SoxProspects News

November 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Scout Chatter: Nick Yorke, Blaze Jordan and more from Fall Instructs


 The Red Sox recently wrapped up their Fall Instructional League program. This is the second of several articles based on reports we received from Instructs. The data we’ve collected will be up on the News Page for your reading pleasure before we use it to update player page scouting reports, so forgive any inconsistencies until that point. Today, we focus primarily on players selected in the 2020 Draft and signed as undrafted free agents

- As the only member of this year’s draft class to participate at the Alternate Training Site workouts this year—albeit for about a week and a half—second baseman Nick Yorke had a leg up on the competition heading into Instructs. He had already seen what pro pitching looked like, having jumped from high school in California straight into the deep end by facing arms with significantly more experience than him, but he was still able to hold his own in a small sample size. At Fall Instructs, the 2020 first-rounder was the most impressive member of the 2020 draft/NDFA class, showing off his offensive ability, but questions about his long-term defensive profile remain an issue. Yorke got off to a strong start at the plate, but as the camp went along, he struggled to pull the ball and seemed to be just trying to push the ball to right field. Regardless of his struggles near the end of camp, scouts were consistent in saying they believe he can hit and they are high on his bat, enough so that even with a questionable defensive profile and below average speed, they still like him. 
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November 23, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Raudes returns to action; Grullón homers


The fall/winter leagues have been going on for a few weeks, but with the Arizona Fall League cancelled, play has been limited. The Mexican Pacific League started on October 15 and was the only league in action until mid-November when the Dominican and Nicaraguan leagues started play. With more players seeing game action, we will begin our weekly updates on the performance of Red Sox prospects. Coverage will continue every Monday into January. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through January. This week's roundup covers the period up to September 22. 

Mexican Pacific League
Joey Meneses, who was signed in February to a minor league deal and re-signed in November, already has 99 at-bats for Culiacan in 26 games. He's hitting .283 with three home runs and six doubles while playing third base. This is notable as he has mostly played first base and right field in his career.  Marcus Wilson went 0 for 4 in his first game on November 3, but after a COVID-19 outbreak shut the league down for a couple weeks, he left and is no longer on the active roster. 
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November 19, 2020 at 12:12 PM

Podcast Ep. #196 That is patently false


It's mid-November, and finally... some minor league scouting updates to discuss! Ian and Chris have the goods from the Fall Instructional League in Fort Myers, where 62 of the Red Sox' top farmhands spent 5.5 weeks. We've got who impressed and who disappointed with their showings. Plus, the guys preview who might be protected on Friday from selection in the Rule 5 draft (and how that list has changed based on Fall Instructs reports), who's playing abroad this winter, and of course, your emails. 

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at 8:00 AM

Scout Chatter: Jay Groome, Eduard Bazardo and more from Fall Instructs


The Red Sox recently wrapped up their Fall Instructional League program, which was slated to run from October 5 through November 12 but ended a few days early due to Hurricane Eta. The Red Sox still were able to get in plenty of work for their top farmhands, including a pair of games against Tampa Bay’s minor leaguers. Otherwise, the camp consisted of morning workouts followed by an intrasquad scrimmage that varied in length depending on how many pitchers needed work. The scrimmages had umpires and were treated like a normal game, save that innings could end early when pitchers hit their pitch count or get extended if they got through an inning too quickly. 

This will be the first of several articles based on reports we received from Instructs. The data we’ve collected will be up on the News Page for your reading pleasure before we use it to update player page scouting reports, so forgive any inconsistencies until that point. 

Today, we focus primarily on players eligible for this year’s Rule 5 Draft, given that Friday, Nov. 20, is the deadline for teams to protect players from selection by adding them to the 40-man roster.

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November 15, 2020 at 12:15 AM

Podcast #195: Resetting the Roster, Pt. 2


The winter meetings are still off in the future, but baseball’s offseason is in full swing. The Sox brought back several minor league free agents. Oh, and Alex Cora is back with the club to manage. In addition, we have a run down on important upcoming dates for the offseason. The guys talk through the players who will need to be protected on the 40-man before the rule 5 draft. Ian and Chris discuss the future of the minor leagues. And we wrap it all up with another installment of the 80-grade mailbag.   

