March 10, 2014 at 1:40 PM
Here are this week's minor league notes from Fort Myers:
- As part of a series during spring training, SoxProspects.com will be examining the depth of the Red Sox minor league system position by position. This week, the series kicked off with Mike Andrews detailing the depth of the system's arms on ESPN Boston.com.
- The Red Sox catching depth has never been better, writes Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press-Herald. Thomas highlights Ryan Lavarnway, Christian Vazquez (pictured) and Dan Butler while noting the fragility and age of the tandem on the major league roster.
- After clubbing his third home run in 20 at-bats this spring, outfielder Bryce Brentz drew praise from Red Sox Manager John Farrell. In this report by Speier, Farrell touted Brentz's "raw" and "all-field" power, while noting there "maybe some swing and miss in there."
- John Tomase of the Boston Herald takes a look at the Red Sox young minor league talent and surmises "Prospects surely look fine for Red Sox." Among the players highlighted are: Henry Owens, Garin Cecchini, Matt Barnes, Anthony Ranaudo, Trey Ball, Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart and Deven Marrero.
- Right-hander Allen Webster is benefiting from advice from Red Sox starters Jon Lester, John Lackey and Clay Buchholz, writes WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Bradford reports that the trio of starters reviewed video of Webster's first spring start, diagnosing that the right-hander was drifting forward on his delivery.
- The Red Sox were fined this week after failing to field a lineup with enough major league regulars against the Miami Marlins, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. The Marlins were reportedly upset about the lack of star power after raising ticket prices, which may have prompted the fine. Later in the week, Red Sox owner John Henry fired back with this quip about their major league team.
- The Red Sox agreed to one-year contracts with the following players: Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts Brentz, Drake Britton, Butler, Cecchini, Rubby De La Rosa, Alex Hassan Lavarnway, Ranaudo, Webster, Alex Wilson, Brandon Workman, Steven Wright and Vazquez.
- The Baltimore Orioles Rule 5 selection Michael Almanzar, who was taken from the Red Sox system, drove in his first three runs of the spring in a 13-2 victory over his former team on Saturday. So far he has hit .188/.235/.250 in 16 at-bats with Baltimore.
- Ben Shapiro of MassLive.com wonders where Betts (pictured) will play upon his anticipated arrival in Boston, noting that Dustin Pedrioa and top prospect Bogaerts are plugging up starting infield spots.
- Calling up a young pitcher is more art than a science, writes Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal. MacPherson caught up with Marlins pitching coach Chuck Hernandez, who spoke about his strategy handling Miami phenom Jose Fernandez and Justin Verlander, who he coached in the early 2000's.
- The Pawtucket City Council approved a lease extension that will keep the PawSox at McCoy Stadium through 2021, The Providence Journal reports.
- Many minor league players who were not invited to major league spring training saw time with the big league club. Here is the full list of such players who saw time this week: Betts, David Chester, Scott Cousins, Keury De La Cruz, Ryan Dent, Derek Gibson, Justin Henry, Chris Hernandez, Jayson Hernandez, Pete Hissey, Matty Ott, Henry Ramos, Chris Resop, Carlos Rivero, Robby Scott, Aneury Tavarez, Jose Valdez, Shunsuke Watanabe, Stefan Welch, Shannon Wilkerson.
Photo Credit: Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts by Kelly O'Connor.
Luke Lavoie is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter here.