February 3, 2016 at 7:00 AM
Here are this month's minor league notes:
- The Red Sox announced that they have agreed to extend the Player Development Contract with the Greenville Drive through the 2020 season. The Drive have been an affiliate of the Red Sox since 2005, and Fluor Field's nearly identical dimensions to Fenway Park have helped players learn how to use the Green Monster over the course of a full season.
- The 2015 Season in Review series wrapped up on January 22, and it is a great resource for the fans who are looking to re-acquaint themselves with the players after a long offseason. The series covered recent graduates, like Blake Swihart and Eduardo Rodriguez, every player who was ranked in the site's top 40 at the end of the season, and also players who were ranked in the top 40 at one point but who ultimately fell out of the rankings. All 33 entries in the series can be found here.
- The minor league coaching staffs for 2016 have been set, and most of the changes involve familiar faces rising up the ranks.
- Nine more non-roster invitees for Major League spring training were announced in January, highlighted by Sam Travis, who is currently ranked seventh in the system. Brennan Boesch was signed after spending last season in the Cincinnati Reds organization, and he is reunited with Dave Dombrowski, who drafted him with the Tigers in 2006. The Red Sox also brought back Dan Butler on a minor league deal after he spent last season in the Washington Nationals organization.
- Both MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus released their top 100 prospect lists last week, with the Red Sox well represented on both lists. On MLB.com, the Red Sox placed three players in the top 25, with Yoan Moncada coming in at number seven, followed by Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi at 17 and 25 respectively. The only other player on the list was Anderson Espinoza at number 39.
- BP listed five Red Sox players, with Moncada at seven, Devers at 35, Benintendi at 46, Espinoza at 73, and Michael Kopech at 98.
- After a year full of transitions, Moncada has been training in Fort Myers as he prepares for his first full season of professional baseball. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe checked in on Moncada, who says he feels great physically and is excited for the 2016 season.
- Speier also talked to Brian Johnson, and Johnson provided some more detail on the injury that ended his 2015 season. After going down with a left elbow injury, he got some promising news that his UCL was in great shape. The pain was caused by nerve irritation, and it is now fully healed after an offseason of rest.
- In a fun article that is not meant to be taken too seriously, Baseball America proposed five prospect-for-prospect trades that would benefit both teams. They proposed a trade that would send Moncada to the Mets for a package headlined by Steven Matz.
- The PawSox announced that longtime Public Relations head Bill Wanless has been promoted to Vice President of Communications & Community Relations. Additionally, Michael Gwynn, who has been with the team for 25 years, is the new Vice President of Sponsorships, and Rob Crain has been named the Vice President of Sales.
Photo Credit: Eduardo Rodriguez by Kelly O'Connor