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SoxProspects News

March 26, 2018 at 9:00 PM

Fort Report: Poyner & Walden make big league club

Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • According to the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham, the Red Sox have decided on their 25-man roster. Notable prospects included on the opening day roster are Brian Johnson, Bobby Poyner, Marcus Walden (pictured) and Blake Swihart. With specifically Poyner and Walden reportedly making the team out of camp, both Robby Scott and Brandon Workman will begin the year in Pawtucket.
  • Knuckleballer Steven Wright has been suspended for 15 games to begin the year, according to Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston. Although Wright is not a prospect, his 15-game suspension, announced on Friday, and a trip to the disabled list after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in his surgically repaired left knee could mean more than just a cup of coffee for Johnson – depending on the health of Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz.
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March 22, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Fort Report: Updated scouting reports and roster decisions drawing closer

Here are Thursday's minor league notes:
  • As the season rapidly approaches the SoxProspects.com staff continues to update scouting reports on players down in Fort Myers. Both Bobby Poyner (pictured), and Jalen Beeks received updates to their player pages.
  • Though most of the Red Sox roster is set, there are some questions as to who will round out the bullpen staff. Rob Bradford of WEEI says that manager Alex Cora will not necessarily carry a left-handed reliever and will take the best arms who can get outs on both sides of the plate. Bobby Poyner (pictured) has been throwing the ball well and, despite not having pitched above Double-A, is in consideration along with Robby Scott and Heath Hembree, should Cora decide to carry a left-hander.
  • Bradford also reported that Brian Johnson will likely pitch on April 2, Boston's interleague opener against Miami and if Eduardo Rodriguez or Steven Wright cannot pitch in their series with the Rays, Hector Velazquez will slot in their place.
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at 8:37 AM

Podcast Ep. #135 - 2018 Spring Training Trip Preview

The annual rite of spring approaches—the SoxProspects staff spring training trip is coming, and to set the table, Chris and Ian preview what they are looking forward to seeing when they get to the Fort. Ian notes the remaking of Tanner Houck. Chris lists out the questions that surround Cole Brannen. Ian wants to see Darwinzon Hernandez’ new slider. Chris seeks to understand what Alex Scherff is. The guys talk about the lack of power in the system, and the guys who might reverse that trend. Chris muses on the pop-up arm that will catch the guys by surprise. And finally, they go over the potential middle infielders to build out the system’s up-the-middle talent.
Listen in!

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March 19, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Fort Report: Scouting update and another home run for Travis

Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • Top prospect Jay Groome worked out with Chris Sale in the offseason, and Groome talked with Scott Lauber of ESPN.com about what it was like to work with one of the best pitchers in baseball, and Sale discussed what he saw in Groome's work ethic. 
  • Sam Travis (pictured, right) is only hitting .250 this spring, but he now leads the team with four home runs after launching a three-run home run on Saturday. He is third in slugging percentage among players receiving consistent playing time, trailing only Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi, and this was exactly the spring he needed to get his prospect status back on track. 
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March 15, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Fort Report: Minors changes while Drive get their bling

Here are Thursday’s minor league notes from Fort Myers:
  • The SoxProspects team updated its scouting report on two players in the system in fifth-ranked prospect Sam Travis and sixth-ranked prospect Josh Ockimey. Both seem destined for the minors out of spring training, due to a logjam at first base and designated hitter with the big league club. Travis will most likely head back to Pawtucket and Ockimey to Portland.
  • The Red Sox didn’t start a single prospect in a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday. Tzu-Wei Lin, Aneury Tavarez, Deven Marrero, Blake Swihart, Iván DeJesús Jr., Dan Butler, and Travis all received at least one at-bat in pinch-hitting roles but the group of seven failed to record a hit. Bobby Poyner (pictured) spelled Chris Sale and tossed a scoreless inning of relief in the victory. 
  • Minor League Baseball announced new pace of play rules for 2018. Most notably, a runner will be placed on second base in extra innings. Additionally, upper levels in the minors will work on a 15-second pitch clock when the bases are empty. 
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March 12, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Fort Report: Elias impresses out of pen & Swihart stays hot

