SoxProspects News

October 31, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Top 40 in Review: Deven Marrero and Trey Ball


Past entries in our Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.

#12: Deven Marrero, SS
2014 Teams: Portland Sea Dogs, Pawtucket Red Sox
Final Stats: 509 PA, .258/.327/.372, 30 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 46 BB, 94 K, 16 SB

Links:

Season in Review: The 24-year-old, slick-fielding shortstop began the season at Double-A Portland for his second go-round with the Sea Dogs. After struggling in 85 plate appearances after his promotion to the level in 2013, Marrero posted a .291/.371/.433 slash line—all career bests—with a 34/57 BB/K ratio in 307 plate appearances. He absolutely exploded at the plate in June, including a blistering .650/.652/.900 line from June 16-22, garnering him both Eastern League and SoxProspects Player of the Week honors. A great month of June, during which he hit .368/.441/.552 overall with a 9.8-percent strikeout rate, earned him a promotion to Pawtucket on July 2. While his defense stayed strong, Marrero struggled against Triple-A pitching, hitting just .210/.260/.285 in 50 games. The struggles continued into Pawtucket's playoff run, with Marrero squeezing out only one extra base hit, and six singles, in 35 plate appearances. Named the 2014 Red Sox Minor League Defensive Player of the Year, Marrero is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League and hitting well in a small sample size, slashing .314/.455/.429 through 11 games. - Matt Picard
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October 30, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Help Wanted: Writers


SoxProspects.com is seeking applicants to join our writing staff. See below for details.

Position Overview: SoxProspects.com is looking for staff writers to join the staff through at least November 2015. Primary responsibilities for the position will include covering breaking news stories as they happen, including promotions, signings, the draft, and awards, among other topics. Writers will likely also be asked to take a regular weekly turn on the Cup of Coffee recap, once or perhaps twice a week, as well as contribute to our Weekly Notes feature. There also may be opportunities for enterprising writers to attend games in order to write feature stories for our News Page.
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at 7:30 AM

Top 40 in Review: Michael Kopech and Sean Coyle


Past entries in our Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.

#14: Michael Kopech, SP
2014 Team: GCL Red Sox
Final Stats: 13.2 IP, 0-1, 4.61 ERA, 11 H, 7 R/7 ER, 9 BB, 16 K, 1.46 WHIP

Links: 

Season in Review: The second of Boston's two first-round selections in the 2014 draft, Kopech impressed in an abbreviated professional debut. After signing on June 17, the 18-year-old right-hander was assigned to the Gulf Coast League. He made his first pro appearance on July 12, striking out a pair in a scoreless inning. His strongest outing came when he struck out two over three hitless frames on August 12 against the Orioles. Across those eight appearances, Kopech held opposing batters to a .216 batting average and struck out 16 batters in 13 2/3 innings. Perhaps most impressively, the Texan surrendered only two extra base hits, both doubles, limiting GCL batters to a punchless .255 slugging percentage. - James Dunne
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October 29, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Top 40 in Review: Wendell Rijo and Edwin Escobar


Past entries in our Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.

#16: Wendell Rijo, 2B
2014 Team: Greenville Drive
Final Stats: 473 PA, .254/.348/.416, 27 2B, 6 3B, 9 HR, 56 BB, 103 K, 16 SB

Links: 

Season in Review: As an 18-year-old in the South Atlantic League, Rijo was about three-and-a-half years younger than the average player in the league and was the fourth-youngest in the circuit on opening day. He started the season hot, batting .341/.464/.516 in 117 plate appearances in his first 26 games, with almost as many walks as strikeouts, but he followed that with a 4 for 47 stretch that saw him strike out in 34 percent of his at-bats. His performance was similarly up-and-down most of the season—for example, following up a 12-game hitting streak in August, during which he hit .326/.442/.581, with a four-game 0 for 15 stretch—but Rijo remained healthy all year, avoiding the disabled list and logging as many at-bats as he could. After tearing his ACL in 2012 and playing last season with a large knee brace, durability was a question for Rijo, but he seems to have answered that with 111 games played this year, tied for 11th in the system. Rijo proved inconsistent on the defensive side, committing 21 errors on the year. - Jim Crowell
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October 28, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Travis Shaw and Sam Travis


Past entries in our Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.

