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SoxProspects News

November 8, 2019 at 7:30 PM

Monthly Notes: Red Sox hire a new CBO, Fall/Winter Leagues, & Team USA

Here are October's minor league notes:

  • The Arizona Fall League and the Asian Baseball Championship leagues have been up and running during the month of October with more leagues to get going as we move into the winter. Throughout the winter, SoxProspects.com has you covered with the weekly Fall/Winter League Roundup. There were four editions in the month of October, covering the weeks ending October 7October 14October 21, and October 28.
  • You can also see the running statistical results of the various fall and winter leagues by going to the Red Sox Fall & Winter Leagues 2019-2020 page. There, you will notice a couple standout performances thus far this fall. The first is righty Tanner Houck (pictured, right) who has pitched well both for  Peoria in the Arizona Fall Leauge and for Team USA in the WSBC Premier12 Tournament. He was dominant in Arizona, throwing 23 1/3 innings, 2.70 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 26 strikeouts to 12 walks. He then went on to pitch for Team USA where he has allowed two earned runs in two appearances over 4 1/3 innings. Houck finished the season as the 7th ranked player on the SoxProspects.com rankings.
  • There were some other standouts on both Peoria and Team USA. Ending the season ranked 20th on the SoxProspects.com rankings, outfielder Marcus Wilson hit .333/.412/.467 over 30 at-bats for Peoria. In addition to Wilson, shortstop C.J. Chatham and outfielder Jarren Duran all made the leagues Fall Stars Game rosters.
  • While for Team USA, infielder Bobby Dalbec has not stopped raking, hitting an incredible .364/.462/.909 with two home runs, and Noah Song has not allowed a run over his first two innings.
  • Song is a very interesting case for the Red Sox who were able to sign him in the 4th round despite being a 2019 Golden Spikes finalist. The reason for his drop was due to the fact he was graduating from the Naval Academy and with that comes a two-year active military service commitment. The 22-year old righty is awaiting a ruling from the Department of Defense to see if he can defer those two years, but there is a possibility this tournament will be his last before reporting for duty as The Boston Globe's Julian McWilliams writes. 
  • The Red Sox also had one player on the Taiwanese team that won the Asian Baseball Championship - infielder Tzu-Wei Lin. However, the Red Sox were able to add one more after signing Taiwanese prospect Chih-Jung Liu (pictured, left) for $750,000 as The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham reports. Liu was teammates with Lin on that championship team and won the tournaments Most Valuable Player award. While Liu was a two way player in Taiwan (also playing shortstop), Abraham reports that the Red Sox view him as a pitcher and where he is reportedly up to 98 miles per hour.
  • Perhaps the biggest news over the last month was the Red Sox signing Chaim Bloom to be their Chief Baseball Officer. While this is not directly about Red Sox prospects, the contrast in how the last two men heading up baseball operations regarded prospects certainly shows the importance of the position throughout the system. The Red Sox are in a tough position battling to try and cut payroll all while trying to keep their superstar outfielder Mookie Betts. These types of decisions are not new to Bloom after coming over from Tampa Bay writes The Boston Globe's Alex Speier in his closer look at the 36-year-old executive.
  • By giving Bloom the title Chief Baseball Officer rather than President of Baseball Operations, the title his predecessor Dave Dombrowski had, are they really giving him the freedom to do the job or is it being morphed into management by committee writes The Boston Globe's Christopher L. Gasper. 
  • That may be the biggest thing to impact the Red Sox, but the thing that may impact minor league baseball in the biggest way is the ongoing negotiations on the next Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between MLB and the minor leagues. J.J. Cooper for Baseball America reported this past month that the latest proposal by MLB would result in the elimination of 42 minor league teams.
  • While the Red Sox may have brought in their own new executive, SoxProspects.com refuses to be outdone. That is why it was announced that James Dunne has been promoted to Managing Editor of the site. Please join me in congratulating James and he can be reached through his Twitter account @JamesDunneSP.
  • The end of October also marks the time when players can become minor league free agents. Here is the list of eligible Red Sox in 2019 which includes familiar names such as Trey BallBryce BrentzTeddy Stankiewicz, and Victor Acosta.
  • The Red Sox announced that 23-year-old Kutter Crawford has had Tommy John surgery and will miss the 2020 season. He was ranked 29th on the end of year SoxProspects.com rankings prior to the surgery being announced. 
Photo Credit: Tanner Houck by Kelly O'Conner and Chih-Jung Liu from the Boston Globe.

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