March 20, 2017 at 2:00 PM
Here are Monday's minor league notes:
- The SoxProspects.com staff was down in Fort Myers on their annual spring training trip last week. Content from that trip has already begun to roll out and will continue over the next several weeks including scouting reports, video, and more.
- SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall was among the crew down there, and he put out his first edition of his Notes from the Field column this past week. The notes are headlined by our second-ranked prospect, third baseman Rafael Devers (pictured, right), but there are also notes on some lesser known prospects, including right-hander Victor Garcia, lefty Oddanier Mosqueda, shortstop Santiago Espinal, and more.
- The staff was also cranking out tons of video. Be sure to follow the main SoxProspects account on Twitter and Facebook, but also make sure to follow all of the staff members as well. The must-watch video came when 2016 12th-overall pick and SoxProspects.com third-ranked prospect, lefty Jason Groome, took the mound. Here is the video (taken on Periscope) from both his first inning and his second inning, providing a great look at the highly touted prospect. In this outing, he threw 2 2/3 shutout innings with a walk and two strikeouts. Cundall had the gun on him and reported his fastball was 90-92 mph, his changeup was 80-82 mph, and his curveball was 74-78 mph. I continue to be very impressed with his curveball and it seems as though Ian was too also noting that his changeup has shown improvement.
- Here are some of the other video highlights:
- Third baseman and fifth-ranked prospect Bobby Dalbec in the cage and also a live look at one of his at-bats on Friday.
- Devers is fun to watch take BP, especially on the field, where he can hit it on/over the training complex's roof. Devers' batting practice session is shown here.
- Video of batting practice for newly acquired second baseman Josh Tobias, who was acquired this winter for Clay Buchholz.
- 2016 fifth-round pick Mike Shawaryn throws an inning.
- Batting practice for first baseman/outfielder Nick Longhi.
- MiLB.com recently ranked the system eighth in MLB in under-21 talent, mentioning prospects such as Devers, Groome, and Dalbec. Baseball America's Matt Eddy widens the age range, ranking the organizations with the top under-25 talent. The Red Sox fared even better with these criteria, ranking third overall with major leaguers Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Blake Swihart also considered.
- Benintendi has been recognized as the consensus best prospect in baseball. WEEI.com's Rob Bradford looks into how Benintendi is handling the accompanying unprecedented attention.
- The competition for the last bench spot is down to Marco Hernandez and Josh Rutledge, but most expect that Rutledge will win out in part because he is a right-handed hitter and is a better compliment to the rest of the roster. That said, Hernandez is probably the higher ceiling talent and has had a very strong spring thus far, which leads Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald to wonder if he could be trade bait.
- Bradford says that three of the top spring training standouts (Hernandez, right-hander Kyle Kendrick, and first baseman Sam Travis) all likely will not make the Opening Day roster but will provide the team with some much-needed depth.
- The Red Sox claimed Steve Selsky off of waivers this off-season, and the move is already looking like a shrewd one. The Red Sox are having Selsky return to his roots by taking ground balls at third base in addition to his regular spots in the outfield and first base, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.
- Another player the Red Sox acquired this offseason, lefty Edgar Olmos (pictured, left), has been impressing in spring training as a non-roster invitee after spending last year in Baltimore's minor league system. Over six appearances, Olmos has 11 strikeouts to just two walks and a 1.17 ERA. MacPherson notes that instead of pitching off of his fastball as he has traditionally done, Olmos has fueled his recent success by using his curveball as his primary pitch.
- The Red Sox have always been a team that relied heavily on analytics, but this focus was almost entirely on major league level data. MacPherson says that big data is making its way to Red Sox player development now as well.
- In former Red Sox prospect news, second baseman Yoan Moncada hit his first home run of the spring, while right-hander Michael Kopech also impressed by throwing two one-hit innings while striking out five and raising eyebrows with his extreme velocity. Both players were sent to the Chicago White Sox as part of the trade for lefty Chris Sale.
- It is hard to believe that it has been seven years since another highly touted former Red Sox prospect, Ryan Westmoreland, had brain surgery on a cavernous malformation of his brain stem. Bradford looks back at what Westmoreland might have been.
- The following minor league players (not on the 40-man or a non-roster invitee to major league camp) saw action in major league games this past Thursday through Sunday: Tzu-Wei Lin, Ty Buttrey, Anyelo LeClerc, Trevor Kelley, Mike Olt, Ryan Court, Tim Roberson, Jose Rosario, and Jantzen Witte.
Photo Credit: Rafael Devers and Edgar Olmos by Kelly O'Connor.
Will Woodward is a Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.