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SoxProspects News

February 14, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Fort Report: Pitchers and catchers report, early injury news

Pitchers and catchers reported for spring training on February 13, and that signals the return of the Fort Report. These articles will run every Monday and Thursday through the end of spring training, at which point we will transition back to our Minor Notes columns. 
  • On the most recent episode of the SoxProspects.com Podcast, Chris and Ian scored an interview with Red Sox VP of Amateur Scouting Mike Rikard. Rikard discussed the process that led to Andrew Benintendi (pictured, right) being his first pick as scouting director, whether the Red Sox envisioned Jay Groome would be available at pick 12 in 2016, and the early returns on the 2018 draft. 
  • MLB Pipeline named the top prospect for each team to miss their top 100 prospects list, and Casas was the choice for the Red Sox. Michael Chavis was the only Red Sox prospect to make the top 100. Old friend Luis Alexander Basabe was the top prospect to miss the top 100 for the White Sox. 
  • With Dustin Pedroia coming back from injury, second base is one of the few starting positions that is a question mark for the Red Sox. Chavis confirmed to Christopher Smith of Masslive.com that he has been working out at second base. Chavis also revealed that he is down 14 pounds from last year, and the increased mobility will help him if he does have to play the middle infield.
  • While spring training is always full of stories about players who are in the best shape of their lives, there will inevitably be some bad injury news. That came early this year as Revista Beisbolera reported on Twitter that Roniel Raudes underwent Tommy John surgery with Dr. James Andrews in January. Raudes is currently ranked as the 35th best prospect in the system. 
  • With free-agent relievers continuing to come off the board and the Red Sox standing pat, fans are looking more closely at the relief options in the minors. Arguably the best true reliever in the system is Durbin Feltman, last year's third-round pick out of Texas Christina University. Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com interviewed Feltman and went over his college career, the mental makeup of a closer, and whether he is thinking about when his major league debut might be. 
  • Another top minor league relief pitcher is Travis Lakins (pictured, right). In an article for Baseball America, Alex Speier wrote about the success Lakins had in relief in 2018, and former Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles talked about how there is some deception to his stuff. 
  • The Red Sox signed international free agent Darel Belen, an 18-year-old from the Dominican Republic. Belen is an outfielder who will likely make his professional debut with one of the Dominican Summer League (DSL) teams. 
  • Edilson Batista, who spent four seasons in the system, retired on February 6. Batista spent two seasons in the DSL and two seasons in the Gulf Coast League, and he also pitched for Brazil in the 2016 World Baseball Classic qualifier. 
  • Together with the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival, the Portland Sea Dogs will become the Maine Whoopie Pies on June 21. The link is worth clicking just to see the logo and uniform. It remains to be seen if this will top last year's Pawtucket Hot Wieners. 
Photo Credit: Andrew Benintendi and Travis Lakins by Kelly O'Connor