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November 12, 2020 at 7:00 AM

2019 Draft Retrospective: Creativity nets strong pitching haul


Thank you for checking in on the final entry in our draft retrospective series. We recently featured a pick-by-pick rundown of 2019, while today we will dig a little deeper into a few of the more interesting and prominent draftees. For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

2019 Draft
Coming off a World Series title, nobody was complaining that the Red Sox' first draft pick was moved back 10 slots as a penalty for exceeding the third luxury tax threshold. There was a tangible result that came with that spending money, a trade the team would make every time. But in the draft itself, it did put the organization in a disadvantageous position. Having to wait until the 43rd pick would be the longest the franchise would wait to make its first pick since 2007, when the club forfeited its first pick and made its top selection at pick number 55. In addition, the loss of ten spots also cut almost $500,000 from what was already one of the lowest bonus pools in the league. As a result, the team needed to get creative to continue adding talent to a system decimated by graduations and trades. 
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November 9, 2020 at 4:00 PM

October notes: Roster reshape begins; former top prospect earns ring


Here are October's minor league notes:

  • The Red Sox announced on Friday that former manager Alex Cora will return as manager in the 2021 season after a one-year hiatus. He'll come on to the job with a much different team than the one he first inherited three years ago and in the midst of  notable overhaul.
  • That roster rebuild was the main topic of our most recent SoxProspects.com podcast, as Chris Hatfield and Ian Cundall discussed the coming roster and the numerous moves Chaim Bloom has already made to restock and retool the upper minors. 
  • The Red Sox cleared 11 spots off of the 40-man roster. Reliever Domingo Tapia was claimed by the Seattle Mariners when Boston attempted to slide him through waivers. The team outrighted eight others: pitchers Robinson Leyer, Mike Kickham, Zack Godley, Andrew Triggs, and Dylan Covey, utilityman Tzu-Wei Lin, infielder Jose Peraza, and outfielder Cesar Puello. The team declined its 2021 option on pitcher Martin Perez, and long-time center fielder Jackie Bradley declared free agency. Additionally, pitcher Collin McHugh and Rusney Castillo, neither of whom were on the current 40-man roster, became free agents. McHugh opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns after signing as a free agent last winter, while Castillo spent much of the last several years with Pawtucket after signing a lucrative contract in 2014.
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November 2, 2020 at 6:13 PM

Podcast #194: Resetting the roster, pt. 1


The 2020 season has successfully drawn to a close, bringing us to an offseason that promises great change for the Red Sox. With nine players already gone from the roster, Chris and Ian went player-by-player through the remaining members of the 40-man roster in an attempt to predict who will stay, who will go, and what those who are still around will be doing next season. Plus, some questions about Jackie Bradley’s future with the club now that he’s a free agent, and more of your great questions! 

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at 11:00 AM

2019 Draft Retrospective: The Picks


We welcome you to the 2019 edition of the SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series. This is the final Red Sox draft we will revisit, but make sure to check out the other parts of the series starting with the first draft of the SoxProspects.com era, 2003. This retrospective will come in two parts: The first will be a pick-by-pick recap of each selection with very brief comments, including their peak rank on the SoxProspects.com Top 60, as well as some of the notable players the team passed on to make those picks. Players who signed are in bold, those who did not are in italics. Bonus numbers are included where available. 

In the final draft of the Dave Dombrowski era, the Red Sox were coming off a World Series championship season during which they exceed the luxury tax threshold by more than $40 million. As a result, the organization's first-round draft pick moved down ten slots, technically leaving the team without a first-rounder at all. In order to bring in impact talent, Mike Rikard and the Amateur Scouting department needed to get creative, and while this class is lacking in the no-doubt first-round stud that the previous year brought into the system, that creativity did lead to a number of intriguing prospects joining the system in later rounds.

2 (43). Cameron Cannon, SS, Arizona
Bonus: $1,300,000, Slot: $1,729,800
After a junior year in which he hit .397/.498/.651 with eight home runs, the Red Sox selected Cannon with their first pick and signed him for more than $400,000 under slot, setting into motion a strategy that spread their already-decreased bonus cap money into lower rounds. Cannon was seen as somewhat of a reach at the time, ranked as the 94th-best prospect by Baseball America and a bit higher by Perfect Game, who had him at 73. Cannon’s pro debut was delayed by almost a month as a result of turf toe, and he then got off to a slow start, hitting only .200/.284/.324 in 170 at-bats across the GCL and Lowell. In-person looks matched up with his poor statistics, as he looked very off at the plate and seemed to be pressing from the beginning, including a notably aggressive plate approach in which he seemed to swing at the first pitch in every plate appearance. His poor performance at the plate could have been due to the Red Sox trying to tweak his swing mechanics, so it will be very interesting to see how he looks when he gets back on the field. 
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 12
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October 21, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2018 Draft Retrospective: Casas highlights solid haul