Here are this week's minor league notes from Fort Myers:
  • As the season approaches, the Sox Prospects team has been busy updating the scouting reports. We started from the top with the top four prospects in the system; lefty Jason Groome, third baseman Michael Chavis, and righties Bryan Mata and Tanner Houck. 2017 graduate Rafael Devers also received an update, and a handful of prospects had scouting reports created for them.
  • The first round of cuts was announced by the Red Sox this week. Lefties Jalen Beeks and William Jerez and righties Chandler Shepherd and Ty Buttrey were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Catcher Austin Rei, third baseman Michael Chavis, infielder Esteban Quiroz, outfielders Jeremy Barfield and Steve Selsky, and righties Kyle Martin and Fernando Rodriguez Jr. were reassigned to minor league camp.
  • Roenis Elias (pictured, left), acquired from Seattle as part of the Wade Miley deal, has had an impressive start to spring training, throwing 7 innings, with one hit, four walks, and six strikeouts without allowing an earned run. Interestingly, despite spending most of his career as a starting pitcher, the Red Sox have been using him as a reliever this spring where he has been throwing sidearm as the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham notes.
  • Blake Swihart has played all over the diamond this spring as he fights to try and earn a roster spot. Swihart is out of options and so his situation is among the most fascinating to track as the Red Sox try to pare down to their 25-man opening day roster. ESPN's Scott Lauber says that Swihart is the most interesting player in Red Sox camp. Interestingly, Lauber quotes an NL scout saying that Swihart is a prime trade target, but Swihart is unphased by the rumors saying “I think I’ve been in every trade rumor since the day I was signed.”  
  • BP Boston also took notice of Swihart's situation with Matthew Kory writing about his position on the Red Sox depth chart.
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March 9, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Scouting Updates: Groome, Chavis, Devers highlight 2018 updates

With a new season upon us, it's time for us here at SoxProspects.com to begin refreshing our scouting reports. This week, we decided that Drake had it wrong and started from the top. The scouting reports for the top four prospects in the system, as well as that 2017 graduate Rafael Devers, got a fresh coat of paint to headline our first set of updates and tweaks.
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March 8, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Fort Report: Blake Swihart expanding versatility and initial roster projections

Here are Thursday's minor league notes:
  • Blake Swihart (pictured) is out of options and once camp breaks, he will either be on the major league roster, with another organization or the Red Sox will attempt to pass him through waivers. In an attempt to increase his versatility, the 25-year-old got the start on Tuesday in left field, the first time he has done so since he suffered a severe ankle injury at Fenway Park in June 2016.
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March 5, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Fort Report: Swihart stays hot and Travis goes deep twice

Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • Sam Travis (pictured, right), the fifth ranked prospect on SoxProspects.com, went deep twice on Friday, and after the game Red Sox manager Alex Cora praised the way Travis is controlling his at-bats. Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald noted that Cora also wants to get Travis some corner outfield reps to increase his positional versatility. Travis hit only six home runs in 82 games with the PawSox last year, and increasing his power output will get him a longer look at the big league level.
  • Positional versatility is clearly a desirable trait for Cora, and he has mentioned Marwin Gonzalez a few times this spring as he stresses the importance of a player being able to field multiple positions. Cora coached Gonzalez on the Astros last season, and Gonzalez played every outfield position and every infield position except for catcher, all while hitting .303. In addition to Travis, Cora has played Esteban Quiroz in the outfield this spring even though he was exclusively an infielder over the last two years.
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March 1, 2018 at 3:00 PM

Fort Report: New hires for SP as spring training ramps up

Here are this week's minor league notes from Fort Myers:
  • If you read the first edition of the Fort Report this year, you might have noticed something different. The byline read "by Shawn McGrath." Shawn is one of three new staff members to join the SoxProspects.com staff where he will adding content as a Contributing Editor. In addition to Shawn, please also welcome Tommy Cassell, who will also be a Contributing Editor, and Gabriel Fidler, who will act as the site's Social Media Specialist.
  • Now that the long winter is over, the SoxProspects.com podcast crew is back with a new, transaction-heavy episode that helps catch you up on the plethora of recent transactions and moves. They also speak with one of our Patreon contributors, Brian Morelli from SoxSignatures.com.
  • Baseball has always been a sport that utilized lots of statistics, and with the help of Bill James and others, this was taken to the next level with advanced statistics. The trend of utilizing advanced statistics has not slowed down, and the Red Sox have hired Ramon Vazquez as a coach to act as a liaison between the Red Sox advanced scouting department and the players and coaches. Mass Live's Jen McCaffrey dives into what that will look like as the 2018 season approaches.
  • Red Sox top prospect, left-hander Jason Groome, got a text this winter claiming to be from Red Sox ace Chris Sale. He thought his friends were messing with him, but McCaffrey tells the story of how it was actually Sale and how the two lefties pushed each other in workouts this offseason.
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