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SoxProspects News

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. 
  • Members of the Greenville Drive received their championship rings on Tuesday. An 8-3 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox Class-A affiliate) last September netted the Drive their first South Atlantic League championship in franchise history. Nick Lovullo, who played part of last season in Greenville and is the son of Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, tweeted a picture of the bling
  • The Boston Globe's Alex Speier noted that Swihart was scheduled to start at third base for the Red Sox on Sunday in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Swihart, like mentioned in Monday’s Fort Report, is an intriguing player to watch as camp rolls along, due to the fact that he’s out of minor league options. 
  • Ian Browne of MLB.com tweaked his projected Opening Day roster for the Red Sox and had Swihart as a third catcher (of course, Swihart would fit more of a utility type role), while 17th-ranked prospect Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez are projected to crack the Opening Day roster – and possibly starting rotation – due to injuries. With Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright sidelined already, and Drew Pomeranz suffering a mild flexor strain in his left elbow in his first start of the spring, Browne thinks it could be a golden opportunity for Johnson. 
  • With the free-agent market freeze still in effect, the minor leagues have felt a trickle-down effect, according to Evan Drellich of NBC Sports. Drellich says the Red Sox are eying adding pitching depth with minor league free agents, but are having trouble attracting the right pieces.
  • Over at Over the Monster, Matt Collins looks at Roniel Raudes (ranked No. 14 on our site) after the young right-hander had a tough time at Salem in 2017. Raudes is still an intriguing prospect, however, even after the 20-year-old made 23 starts last year with 116 innings and ended the year with a 4.50 ERA, 95 strikeouts, and 44 walks. 
  • C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic was first to report that former Sox manager John Farrell has joined the Cincinnati Reds organization as a scout (with WEEI.com's Rob Bradford first to tweet the news that Farrell was joining the organization). After winning back-to-back American League East titles the past two seasons, Farrell was fired by the Red Sox this offseason, leading the way to Alex Cora being hired as the new Sox skipper.
(Photo credit: Bobby Poyner by Kelly O'Connor)

Tommy Cassell is a Contributing Editor for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tommycassell44.