This week's roundup covers play from the period of November 23-29. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in offseason action, check out our Fall and Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through the end of the offseason.
Dominican Professional Baseball League
Marco Hernandez was quiet this week, going 0 for 12 in the four games he entered this week. Hernandez was the only position player prospect to see action this week.
On the mound, Jonathan Aro made two relief appearances allowing a run on two hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings of work. Aro is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in eight games for Licey. Roman Mendez also made two relief appearances, tossing two scoreless innings, both against Escogido.
This week, we recap the next six players in the season-end Top 40, going from 28 to 23. All entries in this year's Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.
#28 Dayan Diaz, RHP 2015 Teams: Portland Sea Dogs, Pawtucket Red Sox Final Stats: 72 ⅔ IP, 1.73 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 66 K, 31 BB 2015 Peak Ranking: 24 (Current, post-trade) 12:26 PM UPDATE: Diaz has signed with Cincinnati as a minor league free agent.
Season in Review: Diaz returned to Portland for the start of the 2015 season after a successful 11-game stint with the Sea Dogs at the end of 2014. He quickly proved he was ready for the next step, allowing only two runs over his first 15 2/3 innings, striking out 17 and walking only two. He was bumped up to Pawtucket on May 11, where he got off to a bit of a rocky start, pitching to a 4.60 ERA over his first seven appearances.
Diaz was able to put that rough stretch behind him, and over the next month, he did not allow an earned run. From June 13 to July 25, Diaz tossed 24 1/3 scoreless innings over 11 appearances, walking eight and striking out 22. He missed some time at the end of August with a right elbow strain, but he came back to make three appearances for the PawSox in September, and he has pitched well this fall for Lara in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. - Jim Crowell
Season in Review: 2015 was unquestionably Cecchini’s worst season as a professional. His star was quite bright at one point, peaking as the third-ranked prospect in the system after an impressive 2013 season. However, he struggled in 2014 and those struggles only got more pronounced this season. While at Triple-A, he posted career worst marks in every rate stat, despite repeating the level. His calling card at one time during his career was his excellent batting eye and approach, but even that regressed in 2015 with more than twice as many strikeouts as walks. The struggles began right from the outset, with a slow start leading to a .188/.266/.286 line through the end of June. He did manage to put together a strong period between July 6 and August 6, hitting .341/.398/.429, leading to a brief stint in the majors. Perhaps losing confidence after striking out in three of four major league at-bats, he finished the year with only 11 hits in his last 60 at-bats. This year, Cecchini added to his defensive versatility, adding first base to his previous repertoire of third base and left field. -William Woodward
Season in Review: A fourth-round pick in 2014 out of Bryant University, McAvoy made his professional debut in Lowell last year, and skipped straight to Salem to start the 2015 season. He initially proved up to the challenge, posting a 2.04 ERA over his first 39 2/3 innings, though his 25-to-21 strikeout-to-walk ratio and .234 batting average on balls in play hinted that he may not have been pitching as well as his ERA indicated. His numbers regressed significantly over the next two months, as he went on an 11-game skid that saw him pitch to a 6.59 ERA over 56 innings, while allowing 71 hits and 30 walks while striking out only 30.
This week's roundup covers play from the period of November 16-22. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in offseason action, check out our Fall and Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through the end of the offseason.
Arizona Fall League
Sam Travis (pictured) continued his torrid stretch at the plate this fall in the AFL’s final week. Although Travis went 0 for 4 in the league championship game on Saturday as his (and the rest of the Sox contingent’s) Scottsdale Scorpions won the AFL championship, he went 7 for 13 with three doubles and a walk in four games to close out the regular season. He ended the fall hitting .344/.394/.505 in 23 games.
Justin Haley started on Wednesday and pitched very well. He went four innings, allowing just one hit, no runs, and no walks while striking out six to earn the win. He finished with a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings this fall.
Chandler Shepherd had a solid week, tossing 3 1/3 innings while giving up just one earned run with no walks and two punch outs. Danny Rosenbaum struggled with his control but was able to limit the damage, walking four over 1 2/3 innings without allowing a run. Jamie Callahan added a scoreless inning that included a strikeout.