#18: Travis Shaw, 1B/3B
2014 Teams: Pawtucket Red Sox, Portland Sea Dogs
Final Stats: 554 PA, .278/.353/.473, 29 2B, 2 3B, 21 HR, 57 BB, 99 SO, 7 SB

Links: 

Season in Review: Shaw hit just .221/.342/.394 with 16 home runs, 117 strikeouts and 78 walks at Portland a year ago, but he was able to turn things around and impressed in the 2013 Arizona Fall League. He hit .361/.452/.705 with five home runs in 61 at-bats while making some of the hardest contact recorded on the AFL's Trackman batted ball data, and the 24-year-old carried that success right into the 2014 season. Shaw showed noticeable improvements to begin the year in Portland before moving up to Triple-A at the end of May—in 47 games with the Sea Dogs, Shaw hit .305/.406/.548 in 177 at-bats. Triple-A pitching proved a tougher test for Shaw, although his Triple-A line stood at a respectable .284/.340/.477 entering August. In the final month of the regular season, he slipped to a .209/.273/.319 line, bringing his 81-game Triple-A line to .262/.321/.431. In the International League playoffs, he got off to a hot start, going 5 for 10 with two doubles, a home run, and four walks in his first three games, but slipped back into a slump over his next five, going 3 for 22 with two walks and 12 strikeouts. He did finish on a strong note, going 3 for 4 with a home run in the Triple-A Championship Game. - Alex Skillin
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October 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Marrero dominates in AFL


This week's roundup covers play from the period of October 20-26. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in off-season action, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through January.

Arizona Fall League

He appeared in only three games this week, but Deven Marrero (pictured) lit the league on fire. The shortstop was 5 for 8 with four doubles an three walks, good for a slash line of .625/.727/1.125. Overall, Marrero is hitting .323/.475/.452.
Fellow infielder Sean Coyle had a tough week, going 1 for 16 with eight strikeouts. Rusney Castillo appeared in only one game during the week, going 0 for 2 with a strikeout on Monday.

On the mound, Keith Couch was hit hard in both of his starts, allowing nine runs on 18 hits in eight innings pitched. Robby Scott had a pair of scoreless appearances, striking out three in 2 1/3. Aaron Kurcz tossed just one inning, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk, while Madison Younginer surrendered a pair of runs in 2 1/3 innings in his two outings.


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at 7:30 AM

Top 40 in Review: Nick Longhi and Teddy Stankiewicz


Past entries in our Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.

#20: Nick Longhi, OF/1B
2014 Team: Lowell Spinners
Final Stats: 121 PA, .330/.388/.440, 10 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 11 BB, 22 K

Links:

Season in Review: After signing him out of a commitment to LSU with an over-slot bonus of $440,000 and giving him a short debut in the GCL last year, in 2014, the Red Sox assigned Longhi to the Lowell Spinners, and hit well from the start. Longhi recorded hits in 25 of the 30 games he played, all while being three years younger than the average New York-Penn League hitter at just 18 years old. That performance included a 17-game on-base streak from June 25 through July 17 in which he hit .354/.425/.462. Unfortunately, his first full professional season was cut short on July 21, when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb while sliding into third base, which required surgery. His .330 average was the fourth-best mark in the league and he spent most of his shortened season splitting time between left field and right field with only an occasional game at first base, in part due to the presence of Sam Travis. - Will Woodward
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October 24, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Top 40 in Review: Heath Hembree and Steven Wright


Past entries in our Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.

#22: Heath Hembree, RP
2014 Teams: Fresno Grizzlies (SF - AAA), Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston Red Sox
Final Stats: 46.0 IP, 1-4, 20 SV, 3.72 ERA, 45 H, 20 ER/19 R, 18 BB, 55 K, 1.37 WHIP (minors)
10 IP, 0-0, 4.50 ERA, 11 H, 5 R/5 ER, 5 BB, 6 K, 1.600 WHIP (majors)

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Season in Review: Hembree came to the Sox as one half of the return for Jake Peavy on July 26. After making his major league debut in September 2013 for the Giants, he had spent 2014 as the closer for Fresno of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, finishing out games in 35 of his 41 appearances and notching 18 saves. He was named a PCL All-Star, but the right-hander, who was once being groomed to become San Francisco's closer, was somewhat inconsistent. He put together consecutive clean outings only twice in his first 36 appearances before a six-game stretch in July in which he allowed just three baserunners while striking out eight in 5 2/3 innings. In all, at the time of the trade, he had notched a 3.89 ERA in 39 1/3 innings, allowing 40 hits and 13 walks while striking out 46 hitters.

