August 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM
This week's minor league notes:
- At the start of the week the Red Sox were among six teams connected to Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo (pictured right), who defected earlier this year. By midweek the list was down to three teams, and on Friday news broke that the Red Sox had landed the 27 year-old for a record setting deal of seven years, $72 million. SoxProspects.com executive editor Chris Hatfield was all over the news and broke it down for you.
- Since the trading deadline had passed, the Castillo news proved to be the big news of the week both locally and nationally. Many writers and analysts broke down the signing, among them Dave Cameron of FanGraphs who compared him to Shane Victorino, and WEEI.com's Alex Speier who focused on how he can impact the Red Sox.
- If you want to see more of Castillo, Speier also posted a piece with Castillo’s promotional video featured on Jay-Z's Life+Times channel on Youtube, which is definitely worth a watch.
- There were other moves involving Red Sox centerfielders when earlier in the week Jackie Bradley was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket and Mookie Betts was recalled. SoxProspects.com staff writer Jim Crowell has more details on the move.
- Conor Ryan of WEEI.com talks about Betts’ comfort level in Fenway’s tricky center field, with quotes from Betts, manager John Farrell, and Red Sox GM Ben Cherington.
- Every Red Sox prospect who wants to play for the big league team needs to hit, even the excellent defenders at premium positions says the Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson.
- Right hander Matt Barnes continues his resurgence behind explosive fastball and strong curve writes SoxProspect.com managing editor Matt Huegel. Barnes has had a very impressive month of August thus far, throwing 27 1/3 innings with a 0.99 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, and 24 strikeouts to eight walks.
- Huegel wasn't the only one to notice Barnes run of excellence. Mass Live’s Jen McCaffrey writes about Matt Barnes impressive recent stretch for Pawtucket, including a start this week where he went 6 ⅓ without allowing a run and striking out seven.
- The Providence Journal's Tim Britton also takes note of Barnes’ dominance, and talks about outfielder Bryce Brentz (pictured left) trying to balance power and patience. I especially enjoyed the quote from manager Kevin Boles saying Brentz has to “earn his fastballs”.
- This week Britton also wrote that Brandon Workman was optioned to Triple-A after a rough outing, and Heath Hembree was recalled. Workman's future may lie in the bullpen as he struggles to maintain velocity deep into games.
- Xander Bogaerts has been placed on the DL after being hit in the head by a Felix Hernandez pitch, and Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox will purchase the contract of 26-year-old infielder Carlos Rivero.
- MiLB’s Sam Dykstra lists a few Top 100 type players that may see September call-ups, and among them is Pawtucket third basemen Garin Cecchini. Tim Britton also wrote about how Cecchini has renewed confidence following the worst slump of his career.
- Eduardo Rodriguez, acquired at the trading deadline from Baltimore in exchange for Andrew Miller, made Baseball America’s Hot Sheet last week. Sadly Deven Marrero makes the not-so-hot portion of the notes as well.
- SoxProspects.com senior scouting advisor Chris Mellen wrote about outfielder Manuel Margot in today’s Baseball Prospectus Monday Morning Ten Pack. Margot was promoted to Salem on August 15th, and since his promotion has hit .333/.378/.545 with two home runs and two steals over 33 at-bats.
- Katie Morrison of WEEI.com writes that catcher Christian Vazquez has impressed during his time with the major league club.
- Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily looked into the struggles of top prospects in MLB recently, including two Red Sox, Jackie Bradley and Xander Bogaerts.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington confirmed this week what we had really known all along: He would consider trading prospects for the right return.
Photo Credit: Rusney Castillo by NESN.com & Bryce Brentz by Kelly O'Connor
Will Woodward is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.