Thank you for checking in on the newest entry in our draft retrospective series. We recently featured a pick-by-pick rundown of 2018, while today we will dig a little deeper into a few of the more interesting and prominent draftees. For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

2018 Draft

Background

By the time the 2018 draft rolled around, the major league club was riding high, sporting a winning percentage near .700 on its way to a 108-win season and World Series trophy. Unfortunately, the success at the major league level was not mirrored in the minors. Trades and graduations that built a juggernaut in the big leagues had depleted much of the system’s depth, leaving a farm system that was universally ranked at or near the worst in the game. Among those who remained, the underperformance of recent top picks and the suspension of top prospect Michael Chavis had created a vacuum, with little daily success to celebrate. With a homegrown core that would soon get expensive and force difficult decisions down the road, 2018 seemed like a particularly important year for Mike Rikard and the amateur scouting department.
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October 14, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Minor Notes: Red Sox to pick fourth in 2021 draft


Here are Tuesday's minor league notes: 

  • Check out the 193rd edition of the SoxProspects.com podcast where Chris and Ian take a look back at the many MLB debuts for Red Sox players in the shortened 2020 season. They also discussed the draft, what they learned from the Alternate Site, as well as a look forward to instructs. 
  • Speaking of instructs, Chris wrote about some of the details as well as a look at the players Boston will be sending. A total of 62 players will be going, with those on the 40-man roster ineligible. There will be 32 pitchers, eight catchers, 12 infielders, and 10 outfielders. 
  • The SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series continued with Ian recapping the 2018 draft. Obviously, the jury is still out on this draft, but Triston Casas (pictured) is the current number one prospect in the system. 
  • Ian posted updated scouting reports on three players, including the second pick of that 2018 draft, Nick Decker. Cameron Cannon and Antoni Flores were also updated. 
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October 6, 2020 at 7:34 PM

Podcast #193 - Speaking is hard


The sprint that was the 2020 season has drawn to a close, and while it may not seem like it, Chris and Ian had plenty to look back on. There were plenty of debuts to digest, so the guys looked back on the first taste of MLB for Bobby Dalbec, Tanner Houck, and others, plus examine what the team's (probable) positioning at number 4 in next year's draft really means. Meanwhile, what did we learn from the action at Sim City in Pawtucket? Is there anything to be gleaned from this experiment in player development? Who stood out? And baseball is not done yet - it's time for the Fall Instructional League, and we're breaking down the roster. Plus, as always, your superlative emails!

For the full Fall Instructional League roster, see our post

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October 4, 2020 at 11:40 PM

Red Sox 2020 Fall Instructional Camp roster and details


The Red Sox 2020 Fall Instructional League will run from October 5 through November 12 this year, the five-and-a-half weeks representing a period roughly twice as long as that of a typical season. The minor leaguers in camp will not play games against other teams, and instead will be limited to intrasquad scrimmages beginning in mid-to-late-October.

The 62-player roster for camp contains most of the SoxProspects Top 60, excepting players who were ineligible, such as those on the 40-man roster, and other players who were likely deemed to have gotten sufficient work in at the Alternate Training Site like Jeter Downs, Jarren Duran, and Connor Seabold, although other players who were at the ATS will be present in Fort Myers. 

The camp will represent the lone chance for in-person instruction for most of the players present, although all have been working out on their own or playing independent or semi-pro ball. Unlike past years, the camp will not be open to the public, although scouts will be allowed to attend and watch from designated areas. As with the ATS, health and safety protocols will be in place for the facilities and those attending throughout the camp. 

Players are listed with how acquired and 2019 level(s), if applicable.
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October 1, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2018 Draft Retrospective: The picks


We welcome you to the 2018 edition of the SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series, in which we revisit each Red Sox draft going back to the start of the SoxProspects.com era. Each retrospective will come in two parts: The first will be a pick-by-pick recap of each selection with very brief comments, including their peak rank on the SoxProspects.com Top 60, as well as some of the notable players the team passed on to make those picks. Players who signed are in bold, those who did not are in italics. Bonus numbers are included where available.

At the time of the 2018 Draft, the Red Sox farm system was decimated after numerous win-now trades in the previous year. Once again, the Red Sox had no extra picks and were selecting near the end of the first round, but after the farm system seemingly bottomed out in the month or so prior, with seemingly all of the prospects remaining after the many trades either injured or underperforming, this draft marked the beginning of what seems to be a turn-around. Three of the top ten prospects in the system right now, including its top prospect, came from this draft. While all three were selected in the top seven rounds, two received marginal bonuses. While the second full season for all of these players was disrupted, several were included in the Club Player Pool and made their mark at the Alternate Training Site. 