After the trade, Hembree rode the I-95 shuttle, getting recalled to Boston three times in the season's final two months. In Pawtucket, he slotted right into the closer's role, but after two scoreless outings, he was needed in the majors. He made one appearance in that call-up, putting zeros on the board in innings 15 through 18 before Boston finally lost in the 19th to the Angels on August 9. Sent down the next day, Hembree made three appearances before getting the call again on August 24. His stay this time was for two appearances, and he was back in Triple-A on the 27th. Hembree made two scoreless appearances to close out the regular season, then was leaned on heavily as the PawSox's closer in the International League playoffs. In five appearances over nine days, he picked up a win and saves in two of three chances, allowing one run on seven hits and two walks in six innings, striking out six. Hembree capped his season with three more appearances in the Bigs, two of them scoreless, allowing five hits but striking out four and allowing no walks in four innings. - Chris Hatfield
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October 23, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Javier Guerra and Henry Ramos


Past entries in our Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.

#24: Javier Guerra, SS
2014 Team: GCL Red Sox
Final Stats: 207 PA, .269/.286/.408, 14 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 5 BB, 42 K, 1 SB

Links:

Season in Review: After putting up an unspectacular offensive stat line and playing far from the eyes of journalists and scouts in his 2013 debut in the DSL, Guerra turned heads at the Fall Instructional League last year, sneaking into Baseball America's Red Sox top 30 prospects list. The Red Sox brought Guerra stateside in 2014,  where he held his own in the GCL at the age of 18. His final line may not stand out, but Guerra did impress scouts and coaches alike--GCL Red Sox manager Tom Kotchman called Guerra the best shortstop he'd worked with in his 35 years in the game. As of August 6, his line was a much more robust .299/.314/.440 in his first 137 plate appearances, and he hit safely in 18 of his first 20 games for the GCL Sox, but a 9 for 54 slump over his next 13 games (.167/.196/.259) dragged his numbers down. The Panamanian was able to finish the season on a tear, particularly coming alive in the GCL playoffs. He went 3 for 6 with the go-ahead home run in the top of the seventh in the one-game GCL semifinal to lead the Sox to a 7-4 win, then was 5 for 13 with two doubles, two walks, and another bomb in the Red Sox' three-game GCL championship series victory. - Alex Skillin
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October 22, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Top 40 in Review: Simon Mercedes and Carlos Asuaje


Past entries in our Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.

#26: Simon Mercedes, SP
2014 Teams: Salem Red Sox (Rehab: Lowell Spinners)
Final Stats: 96 IP, 5-10, 1 SV, 4.41 ERA, 98 H, 52 R/47 ER, 41 BB, 79 K, 1.45 WHIP

Links:

Season in Review: It was a bit of a tale of two halves for Mercedes this season. Coming off of a very successful 2013 at Lowell, Mercedes began the season with the Salem Red Sox. It seemed as though his 2013 success would carry over into 2014, as the 22 year-old was able to put up a 3.76 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over his first 40 2/3 innings to start the year. However, he hit the DL after a 3 2/3-inning start on June 4, and missed about a month before starting a rehab assignment with Lowell on July 3. That assignment lasted three games, and upon his return to Salem he struggled mightily over his final eight games. Four times in those eight starts he gave up five earned runs, including three starts in a row between July 24 and August 5. Over the final 40 2/3 innings of the season, he had a 5.53 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, and 31 strikeouts to 17 walks. - Will Woodward
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October 21, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Anderson Espinoza and Alex Hassan


Past entries in our Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.

Yet to debut

Links:

Season in Review: Inked alongside Christopher Acosta at the opening of the international free agent signing period on July 2, the 16-year-old right-hander signed for $1.8 million plus $200,000 in scholarship money. Espinoza, who hails from Venezuela, was Baseball America’s fourth-ranked international amateur prospect and top-ranked pitcher, while grabbing the number 10 spot on MLB.com’s list. The Red Sox's decision to splurge beyond their allocated international bonus pool and face a 100-percent tax on the overages while making them unable to sign any international amateurs for above $300,000 the next two seasons, makes evident the high regard and expectations the team has for both Espinoza and Acosta. - Matt Picard
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October 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Rivero, Castillo make early impressions


This week's roundup covers play from the period of October 13-19. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in off-season action, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through January. 