Season in Review: Lakins entered the 2015 college season with a chance to be selected in the first few rounds of the draft, after a freshman year that saw him strikeout 55 batters in 55 innings. Pitching only out of the bullpen in 2014, his fastball reportedly touched 96, and his secondary offerings showed promise. The draft-eligible sophomore moved into the rotation for the Buckeyes in 2015, but both his results and pure stuff took a step back. His ERA rose from 2.45 to 3.75, and he proved to be very hittable, giving up 97 hits in 96 innings to go along with 84 strikeouts and 32 walks. He did reportedly change his arsenal after 2014, scrapping his slider for a curveball that would be better for his long-term development.
The Red Sox added three players to the 40-man roster before Friday's deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft. A pair of relievers, right-hander Pat Light (pictured) and lefty Williams Jerez, will join infielder Marco Hernandez on the major league roster. The moves line up with those projected by Chris Hatfield of SoxProspects.com in his in-depth roster breakdown. The Red Sox cleared two spots by designating infielder Josh Rutledge for assignment and outrighting pitcher Anthony Varvaro off the 40-man roster. Varvaro elected free agency following his outright.
Light, 24, was a supplemental first-round draft choice out of Monmouth University in 2012. The hard-throwing right-hander took quickly to a move to the bullpen in 2015 after struggling as a starter. Light posted a 2.43 ERA in 21 appearances with Double-A Portland, striking out 32 in 29 1/3 innings before an early-June promotion to Triple-A. He struggled some with his control with the PawSox, walking 26 in 33 innings, but he continued to strike out more than a batter per inning. Light joins fellow 2012 draftees Deven Marrero and Brian Johnson on the 40-man roster.
On Friday, the Red Sox will decide which minor league players to add to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from selection in the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place in early December at the Winter Meetings. Often a process that draws inordinate fan attention in comparison to its actual importance, the modern Rule 5 Draft rarely, if ever, results in the selection of an impact player along the lines of past Rule 5 draftees Johan Santana, Josh Hamilton, and Joakim Soria. However, teams' determinations of who to protect, who not to protect, and who to cut loose in order to make roster additions can still have at least moderate impact down the line - see the Red Sox's busy 2012 set of roster moves, in which they declined to protect Josh Fields, designated David Carpenter and Danny Valencia for assignment to make room for other players, and protected Dan Butler and Alex Hassan, where the first three have since been positive MLB contributors and the latter two have barely seen time in the majors between them.
This season, Red Sox face only very simple decisions regarding who to protect from selection. To start, the trade of outfielder Manuel Margot removed the lone slam-dunk 40-man roster addition from the organization, with Craig Kimbrel effectively taking his roster spot. Of the players left, shortstop Marco Hernandez and right-handed reliever Pat Light are near-certain additions, with left-handed reliever Williams Jerez also a possibility. But before we review the players eligible for selection if left unprotected, let's review the basics of the draft. Further details can be found on the SoxProspects.com Wiki.
Last week, we recapped the 13 players who were in the top 40 in the SoxProspects.com rankings at some point this season, but no longer are. Monday we began our recap of the players ranked in the site's end-of-season top 40, and today is the third installment. All entries in this year's Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here. Note that because we set the schedule for this feature several weeks ago, we are going to move forward with using the season-end rankings, despite the recent trade.
Season in Review: At this time last year, Acosta was almost always linked in conversation with 2015 breakout phenom Anderson Espinoza. The two even shared a paragraph in our System Restart back in Spring Training. While there might be some natural inclination to be disappointed that Acosta didn’t match Espinoza’s breakthrough, that would be totally unfair to Acosta (or to any player, really). Realistically, 2015 did not give much more insight into the 17-year-old right-hander than there was heading into the season. A 4.28 ERA is not the sort of dominance one would hope to see out of a $1.5 million pitcher, but DSL stats are notoriously non-predictive and Acosta pitched only nine times. If you are looking for bright spots, Acosta did not allow a home run, he issued only five walks, and his arm was healthy – his four-week stint on the disabled list was due to an ankle injury. - James Dunne
Last week, we recapped the 13 players who were in the top 40 in the SoxProspects.com rankings at some point this season, but no longer are. Monday we began our recap of the players ranked in the site's end-of-season top 40, and today is the second installment. All entries in this year's Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here. Note that because we set the schedule for this feature several weeks ago, we are going to move forward with using the season-end rankings, despite the recent trade.