For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

1 (26). Triston Casas, 1B/3B, American Heritage HS (Fla.) 
Bonus: $2,552,800, Slot: $2,552,800
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September 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: A trio of Top-40 prospects


As the 2020 regular season comes to a close, the SoxProspects.com team continues to maintain current and accurate scouting reports for players throughout the organization. Today's update features three players rated in the Top-40 of our latest rankings. Nick Decker (drafted in 2018) and Cameron Cannon (drafted in 2019) are two recent second-round picks that offer the team valuable depth. Antoni Flores is a player that was recently considered a top-10 prospect in the system, but a lackluster 2019 has clouded his future outlook.

SoxProspects.com scouting reports are written by our scouting team, led by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Nick Decker, Outfielder

Physical Description: Strong, athletic build. Strong lower half. Some remaining projection, but already physically developed for his age.

Hit: Starts crouched with an open stance. Long, uppercut swing. Quick hands, above-average bat speed. Does a good job utilizing his lower half. Will take what the pitcher gives him and use all fields. Needs to improve pitch recognition and cut down on swing-and-miss. Has a lot of trouble picking up breaking balls, particularly from left-handers. Had a heavy platoon split in 2019, striking out 45 percent of the time against LHP, albeit in just 31 plate appearances. Has an idea of what he wants to do at the plate, but over-aggressiveness and swing-and-miss issues hold him back. Potential below-average hit tool.

Power: Plus raw power. Shows easy power during batting practice. Swing has loft and can drive the ball with backspin. Power is most notable to the pull side. Potential to develop above-average game power at his peak.

Run: Fringe-average speed. Aggressive on the basepaths. Gets good jumps and reads.
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at 8:00 AM

Minor Notes: Shortened season comes to a close


 Here are Tuesday's minor league notes:

  • Ian and Chris, the SoxProspects.com podcast crew, celebrated the end of the year by recording an episode covering Tanner Houck's (pictured, right) end to the year as a major leaguer, Nick Pivetta's first start with the Red Sox, new addition Jacob Wallace, and other notes from the alternate site. 

  • Currently ranked 10th on the SoxProspects.com rankings, Houck made his third and final start of the season on Saturday, throwing six innings with 10 strikeouts while allowing only one run. He ends the season with a 0.53 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 21 strikeouts over 17 innings. Julian McWilliams for the Boston Globe writes about Houck's debut season and his future in the rotation.
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September 28, 2020 at 5:56 PM

Podcast #192 - Revealing my real age


Well, the season is over. The Sox finished strong and still nabbed the fourth pick in the 2021 draft. Chris and Ian wind down the campaign with an eye to the future. Tanner Houck is looking good, and Nick Pivetta made the most of his starts with the big club. Ian shares several thoughts from the Alternate Training Site, and both Ian and Chris call out that the roster reflects Chaim Bloom’s craftsmanship, citing Nick Yorke and the many top 20 prospects acquired in trades this season. Among those guys is Sox newcomer Jacob Wallace who came over as the player to be named later from the Rockies in the Pillar trade. Wallace will go straight to Instructs, which Chris breaks down the logistics of the fall camp. Teaser, we’ll have a more in-depth preview next episode. Finally, it’s mailbag time, and you all did a great job filling the bag with some awesome questions. 

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September 21, 2020 at 4:32 PM

Scouting Report Update: Jacob Wallace


Last Friday, the Red Sox announced they had acquired Jacob Wallace from Colorado as the player to be named later for Kevin Pillar. The deal now stands at Pillar and cash considerations for Wallace and international bonus slot money. Wallace was Colorado's third-round pick in 2019 out of the University of Connecticut and is set to debut in the SoxProspects.com top 20 in the coming days. This makes him the fourth prospect acquired at the trade deadline to debut in the current top 20. Here is Wallace's initial scouting report, compiled from available data and reports, as well as our scouting sources across the game. 

Physical Description: Average, proportional frame with minimal remaining projection. Above-average athlete.

Mechanics: Throws from a three-quarters arm slot. High-effort delivery. High leg kick, but gets low coming forward. Long arm action behind before he whips his arm forward.