Arizona Fall League

Rusney Castillo continued to do well at the plate, going 5 for 19 with two doubles and an RBI. After seven games, Castillo is hitting .294/.351/.382 with three doubles and stellar defensive play in center field for Surprise.

Deven Marrero appeared in four games this week, going 2 for 13 with three walks. Marrero is currently hitting .217/.379/.217 through seven contests. Marrero's infield partner, Sean Coyle appeared in only three games, going 2 for 10 with a double. 
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at 7:30 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Noe Ramirez and Luis Diaz


Past entries in our Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.

#30: Noe Ramirez, RP
2014 Teams: Portland Sea Dogs, Pawtucket Red Sox (playoffs only)
Final Stats: 67 1/3 IP, 2-1, 18 SV, 2.14 ERA, 56 H, 17 R/16 ER, 16 BB, 56 K, 1.07 WHIP

Links:

Season in Review: Ramirez began the year back in Portland, where he had finished his breakout 2013 campaign, and picked up right where he had left off. He was a model of consistency for the loaded Sea Dogs, leading all Red Sox minor leaguers with 18 saves. He never really faced any particular bouts of ineffectiveness, but his most effective stretch came from the end of April through early August, when he allowed just six runs, five earned, on 30 hits and 10 walks over 44 2/3 innings in 26 appearances, good for a 1.01 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Ironically, Ramirez took the loss in his only appearance in the Eastern League playoffs for Portland, allowing two inherited runners to score in the eighth and allowing three unearned runs in the ninth as the Sea Dogs fell to Binghamton in game two of their series. He was promoted to Pawtucket on September 5, and made one appearance in the International League playoffs, allowing one run over three innings in a PawSox loss to Durham. - Chris Hatfield
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October 17, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Bryce Brentz and Christopher Acosta


For the next five weeks, SoxProspects.com will count down its end-of-season top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and looking at what's ahead for them in 2015. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#32: Bryce Brentz, OF
2014 Teams: Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston Red Sox (Rehab: GCL Red Sox, Lowell Spinners)
Final Stats: 298 PA, .227/.326/.430, 12 HR, 12 2B, 3 3B, 65 K, 36 BB (minors)
26 PA, .308/.308/.385, 2 2B, 9K, 0 BB (majors)

Links:

Season in Review: Brentz came out of the gate showing improved patience, walking 20 times over his first 35 games with the PawSox, matching the number of walks he had in 82 games with Pawtucket in 2013. While he still was not making consistent contact, he did hit for power, with 14 extra-base hits, including six home runs, over his first 135 at-bats. On May 15, Brentz strained his hamstring, an injury originally putting him in day-to-day status, but lingered for long enough that he did not start a rehab assignment until over two months later. For the second year in a row, Brentz likely missed out on a major league call-up due to injury, as the Red Sox outfield thinned significantly during that period. He returned to Pawtucket on August 2, and he ended the season on a roll, batting .263/.349/.516 over his last 95 regular season at-bats. He continued to hit in the postseason, batting .263 with three doubles in eight games as he helped lead the PawSox to the Governors' Cup. After the PawSox playoff run finished, Brentz was promoted to Boston, and he played well in his first major league call-up, recording at least one hit in six of the eight games he appeared in. - Jim Crowell
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October 16, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Justin Haley and Jake Cosart


For the next five weeks, SoxProspects.com will count down its end-of-season top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and looking at what's ahead for them in 2015. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#34: Justin Haley, SP
2014 Teams: Salem Red Sox, Portland Sea Dogs
Final Stats: 130 1/3 IP, 10-6, 1 SV, 2.35 ERA, 107 H, 39 R/34 ER, 39 BB, 107 K, 1.12 WHIP

Links:

Season in Review: After a solid 2013 season with Greenville, Haley pitched well right out of the gate with High-A Salem, splitting his time between starting and relieving early in the year before forcing his way into the rotation for good in June. An area of immediate improvement for Haley was his ability to limit walks. After allowing more than five free passes per nine innings with the Drive last season, Haley cut that mark by more than half in his time with Salem. In 92 2/3 innings, Haley was 7-4 with a 2.82 ERA, allowing just 77 hits and posting a career-high 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The 23-year-old right-hander continued his fantastic season after a promotion to Portland by going 3-2 with a 1.19 ERA in six starts to round out the season. While continued to limit hits, his walk rate did creep back up, as he allowed 16 in 17 2/3 innings. However, 10 of those free passes came in two starts, and Haley went at least six innings in each of his starts with Portland. - John Gray
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October 15, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Drake Britton and Dalier Hinojosa


For the next five weeks, SoxProspects.com will count down its end-of-season top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and looking at what's ahead for them in 2015. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#36: Drake Britton, RP
2014 Teams: Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston Red Sox
Final Stats: 58 1/3 IP, 2-3, 5 SV, 5.86 ERA, 77 H, 41 R, 38 ER, 38 BB, 37 K, 1.97 WHIP (minors)
6 2/3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 1.05 WHIP (majors)

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Season in Review: Britton started the year back in Pawtucket, with an eye towards getting the call to Boston if the opportunity arose. He allowed only two earned runs in 12 innings in April, but a deeper look at his numbers showed signs of issues that would dog him all year, a 12-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.71 WHIP showing that the control problems that have plagued him throughout his career were not completely exorcised. Things started to go downhill and over his next 35 innings, Britton pitched to a 9.26 ERA with 22 walks and only 16 strikeouts. Batters hit .372 against him while slugging .622. Britton admitted in interviews near the end of the season that he had lost focus and struggled with the fact that he was still in Pawtucket. He did manage to rebound and toss 9 2/3 scoreless innings over his last five appearances with Pawtucket, and he threw 6 2/3 shutout innings over seven appearances in the majors to give him some positive momentum as he enters a very important offseason. - Jim Crowell
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October 14, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Cody Kukuk and Jamie Callahan


For the next five weeks, SoxProspects.com will count down its end-of-season top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and looking at what's ahead for them in 2015. Note, of course, that we will be using the site's official end-of-season rankings, meaning that any changes after September 26 will not be reflected in the countdown. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#38: Cody Kukuk, SP
2014 Teams: Salem Red Sox, Greenville Drive
Final Stats: 102 2/3 IP, 7-7, 4.47 ERA, 89 H, 59 R/51 ER, 83 BB, 116 K, 1.68 WHIP

Links:

Season in Review: After showing both the ability to miss bats and issues throwing strikes in 2013, Kukuk began 2014 back in Greenville after logging 107 innings with the Drive the previous season. The tall left-hander made five starts with the Drive, allowing only five runs over 24 innings pitched before getting the call-up to Salem at the beginning of May. The Carolina League proved a tougher test for Kukuk, whose control problems re-emerged and helped contribute to a tough stretch in his first six weeks with Salem, as he walked 37 batters and allowed 41 hits in 35 2/3 innings over 10 starts. The arrival of July saw improved performances from the 21-year-old, with Kukuk surrendering only six earned runs over six starts that month. He struck out 36 batters and walked 15 in 26 1/3 innings, earning SoxProspects.com’s Pitcher of the Month award. However, including his last start of July, Kukuk's control issues re-emerged in his last five starts, as he allowed 25 free passes in 20 innings. His final line in Salem saw him post 5.26 ERA and 1.81 WHIP in 78 2/3 innings. Despite strong strikeout numbers, his biggest issue remains his propensity to give up the free pass, as he posted an 8.1 walks-per-nine rate during his time in the Carolina League. - Alex Skillin
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October 13, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Dan Butler and Mauricio Dubon


For the next five weeks, SoxProspects.com will count down its end-of-season top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and looking at what's ahead for them in 2015. Note, of course, that we will be using the site's official end-of-season rankings, meaning that any changes after September 26 will not be reflected in the countdown. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#40: Dan Butler, C
2014 Teams: Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston Red Sox
Final Stats: 325 PA, .241/.317/.350, 19 2B, 4 HR, 71 K, 29 BB (minors)
20 PA, .211/.250/.368, 3 2B, 5 K, 1BB (majors)

Links:

Season in Review: Butler's unassuming 2014 stat line belies what was at least one big success, as the former undrafted free agent became one of the more unlikely players to make the climb through the Red Sox system in recent years, making his major league debut on August 10. The 27-year-old ended up appearing in seven games during two stints on the major league roster, with a highlight coming in a 3-for-4, two-double performance against Baltimore on September 10. Butler spent most of the year with Pawtucket, where he spent much of the season deferring to Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart. However, the organization showed that even with those two top prospects taking many of the reps behind the plate, it still wanted to keep his bat sharp, giving him 28 starts at designated hitter. - James Dunne
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at 9:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Castillo, Coyle impress early


This is the first in our series of weekly roundups of the Fall/Winter Leagues, and look for coverage to continue every Monday into January. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through January. This week's roundup covers the period of October 7-12.

Arizona Fall League

Games started on October 7, with seven prospects seeing action for the Surprise Saguaros. The biggest name this year is Rusney Castillo (pictured), who went 5 for 15 with six runs scored over three games. He also stole a base, and Keith Law of ESPN.com tweeted that he was very impressed with his defense in center field.
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October 10, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Fall Instructs Part Three


Recently, SoxProspects Director of Scouting Ian Cundall traveled to the Fall Instructional League to report on the goings-on in Fort Myers. This is the third of four reports from his trip. For part one click here and for part two click here.

- Of all the Red Sox pitchers I saw during my trip, Jake Cosart was the most impressive. Cosart has an athletic, projectable frame and is on the skinny side at present, listed at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds. His delivery is arm-heavy as he does not utilize his lower half much and has some effort, especially when viewed from the side, because he does not get normal extension with his arm. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot, where he almost short-arms the ball and has a slight stab. That said, Cosart has a loose arm and elite arm strength that helps him generate easy velocity even though he doesn’t use his lower half to great effect. Cosart’s fastball worked 93-95 mph over a two-inning stint, showing plus sink down in the zone. 
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October 9, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Fall Instructs Part Two


Recently, SoxProspects Director of Scouting Ian Cundall traveled to the Fall Instructional League to report on the goings-on in Fort Myers. This is the second of four reports from his trip. For part one click here.

- Simon Mercedes did not have his best fastball during the outing I saw, but he made up for it by showing two potential plus secondary pitches. Mercedes looks all of his listed 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, and is on the soft side with a large lower half. His mechanics are rigid, with a stiff landing leg that results in him finishing off balance and falling off to the first-base side. He also has the tendency to drift at times, and can thus lose his line to the plate. His fastball sat 91-93 mph, showing some sink, but lacked the crispness it has had in past looks. His secondary pitches, on the other hand, showed much better than previous looks. His threw his slider 84-87 mph with two-plane break and solid depth through the zone. It showed the potential to be swing-and-miss pitch at the highest level. His changeup showed similar potential. He threw it 84-87 mph as well, with the same arm speed as his fastball. The pitch had almost splitter-like movement at times, with the bottom falling out of it. He ended up recording three strikeouts with the pitch in this outing, all swinging, with hitters having little chance against it. Mercedes has shown the potential to have at least two plus pitches and potential third solid-average one, but his future likely lies in the bullpen. He has had trouble staying healthy and has problems with consistency, rarely getting all of his pitches working in a given outing.
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October 8, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Weekly Notes: Arizona Fall League and Fall Instructs start up


The last two weeks' minor league notes:

  • The Arizona Fall League opened its season yesterday. Red Sox prospects will play for the Surprise Saguaros along with prospects from the Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, and Texas Rangers. The roster features four Red Sox pitchers (Keith Couch, Aaron Kurcz, Robby Scott, and Madison Younginer) and three position players (infielders Sean Coyle and Deven Marrero (pictured, right) and outfielder Rusney Castillo). The Saguaros started with a 5-4 loss to Peoria, but none of the Red Sox players participated in the game. The entire schedule for all teams can be found here.
  • SoxProspects.com director of scouting Ian Cundall headed down to Fort Myers this week to get his eyes on the Fall Instructional League. This morning he posted his first fall edition of Scouting Scratch, which has scouting information on several prospects including third basemen Rafael Devers and 2014 first-round pick Michael Kopech
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at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Fall Instructs Part One


Recently, SoxProspects Director of Scouting Ian Cundall traveled to the Fall Instructional League to report on the goings-on in Fort Myers. This is the first of four reports from his trip.

