SoxProspects News

March 3, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Fort Report: The games begin


Here are this week's minor league notes from Fort Myers:

  • The Red Sox announced that they have signed Bo Greenwell, son of former Red Sox All-Star Mike Greenwell, to a minor league deal. The 26-year-old has been in the Cleveland Indians system since they drafted him in the sixth round in 2007.
  • Meanwhile, the Pawtucket Red Sox announced on Tuesday that they have filled their vacant radio broadcaster position, bringing in Josh Maurer. The position opened up when Bob Socci left to become the voice of the New England Patriots.
  • Retirement announcements are most common at the end of the season and near the beginning of spring training, and this year is no different. According to SoxProspects.com sources, Greg Larson, Matt Spalding, and Nick Natoli have retired. In addition, the Jacksonville Sun reported that Drew Sutton has retired.
  • The latest edition of the SoxProspects.com podcast was released yesterday. Check it out with the team taking questions from the spring training mailbag.
  • Baseball Prospectus came out with their 2014 Organizational Rankings this week, and the Red Sox were ranked fourth. They describe the state of the system as “impact talent at premium up-the-middle positions and major-league caliber arms in the upper-minors.”
  • Jackie Bradley, Jr. (pictured, right) has gotten a lot of attention this spring as he vies to become the Red Sox everyday center fielder. Sports on Earth's John Perrotto believes that he is ready to help them in center field now, while Marc Normandin of Over the Monster believes he has done all he can in the minors but is still a work in progress.
  • A former player is also getting lots of attention. Pedro Martinez is down in Fort Myers with the club as he settles in to his role as special assistant to the general manager, and one area he wants to focus on is aiding the development of the young pitchers. He has already had a large impact on Drake Britton, as  Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com writes. Pedro also spoke about his perception of the pitching talent in the system as WEEI.com's Alex Speier notes.
  • One other player Pedro complimented was Anthony Ranaudo, who was very impressive in his spring training debut, throwing two perfect innings with four strikeouts. On the heels of that performance, Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com wonders if Ranaudo could be the next Brandon Workman
  • Garin Cecchini is also getting rave reviews, and Mastrodonato writes that all the attention is not stressful for the highly regarded prospect. Cecchini also discusses his offensive approach and how he perseveres the possibility of being 'blocked' as he works towards the majors.
  • Cecchini sat down to talk with WEEI's Dennis and Callahan, and WEEI.com's Meredith Perri passes along quotes from that chat, including his reaction to being labeled a new player who could have a big impact by owner Larry Lucchino.
  • Catcher Christian Vazquez's (pictured, left) arm is hard to miss, and it was on full display this week after posting a 1.77 home-to-second 'pop time', the best the Red Sox front office had ever seen according to ESPNBoston's Rick Weber. WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia writes that this was not overlooked by manager John Farrell who says he has thrown out every runner thus far in camp.
  • Blake Swihart is another catcher garnering attention while taking part in his first big league camp and Rick Weber writes that he is catching on quickly.
  • Not everyone was able to get off to a great start. Starting pitcher Allen Webster struggled in his first outing of the spring, and WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia writes about what went wrong
  • WEEI.com's Alex Speier notes that Mookie Betts has been getting some time at shortstop this spring, as expected, as he looks to expand his versatility with second base occupied for the foreseeable future by Dustin Pedroia.
  • Goron Edes of ESPNBoston writes that newcomer John Ely will not be ready to start the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last April while with the Astros.
  • 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, Keith Couch, Scott Cousins, Sean Coyle, Keury De La Cruz, Jacob Dahlstrand, Ryan Dent, Chris Hernandez, Jayson Hernandez, Pete Hissey, Matty Johnson, Jeremy Kehrt, Austin Maddox, Mike McCarthy, Mike Miller, Matty Ott, Henry Ramos, Chris Resop, Robby Scott, Shunsuke Watanabe, Shannon Wilkerson, and Mickey Pena.
Photo Credit: Jackie Bradley and Christian Vazquez by Kelly O'Connor.

Will Woodward is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.


 
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