wanted: Staff Editor
Position Overview: We're looking for a Staff Editor to join the SoxProspects.com staff for 2014. The primary responsibility of the position will be to edit the Cup of Coffee story every morning during the season in a timely manner. There will also be an opportunity to work on pre-editing feature stories by our writers as needed. This position could be expanded to include writing on news and feature stories if the applicant has the desire and shows aptitude. This is a great opportunity for an aspiring editor/journalist to gain some experience and exposure in the field.

Basic Requirements
- Minimum one year commitment for 2014
- Proficient writing and editing skills
- Strong attention to detail
- Proficiency with AP Style is highly  preferred
- Basic word processing skills, including hyper-linking and adding images
- Must be able and available to review and edit the Cup of Coffee every morning prior to 9 am during the season with limited exceptions
- Close familiarity with SoxProspects.com and the Red Sox minor league system
- College-level academic writing/journalism coursework strongly preferred
- Professional attitude and demeanor
- Age 18+

Compensation
This is an unpaid volunteer position, as are all positions on the staff. That being said, we still expect all applications to be professional. If you're interested in applying, please email mhuegel@soxprospects.com by 2:00 pm ET on December 13, 2013. Please provide a basic overview of your skills and experience with respect to the requirements outlined above. A resume is not required, but it can't hurt either. We look forward to hearing from you!

Help Wanted: SoxProspects Scout
Position Overview: We are looking to add two new scouts to the SoxProspects Scouting Department for 2014. Both roles will involve first-hand scouting, contributing observations to scouting features, and helping to maintain and update the scouting reports on the site. Some low-level video work may also be involved. Successful applicants must be able to carry themselves in a professional manner without supervision when attending games. In addition, applicants must be able to attend games as an objective talent evaluator rather than as a fan. An ideal candidate would already possess sound talent evaluation skills. Previous experience writing about prospects from a scouting perspective is preferred, but not necessary. Driving proximity to Red Sox affiliate games is required. This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking to gain more experience/exposure in the scouting world or for someone who is looking to break into the industry.
Read full post ...

 
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