- Perhaps the biggest news from the Fort was that Rafael Devers had his right foot in a cast and was on crutches. We have confirmed that Devers turned his ankle while sliding and suffered a stress fracture. Luckily, the Red Sox expect him to be healthy by late November and have a normal off-season.

- 2014 first-round pick Michael Kopech started my first game down there, working only one inning but showing the tools that made him an early selection. Kopech has a prototypical pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds. He has the frame to support added size as he matures without losing any of his present athleticism. Kopech throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a high-effort delivery that has already improved since his amateur days. He still utilizes a high leg lift and turns at the waist prior to coming forward, but the turn is less pronounced now and his arm is not as long behind. Still, it is not a clean delivery and could be something he and the organization continue to tinker with to make it easier for him to repeat in longer outings, although he was able to repeat it throughout his inning here for the most part.
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October 3, 2014 at 3:37 PM

ESPN Boston: Top 10 Red Sox prospects



Here’s a look at the top 10 Red Sox prospects at the close of the 2014 season, as rated by SoxProspects.com. 

Several Boston prospects have graduated over the last year or so, including Mookie Betts,Xander BogaertsJackie Bradley Jr., Rubby De La RosaBrock HoltTommy LayneChristian VazquezAllen Webster, and Brandon Workman -- so this list has a much different feel than it did at the start of the season. FYI - it's worth noting that we opted not to rank Rusney Castillodue to his prior professional experience in Cuba. 


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at 8:00 AM

Staff Top 40 Rankings, 2014: Wrap up


Time to wrap up our annual Staff Top 40 Rankings series. To start, here are the lists:

Monday - Chris Hatfield
Tuesday - Matt Huegel
Wednesday - Ian Cundall
Thursday - Mike Andrews

So after all that, here's how we averaged out:

1. Blake Swihart, C
2. Henry Owens, LHP
T-3. Rafael Devers, 3B
T-3. Manuel Margot, OF
5. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP
6. Brian Johnson, LHP
7. Michael Chavis, SS/3B
8. Matt Barnes, RHP
T-9. Trey Ball, LHP
T-9. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP

11. Garin Cecchini, 3B/OF
12. Deven Marrero, SS
13. Michael Kopech, RHP
T-14. Sean Coyle, 2B/3B
T-14. Edwin Escobar, LHP
16. Wendell Rijo, 2B
17. Travis Shaw, 1B
18. Sam Travis, 1B
19. Nick Longhi, OF/1B
20. Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP

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October 2, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Staff Top 40 Rankings, 2014: Mike Andrews


This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass have been posting their end-of-season Top 40 rankings and answering some questions about their lists. We'll release our aggregate rankings tomorrow along with the final results of the voting on our site forum. Wrapping up the series is Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews.

The Rankings:

1. Blake Swihart, C
2. Henry Owens, LHP
3. Rafael Devers, 3B
4. Manuel Margot, OF
5. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP
6. Brian Johnson, LHP
7. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
8. Matt Barnes, RHP
9. Michael Chavis, SS/3B
10. Trey Ball, LHP


11. Garin Cecchini, 3B/OF
12. Deven Marrero, SS
13. Sean Coyle, 2B/3B
14. Michael Kopech, RHP
15. Edwin Escobar, LHP
16. Wendell Rijo, 2B
17. Travis Shaw, 1B
18. Sam Travis, 1B
19. Alex Hassan, OF/1B
20. Heath Hembree, RHP

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October 1, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Staff Top 40 Rankings, 2014: Ian Cundall


This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass will be posting their end-of-season Top 40 rankings and answering some questions about their lists. Next up is Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

The Rankings:

1. Blake Swihart, C
2. Henry Owens, LHP
3. Rafael Devers, 3B
4. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP
5. Manuel Margot, OF
6. Brian Johnson, LHP
7. Michael Chavis, SS/3B
8. Matt Barnes, RHP
9. Garin Cecchini, 3B/OF
10. Trey Ball, LHP

11. Edwin Escobar, LHP
12. Deven Marrero, SS
13. Michael Kopech, RHP
14. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
15. Sean Coyle, 2B/3B
16. Wendell Rijo, 2B
17. Sam Travis, 1B
18. Javier Guerra, SS
19. Nick Longhi, OF/1B
20. Simon Mercedes, RHP
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