SoxProspects News

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.
  • A breakout player in 2017, Tzu-Wei Lin is one of the players under consideration for a bench spot on the 2018 big league roster. Split between Portland and Pawtucket, Lin hit .267/.335/.410, which was easily his best offensive season since turning pro. Despite never having an OPS greater than .700 at any level prior to 2017, Lin even managed to hit .268/.369/.339 over 56 at-bats in the majors. Lin only has 4 hits in 23 at-bats this spring and Matt Collins at Over the Monster wonders if his breakout was a fluke.
  • Another infielder under consideration for a roster spot (especially with Dustin Pedroia sidelined to start the year) is Deven Marrero. Unlike Lin, Marrero did not hit well for the major league team, finishing with a line of .211/.259/.333 over 171 at-bats. He has also struggled this spring, almost mirroring Lin's stats with 4 hits in 26 at-bats. Marrero has always been a defense-first player, but Collins wonders if he will ever hit enough to merit a roster spot.
  • Outfielder Rusney Castillo spent all of 2017 at Triple-A Pawtucket, stuck there as the Red Sox tried to control the finances of the major league team. His performance in 2017 would have had him under consideration for a call-up otherwise as he enjoyed his best professional season, hitting .314/.350/.507 in 347 at-bats. New Red Sox Manager Alex Cora still believes that Castillo can be a major leaguer as MLB.com's Maureen Mullen writes.
  • This is not a prospect story, but it is still an awesome one to read. The Jimmy Fund has brought 42 kids (as well as the necessary support staff of doctors, nurses, etc.) down to Fort Myers for spring training. The Boston Herald's Chad Jennings tells the story.
Photo Credit: Roenis Elias by Kelly O'Connor. 

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

 
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