March 23, 2015 at 10:36 AM
Assistant Scouting Director Chaz Fiorino checks in with more of his scouting observations from minor league games in Fort Myers.
Justin Haley (pictured, left) has a tall, strong, filled-out build. The 2012 sixth-round pick out of Fresno State comes set with his hands at shoulder height, using a simple, no-wind-up delivery and a high three-quarters arm slot with short arm action in back and minimal extension to the plate. The fastball ranged from 88-91 mph and was fairly straight. His secondary offerings included a hard, short slider that looked like a cutter at 85-88 mph; a changeup at 80-82 mph with fade, flashing average potential; and a loose, 12-to-6 curveball at 75-78 mph. Most worrisome was that Haley struggled with command in his three innings of work, walking a pair of batters, as vastly improved control was the key improvement in his great 2014 campaign. The fastball velocity was a tick down from previous reports, not a surprise in what was Haley’s first spring outing.
- Alexi Ogando started the Triple-A game, getting in an inning of work. His fastball ranged from 93-95 mph with late life. He also mixed in a slider at 81-82 mph with late, sharp break, and showed comfort throwing it to both right- and left-handed hitters, throwing one at the back foot of one left-hander. Ogando picked up two strikeouts, one on a sharp slider, the other on a 93-mph fastball away that caught a left-handed hitter looking. It was a solid inning of work, continuing his impressive spring. He looks like a good bet to win a spot in the bullpen on the big league club.
- Listed at 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, Sean Coyle (pictured, right) may be undersized, but packs some muscle and strength in his strong upper and lower half. The former 2010 third-round pick, recently optioned from major league camp, took batting practice in early morning workouts, and the first thing that stood out was his plus bat speed and power he generates through the zone, loading with a high leg lift. Coyle started at third base in the Triple-A game, getting two at-bats. It was an uneventful day at the plate. He flew out to right field in his first at-bat on an 0-1 89-mph fastball. His second at-bat came against a tough right-hander with a low three-quarters-to-sidearm slot, who featured a 95-mph fastball and 86-mph frisbee slider. Coyle saw three straight sliders to begin the at-bat before waving at a 95 mph, 0-2 fastball located up and away.
- The other player optioned by the Red Sox on Wednesday, Travis Shaw, also played in the Triple-A game. Listed at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, the 2011 ninth-round draft pick out of Kent State has a strong, tall, muscular, and physically mature build. Shaw’s best approach is when he is spraying line drives with his middle-to-opposite field approach. However, Shaw does have plus raw power, and he put that on display during morning batting practice, pulling a ball over the fence and on top of the roof of the JetBlue park facility in right field. Shaw’s first at-bat included a swing-and-miss on a 1-1 changeup in the dirt and finished with a strikeout looking on a 91-mph fastball on the outside corner. His second at-bat also concluded with a strikeout looking, this time on a backdoor slider that caught the outside part of the plate. In Shaw’s final at-bat, he was first-pitch swinging on a fastball on the inner half that jammed him as he grounded out. Defensively, Shaw does not have great lower half quickness, but moves well enough with great instincts to play solid-average defense at first base.
- Switch-hitting outfielder Henry Ramos got a pair of at-bats, both from the left side. The 2010 fifth-round pick hits from an open stance with a slight crouch from that side. His first at-bat started with two off-speed offerings and ended on a 90-mph fastball, middle-in, for a strikeout looking. His second at-bat ended on a 1-1 fastball that he pulled on the ground to the right side for a groundout.
Photo credit: Justin Haley and Sean Coyle by Kelly O'Connor.
Chaz Fiorino is Assistant Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @cbfiorino.