Season in Review: Glorius signed with Boston as an undrafted free agent this past August out of Division II Valdosta State University, making his professional debut for Lowell on August 5. He made seven appearances, with five starts, striking out 36 batters while walking 13 over his 26 1/3 strong innings for the Spinners. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-hander posted a 2.70 ERA and surrendered just 21 hits. He had a couple hiccups though, giving up three earned runs in one outing and five in another. However, Glorius did not give up any earned runs in his other five appearances, and threw 15 consecutive scoreless innings at one point in August. One final fun fact on Glorius: He tied national records in a high school game with five home runs, including two grand slams, and 17 RBI as part of his team’s 38-0 victory. – Nick Rabasco
This week's roundup covers play from the period of November 9-15. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in offseason action, check out our Fall and Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through the end of the offseason.
Arizona Fall League
With Carlos Asuaje being traded in the Craig Kimbrel trade, the Red Sox lost one position player participating in the league, but they added Jamie Callahan (pictured)to Scottsdale's roster, with the former second-round pick making two appearances out of the bullpen last week. He went one inning in each appearance, giving up a total of one run on one hit and one walk while notching a strikeout.
The big play of the week came on Monday, when Sam Travis stepped to the plate with two runners on and his team down by one in the bottom of the ninth. He connected for his first home run of the fall league for the walk-off victory. He finished the week going 6 for 22 with the home run, two doubles, and five runs batted in. He also struck out four times while drawing a walk. He is currently 10th in the league with a .313 batting average, while his .371 on-base percentage ranks 15th.
Last week, we recapped the 13 players who were in the top 40 in the SoxProspects.com rankings at some point this season, but no longer are. Today, we start our recap of the seasons of the players ranked in the site's end-of-season rankings. Note that because we set the schedule for this feature several weeks ago, we are going to move forward with using the season-end rankings, despite the recent trade of Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, Logan Allen, and Carlos Asuaje to San Diego.
Season in Review: Shepherd was one of the sensations of the Cape Cod League back in 2013, generating buzz as a potential top-100 pick the following spring. Unfortunately, a laceration on his pitching hand forced him into the Kentucky bullpen, and the right-hander ended up falling all the way to the 13th round of the 2014 draft. The Red Sox gave Shepherd a slightly conservative placement out of spring training this year, assigning him to Low A Greenville. The 6-foot-2 righty faced little resistance at that level, striking out 16 of the 64 batters he faced (25 percent) in seven outings and earning an early promotion to Salem on May 14.
Well, it did not take very long into the offseason for Dave Dombrowski to make a blockbuster move, as the Red Sox traded four of their top 25 prospects on Friday for Padres closer Craig Kimbrel. If there ever was a time for an emergency podcast, this is it, so Chris, Matt, and Ian got on the horn to discuss the ins and outs of the deal. We have scouting reports on Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, Logan Allen, Carlos Asuaje, and even Kimbrel. Was it an overpay, and even if it was, does it still make sense for the Sox? How much does it matter that the system is so deep and the Sox are set at shortstop and center field? How did the free agent market influence the deal? We leave no stone unturned in our debate!
The Red Sox announced Friday night the acquisition of right-hander Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres in return for outfielder Manuel Margot, shortstop Javier Guerra, left-handed pitcher Logan Allen and second baseman Carlos Asuaje. In dealing those four prospects, the Red Sox took advantage of two of the deeper positions in their system, dealing from a surplus of outfielders and middle infielders in order to trade up for proven closer.
But we won’t sugar coat it: The Red Sox paid a steep price to get that proven closer. Margot and Guerra were two top 100 prospects in the game, and Logan Allen had the potential to move up the prospect ranks next year as a polished left-hander getting his first taste of full-season ball.
- Manuel Margot has been with the Red Sox since he signed as an international free agent in July 2011 for an $800,000 signing bonus. Since he entered the system, he has excelled at every level, reaching Portland this season and putting up a .271/.326/.419 line in 258 at-bats as a 20-year-old. Margot is listed at 6-foot-0, 170 pounds with an athletic frame. He is a quick-twitch athlete who projects to add strength as he continues to physically mature.
