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SoxProspects News

July 6, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: International and draft signings

Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • The international signing period opened up on July 2nd and the Red Sox made quick work, signing several top prospects including catcher Daniel Flores (pictured, right), and shortstops Danny Diaz and Antoni Flores. To get more information on these young players, the SoxProspects.com podcast team welcomed international prospect guru Ben Badler of Baseball America to break down these players and give more insight into the Red Sox international strategy after being forced to sit out the 2016 signing period.
  • The deadline to sign draft picks is Friday, July 7th at 5:00 pm. On the Podcast, Chris and Ian talked about the 2017 draft signings, which as of this writing still does not include fourth-round pick Jake Thompson. The guys pointed out that the Red Sox have $420,955 remaining to sign Thompson and use on bonuses over $125,000 for picks after the 10th round and stay under their cap, plus the 5% overage they are allowed without losing their 2018 first-round pick. However, should they fail to sign Thompson, losing the $397,800 slot value for his pick, they are left with just $3,265 to spend on bonuses over $125,000 for picks 11-40. This could be the reason that some reported late-round signings that might command over-slot bonuses have not been announced, as they could hinge on the signing of Thompson.
  • In the Podcast, Ian and Chris talked about Rafael Devers and when he might be promoted. It was hard for them to contain their excitement, and that is understandable as the top-ranked prospect is having an incredible year. He started fairly well but has taken it to another level since the start of June, hitting .324/.385/.712 over 122 plate appearances since June 1st with 10 home runs. A promotion to Triple-A, the All-Star Game and Futures game remains a strong possibility. 
  • Last year around this time, the Red Sox signed the 13th overall pick in the 2016 draft, high school lefty Jay Groome. He only threw 6 2/3 innings last year and was sent to the disabled list after an inning and a third with a lat injury at the start of this season, ultimately costing him two months. It was no surprise that when he returned to the mound, SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall was in attendance. He is the subject of Ian's latest addition of Scouting Scratch, and while he does say he is the highest upside pitcher in the system, he also says he is a very high-risk prospect.
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  • One of the biggest risers in July's rankings update was infielder Tzu-Wei Lin (pictured, left), now ranked 31st on the SoxProspects.com rankings. The 23-year-old has been on fire since a slew of injuries necessitated his major league debut. Over a small sample of 32 major league plate appearances, Lin has hit .333/.419/.481 while seeing time at second base, third base, and shortstop. He had also had a strong first 48 games for Portland and was hitting .302/.379/.491 at the time of his call-up after struggling at the level in 2016. Red Sox manager John Farrel told Tim Britton of the Providence Journal that it will be hard to turn away from the production and defensive flexibility of Lin, even when injured players such as Pablo Sandoval and Brock Holt are ready to return from the DL.
  • Triple-A Baseball announced yesterday the six participants who will face off in this year's Triple-A Home Run Derby taking place on Monday. Among them is Red Sox outfielder Bryce Brentz. Brentz is having a very strong season, hitting .279/.350/.558 with 18 home runs, good for the third-most in the International League. The 28-year-old won two SoxProspects.com Player of the Week awards in June before taking home the Player of the Month award for the month as well. His June stats are absolutely amazing, finishing the month with a .340/.421/.740 line along with 11 home runs. Brentz becomes the third Pawtucket Red Sox player selected to the All-Star roster, joining teammates Edgar Olmos and Rusney Castillo.
  • Earlier this week, the Pawtucket Red Sox announced that their agreement to exclusively negotiate with the city of Pawtucket on a future home for the team expired at the end of June. They stated they now can accept calls from other cities, but they remain committed to continuing the conversation with Pawtucket in the hopes of finding a long-term solution. 
Photo Credit: Daniel Flores by Baseball America and Tzu-Wei Lin by Kelly O'Connor.

Will Woodward is a Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.