September 19, 2016 at 3:39 PM
Here are this week's minor league notes:
- SoxProspects.com unveiled its 2016 season-end award winners this past week. It was a good year for the system, and there were several worthy candidates for every award. In the end, the winners were as follows: Andrew Benintendi won Player of the Year, Jake Cosart won Pitcher of the Year, Rookie of the Year went to Bobby Dalbec (pictured, right), Mauricio Dubon was the Breakout Player of the Year, Jhonathan Diaz won Comeback Player of the Year, Pedro Castellanos and Ritzi Mendoza won the DSL Hitter and Pitcher of the Year awards, Cubs first basemen Anthony Rizzo won the Ex-Player of the Year, and finally, Red Sox star right fielder, Mookie Betts, won the Homegrown Player of the Year.
- The Red Sox announced their own season-end award winners this past week as well, and there were not many double-ups from our awards. The repeat winners were Castellanos and Mendoza who won the Red Sox Latin Player and Pitcher of the year honors as well. Other award winners were Yoan Moncada as Minor League Offensive Player of the Year, Roniel Raudes as the Minor League Pitcher of the Year, third basemen Rafael Devers won the Minor League Defensive Player of the Year honors, and Mauricio Dubon was awarded the Baserunner of the Year.
- Lastly, lefty Robby Scott won the Lou Gorman Award which goes to the player who has "demonstrated dedication and perseverance in overcoming obstacles while working his way to the Major League team". Scott was undrafted and only signed after pitching for the independent Yuma Scorpions.
- Baseball America surveyed the entire landscape of minor league baseball and announced their 2016 Player of the Year, and for the first time ever it went to a Red Sox prospect, Yoan Moncada. It has been quite the year for Moncada, who has hit .294/.407/.511 between Salem and Portland, won the Futures Game MVP, and has now been promoted to the major league roster.
- The Red Sox also announced their 2016 Fall League Roster. In all, 47 players were named to the roster. Highlights include 2016 12th overall pick Jason Groome, Dalbec, CJ Chatham, and Shaun Anderson, who are all ranked in the top 20 prospects in the Red Sox organization by SoxProspects.com. For more information including the complete roster and schedule, check out Senior Staff Writer John Gray's write-up.
- On Friday, Groome had a pretty special day for the young prospect, getting a couple hours of face-to-face time with the members of the big league roster. The Boston Herald's Michael Silverman has notes from his visit and quotes from the young lefty on what the experience was like.
- The Dominican Winter League draft was also held this past week. Players must be from the Dominican Republic and have reached full season ball to be draft eligible. While the team that drafts a player holds their rights, not all players will play in the league right from the start of the season, if at all. In total four Red Sox players were selected: right-handers Victor Diaz, Gerson Bautista, and Yankory Pimentel (pictured, left) were selected by Escogido, and third baseman Roldani Baldwin was selected by the Tigres del Licey.
- There were two large stories that focused on off-the-field and front office news. The first was that former Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington was hired by the AL East rival Toronto Blue Jays as their new Vice President of Baseball Operations. Tim Britton of the Providence Journal got manager John Farrell and pitcher Clay Buchholz's opinions of the signing, and also noted that Cherington is expected to focus mainly on player development in his new role.
- While many former coworkers and players are openly praising Cherington and the move, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald says the signing should scare the Red Sox.
- The other big front office news this past week focuses on shady tactics by the Padres organization in their disclosure of injury information. The Red Sox became involved when questions were raised about the Anderson Espinoza-for-Drew Pomeranz deal, and the injury information on Pomeranz that was provided to the Red Sox. ESPN's Buster Olney broke the news regarding the findings of the investigation. It was determined that the Padres used two injury databases: one for internal use only and one for industry consumption. This was used to give them an advantage in trades by not fully disclosing information on their players.
- As a result, most expected harsh punishments to come down on the Padres. In the end, the punishments doled out by MLB was a 30-day suspension for Padres GM AJ Preller. There was no additional compensation going to the Red Sox for being misled during this Pomeranz deal. While it is the first punishment for this type of infraction, not everyone is happy with the severity of the punishment. On Friday on NESN, Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner voiced his displeasure, saying "I think it’s fair to say that we were extremely disappointed in the decision. We feel that some wrong was committed and it’s important to have a level playing field, and the Padres didn’t play on it.”
- The Royals requested unconditional release waivers for former Red Sox prospect outfielder Rey Fuentes this week after he was designated for assignment earlier this month. Fuentes was selected by the Red Sox with the 28th overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft. A year and a half later, he was one of the players sent to San Diego as part of the package to acquire first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. In November of 2014, the Royals traded for Fuentes in exchange for left-hander Kyle Bartsch.
Photo Credit: Bobby Dalbec and Yankory Pimentel by Kelly O'Connor.
Will Woodward is a Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.