His best present tools are defensive ability and speed, but he also has potential to hit for average and some power. Margot is a potential plus-to-better center fielder with no questions about his ability to stay up the middle. He gets solid reads off the bat and does a good job tracking the ball, wasting little movement in his routes. His arm strength is only solid-average, but he is accurate with his throws and has a quick release that will play in center. Although he is not the same caliber defender as a Jackie Bradley, he still plays a very impressive center field, and with his instincts and speed he will be a very good fit in the spacious outfield in San Diego. Margot is also a plus-to-better runner with the type of speed that makes the defense rush. He gets out of the box well for a right-hander, and though he has not put up big-time steal totals in the minors, he has the potential to steal 30-plus bases at the big league level.
The Red Sox have announced that they have traded for Padres closer Craig Kimbrel. Boston will send Manuel Margot (pictured), Javier Guerra, Logan Allen, and Carlos Asuaje to San Diego in return.
Margot had a strong 2015 season that began in Salem and ended in Portland. The SoxProspects.com fourth-ranked prospect hit .282/.321/.420 in 46 games for Salem and .271/.326/.419 in 64 games with Portland. Some speculated that Margot would be involved in some type of deal this winter, as the Red Sox have plenty of young talent in the outfield, especially in the big leagues, but now do look thin at the position in the upper minors. Margot just turned 21 this past September and signed with Boston as an international free agent in July of 2011. He was working his way up that ladder in the Red Sox system and is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League. His speed and power combination make for an intriguing prospect that many believe will become an impact outfielder in the future, though he does not project to have an elite-level ceiling.
The 2015 third rounder entered the rankings at 21 on the strength of pre-draft scouting reports that pegged him as one of the best defensive catchers in the draft and a Baseball America top 100 draft prospect. He missed time during his junior season at Washington with a torn left thumb ligament which may have hurt his draft stock, and it is quite possible that it still bothered him in Lowell, as he did not nearly come as advertised, struggling both at the plate and in the field. He flashed plus tools defensively at times, but at others, he had a hard time even catching pitches in the strike zone. At the plate, the numbers tell the story, although he did right the ship somewhat after a 2-for-30 stretch to start his pro career. While he may have been a candidate to start 2016 in Salem, after his performance in Lowell, Rei will almost certainly begin 2016 in Greenville.
With Acosta, his appearance here is less about falling out of the Top 40 than it is about his hovering right around the edges of its periphery all season, as he ranked between 40 and 47 at all points since Opening Day. The 19-year-old Venezuelan has shown the ability to hit for power in the past, slugging a more-impressive-than-it-sounds eight home runs in the Dominican Summer League in 2013. However, he had his lowest power output in his three professional seasons in 2015, hitting just one home run and slugging .351 while working through struggles against New York-Penn League pitching. Acosta started hot with 15 hits in his first nine games of the season, but he had just 38 more in his final 47 games, posting a .216/.278/.307 line over that stretch. His power also came in bunches, as eight of his 16 doubles came in a 10-game stretch from July 31 to August 13.
Today marks the start of our annual Top 40 Season in Review series. Over the coming weeks, we’ll recap the seasons of the top 40 prospects in our end-of-season rankings, as well as those of this season’s seven graduates from the top 40, and preview what’s ahead for them in 2016. This week, as a primer, we’ll take brief looks at the prospects who were in the top 40 at some point this year but are no longer. Our first entry looks at four players who dealt with significant injuries in 2015.
Coyle began the season as the 15th-ranked prospect in the system, but by the end of August, he’d fallen out of the top 40, and he now sits at 46 on the list. His fall can be attributed to the two bugaboos that have plagued him since he entered the system as a 2010 third-round pick: strikeouts and injuries. On the former, he struck out in nearly a third of his trips to the plate this season, and that 32.5-percent strikeout rate ranked second-highest in the system among hitters with at least 200 plate appearances. On the latter, the injury bug hit him early and often in 2015: He missed a week in April, then about a month from May 12 to June 8 with elbow inflammation, before his Pawtucket season came to an abrupt end on June 30 when he was placed on the DL with a lower back strain. Coyle attempted one last comeback, playing nine games in the Gulf Coast League and three in Lowell on a rehab assignment in early August before he was again shut down, this time for the rest of the season.
