March 17, 2016 at 6:00 AM
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Both members of the SoxProspects.com Scouting Department, Ian Cundall and Chaz Fiorino, arrived in Fort Myers on Wednesday for the start of the annual site trip to minor league camp. With the High A and Low A clubs traveling to Port Charlotte to take on the Rays, the guys headed north too. Here are their Notes from the Field.
- Yoan Moncada (pictured) started at second base and had four plate appearances from the left side. His first two at-bats of the day came against Rays starter Jake Odorizzi. In Moncada’s first at-bat he grounded out to shortstop on an 0-1 fastball away. In his next at-bat, he really battled and demonstrated good plate discipline and approach. Moncada saw a heavy dose of off-speed with a pitch sequence that went curveball, slider, changeup, changeup. With the count 2-2, Moncada fouled off a fastball and then took a fastball just away off the plate for a ball. With the count 3-2, Odorizzi went to his bread & butter changeup, and Moncada swung right over the top for a strikeout.
In Moncada’s third at-bat, he once again saw a heavy dose of off-speed, with a pitch sequence of curveball, changeup, curveball leading to a 1-2 count. Moncada struck out looking on a fastball perfectly located down-and-away that could have been called a ball and that he probably couldn't have done anything with anyway. In Moncada’s final plate appearance, he fought off a few 94-96 mph fastballs and laid off some bad pitches to work his way to a 3-2 count. With runners on 1st and 3rd, Moncada took a fastball away slightly off the plate for a walk. This was a quality at-bat to see Moncada stay patient within the at-bat and lay off some bad pitches with runners on the corners rather than coming to the plate overly aggressive and hacking to try and drive in runs on pitches that he would not be able to handle.
Defensively, Moncada showed athleticism and solid footwork around the bag on a 6-4-3 double play opportunity. An aggressive baserunner came in to break up the double play, but Moncada received the throw from shortstop and hung in there, making an athletic turn and transfer to make an above-average throw to first, albeit not in time to get the runner. Conversely, Moncada had one blunder in the field. With a runner on first, Moncada ranged to his right on a groundball up the middle and appeared to pause and concern himself with the runner coming towards second rather than the ball, which ended up skipping past him into center field on what should have been a routine putout. – Chaz
- Luis Alexander Basabe (pictured, charging) had a strong year in Lowell, showing off an intriguing power/speed combination and establishing himself as one of the highest ceiling Red Sox hitters in the low minors. His power potential was on display on Wednesday, as a he did a great job staying back and driving a pitch on the outer half out to left field for a home run. This was noteworthy, as Basabe’s power last season was mostly to the pull-side, including all seven of his home runs, regardless of which side of the plate the switch-hitter was hitting from. Basabe is a very intriguing prospect and one who could take a big step forward and push towards the top five prospects in the system. – Ian
- Travis Lakins threw three innings with two strikeouts and allowing two walks and a hit while generating five swing-and-misses. Lakins is listed at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds and appears to have put on some upper-body strength in the offseason, looking a bit stronger and more filled out than I remembered in his brief appearance in Lowell last year. Lakins used a heavy mix of curveballs and changeups both early and behind in counts. The fastball sat 91-93 mph with some arm-side sink when down, but in the third inning, the velocity dropped a bit to 88-90 mph. The curveball was 75-78 mph, showing above-average, 12-to-6 break. The changeup ranged from 83-87 mph and was also an above-average pitch with late tumble, coming out on the same plane and arm speed as the fastball, making it difficult to pick up out of the hand. Four of the five swing-and-misses came on the changeup. Lakins was consistently around the plate, but found himself walking two batters after falling behind early in counts trying to mix in a heavy dose of secondaries, which he did in all counts throughout the outing. – Chaz
- 2014 third-round pick Jake Cosart (pictured) really struggled in 2015, as his fastball regressed and he completely lost his delivery. While his delivery is still rough and his command and control works in progress, Cosart’s velocity was back in his inning of work in relief Wednesday. Cosart had a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts and encouragingly sat 95-97 mph. He got one strikeout swinging on a 96 mph offering up and out of the zone and got swings-and-misses on two other occasions. His other strikeout came on a curveball in the zone on the outside half against a right-handed hitter, although he missed the corner with it. Cosart’s delivery is extremely arm-heavy, barely incorporating his lower half, and he did throw one fastball directly to the backstop, but compared to how he looked last year in Lowell, this outing was very encouraging. – Ian
- Shortstop Imeldo Diaz didn’t hit well in the Dominican Summer League last year (.217/.289/.245 in 70 games), but the 18-year-old was still brought stateside this spring, and after watching infield drills you can see why. Diaz has an athletic build, already bigger than most shortstops that make the jump from the DSL. He still has projection in his frame though, and needs to get significantly stronger. Diaz’s actions in the field are smooth and fluid, and he has good footwork and fundamentals. He also showed off a quick release and transfer from glove to throwing hand and plus arm strength. – Ian
- Bobby Poyner (pictured) is a 23-year-old left-handed pitcher. The 2015 14th-round draft pick out of the University of Florida showed an 88-89 mph fastball and fringe-average secondaries with a 78-79 mph changeup and 78 mph slurvy breaking ball. Poyner is a strike thrower with a left-handed relief profile. – Chaz
- Trevor Kelley is a 22-year-old right-handed pitcher who throws from a true sidearm arm slot. The 2015 36th-round draft pick out of the University of North Carolina pitches from the third base side of the rubber, making a very uncomfortable at bat for right-handed hitters with his sidearm delivery. His fastball was 85-87 mph, and he showed a sweeping breaking ball at 73-74 mph. – Chaz
- Carlos Garcia is a 21-year-old left-handed pitcher signed as an international free agent in July 2011 who has spent two years each in the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League. The undersized left-hander’s fastball ranged 87-89 mph. He also showed fringe secondaries in an 84-mph changeup and 72-mph curveball. – Chaz
- Right-hander Marcos Lantigua was born in Boston, but signed as an international free agent in May 2014. The 20-year-old sat 89-91 mph, topping out at 92, pitching in relief in the Low-A game. Lantigua has good height, listed at 6-foot-3, but a soft body with limited projection. He mixed in a slow, loopy breaking ball at 73-74 mph and a changeup at 81-83 mph that was straight in the upper velocity range but showed fade at lower velocities. – Ian
Photo Credit: Yoan Moncada, Luis Alexander Basabe, Jake Cosart, and Bobby Poyner by Kelly O'Connor.
Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.
Chaz Fiorino is Assistant Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @cbfiorino.