This week's roundup covers play from the period of November 2-8. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in offseason action, check out our Fall and Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through the end of the offseason.
Arizona Fall League
Sam Travis (pictured, right) remained hot, going 5 for 11 with a double and three RBI in three games this week. The 22-year-old first baseman also took part in the AFL Fall Stars game on Saturday, entering the game as a pinch hitter for the AFL East squad, walking and scoring a run in his first plate appearance and striking out in the other. The West Stars defeated the East Stars, 8-3. Travis is hitting .328/.394/.448 in 14 games this fall.
Carlos Asuaje had a nice week, going 6 for 11 with two runs scored, bringing his fall average up to .318 in 11 games. Tzu-Wei Lin did not fare as well, going just 1 for 12 with two RBI in his three appearances.
On the mound, Justin Haley made his second start of the Fall on Thursday, hurling three innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits, striking out four, in a no-decision. Kyle Martin tossed 3 1/3 innings of relief, allowing a run on three hits in two appearances. Danny Rosenbaum also appeared in two contests, picking up the win on Thursday, despite allowing a run on two hits in his lone inning of work. Chandler Shepherd earned the save in Friday's contest, pitching a perfect inning of relief, striking out two.
Let's put a bow on the 2015 edition of our individual top 40 rankings, in which we reached near-consensus that Gerson Bautista was an arm to watch for next year and were all pretty happy with how we did last year.
This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass will be participating in the third year of our annual individual rankings series, posting their end-of-season Top 40 rankings and answering some questions about their lists. Our aggregate rankings are already out as the current site rankings, so that will provide some context for some of the questions each staffer was asked. Last up is Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.
At the start of October, SoxProspects.com Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino had some remaining notes from the last couple of weeks of the season, and put out one more regular season edition of The Write-Up with notes on 2015 draft picks Logan Allen and Travis Lakins and former international signees William Cuevas and Yankory Pimentel.
This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass will be participating in the third year of our annual individual rankings series, posting their end-of-season Top 40 rankings and answering some questions about their lists. Our aggregate rankings are already out as the current site rankings, so that will provide some context for some of the questions each staffer was asked. Next up is Managing Editor Matt Huegel.
This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass will be participating in the third year of our annual individual rankings series, posting their end-of-season Top 40 rankings and answering some questions about their lists. Our aggregate rankings are already out as the current site rankings, so that will provide some context for some of the questions each staffer was asked. Next up is Site Founder and Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews.
This week's roundup covers play from the period of October 26- November 1. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in offseason action, check out our Fall and Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through the end of the offseason.
Arizona Fall League
MLB announced the participants in this Saturday's Fall Stars Game on Monday, and Sam Travis (pictured) was the lone Red Sox honoree. ?The game will be broadcast live on the MLB Network and streamed on MLB.com at 8 p.m.
The honor caps a week in which the first baseman was on fire. SoxProspects.com's ninth-ranked prospect went 8 for 16 with a double, two walks, and a sacrifice fly. He had a three-hit game and a four-hit game. Most notably, Travis has cut down on his strikeouts, punching out just once in 19 plate appearances this past week. He is now hitting .319/.377/.447 in 11 games this fall. His fellow Red Sox in Scottsdale did not fare as well: Carlos Asuaje went 3 for 13 with a walk and three RBI and Tzu-Wei Lin went 2 for 10 with a walk and a run in three games.
Justin Haley made his AFL debut on Friday and went three innings as the starter, allowing one earned run on one hit, one walk, and one strikeout without allowing a run. Left-hander Danny Rosenbaum tossed two scoreless innings in relief on Wednesday. Kyle Martin earned a save, striking out two in a perfect inning. Chandler Shepard had a rough outing followed up by a much better showing. He gave up three earned runs on a home run and two walks in an inning of work on Tuesday, but tossed 1 1/3 perfect innings with two strikeouts on Saturday.
This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass will be participating in the third year of our annual individual rankings series, posting their end-of-season Top 40 rankings and answering some questions about their lists. Our aggregate rankings are already out as the current site rankings, so that will provide some context for some of the questions each staffer was asked. First up is Executive Editor & Podcast Host Chris Hatfield.