Fastball: 93-95 mph. Tops out at 97 mph. Pitch shows life and tail. Pitch jumps on hitters. Command and control need refinement. Potential plus offering.
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at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Houck dominates in debut; Wallace acquired for Pillar


 Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • In the most recent episode of the Podcast, Ian and Chris previewed Tanner Houck's major league debut, and also discussed MLB's decision to approve fall instructional camps. The remainder of the podcast focused on the ongoing negotiations between MLB and MiLB, and then they answered some reader mailbag questions. 
  • The 2017 Draft Retrospective posted last week, with Shawn McGrath covering each pick and then going in-depth on some of the main themes of the draft. While the draft has yet to produce a top-100 prospect, the early returns on Houck at the major league level have been positive. 
  • The 24-year-old Houck made his first two major league starts last week, going five shutout innings against the Marlins in his debut and then he allowed just an unearned run in six innings against the Yankees on Sunday. He struck out 11 in his 11 innings and allowed just three hits, but did walk six. He's featured a slider that batters are 0 for 8 against, mixed with a sinker that he puts down in the zone, and then a four-seam fastball that he places up in the zone. On a team bereft of pitching, Houck has been one of the few bright spots. 
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September 18, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2017 Draft Retrospective: A Houck of a debut


Thank you for checking in on the newest entry in our draft retrospective series. Tuesday was a pick-by-pick rundown of 2017, while today we will dig a little deeper into a few of the more interesting and prominent draftees. For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our
Draft History page.

2017 Draft

Background
The Red Sox had come crashing back to Earth after the surprise World Series title back in 2013. After last-place finishes in both 2014 and 2015, ownership decided a change was in order. Enter Dave Dombrowski. The Red Sox improved markedly in 2016, winning the first of what would be three consecutive American League East championships, partially due to the win-now trades the former President of Baseball Operations is known for, sacrificing prospects and sometimes overpaying to get the player he felt would most improve the team. When those trades were combined with the graduation of Andrew Benintendi and impending promotion of Rafael Devers, the prospect cupboard was left pretty bare headed into the 2017 draft. Though there is a long way to go developmentally for many of these players, a situation complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, early returns on potential impact major leaguers have left much to be desired.
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September 15, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2017 Draft Retrospective: The picks


We welcome you to the 2017 edition of the SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series. Over the next several weeks, we will revisit each Red Sox draft going back to the start of the SoxProspects.com era. Each retrospective will come in two parts: The first will be a pick-by-pick recap of each selection with very brief comments, including their peak rank on the SoxProspects.com Top 60, as well as some of the notable players the team passed on to make those picks. Players who signed are in bold, those who did not are in italics. Bonus numbers are included where available.

The 2017 Draft was the first completely under Dave Dombrowski's control, as General Manager Mike Hazen departed after the 2016 season to take the same position with Arizona. The major league club had just won the first of three consecutive AL East titles, but would be swept in the ALDS by Cleveland, ending the David Ortiz era in Boston. Dombrowski responded by bringing in pitchers Chris Sale and Tyler Thornburg in exchange for prospects and when combined with Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers' graduations, the system was as bare as it has been in a long time by the time the draft came around. This crop of prospects has not replenished as hoped to date, but as these players have had only two full seasons, it's early to truly judge the body of work put together by this group. The 2020 season would have been a crucial one for most of the players in this draft, as those that were 19 years old when selected are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this year and must be added to the 40-man roster or remain exposed to selection by other teams.

For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

1 (24). Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri
Bonus: $2,614,500; Slot: $2,614,500
Houck (pictured, above) starred in the Missouri rotation for three years after choosing to attend the school rather than sign with Toronto as a 14th-round pick in 2014. The Illinois native pitched for the collegiate national team and features a strong 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame, throwing from a low three-quarters arm slot. The Red Sox attempted to overhaul his repertoire and mechanics in his first full professional season, having him focus on throwing a four-seam fastball up in the zone rather than the two-seam fastball he used low in the zone during college as well as altering the grips on both his breaking ball and changeup. However, these changes lasted merely half a season, as the vertical break on his breaking ball and four-seam grip proved less effective than the 10-to-4, sweeping slider and two-seam fastball mix, though the four-seam fastball has remained as a less prominent offering.  After an uneven start to the 2019 campaign with Portland, Houck straightened out in late May. Through a six-start stretch, he posted a 1.95 ERA, struck out 36, and waked 14 without allowing a homer in 37 innings. With the bullpen at the major league level in shambles, the team moved Houck to the pen in early July and then promoted him to the PawSox after a pair of outings to see if he could help fill that role down the stretch. He held up his end with a 3.26 ERA in International League play, but the team fell out of contention and thought better of using a 40-man spot on him a full year before he was Rule 5 eligible. Houck successfully slid back into a starting role in the Arizona Fall League, and that is the role he will occupy in his major league debut this evening. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: No. 3
Notable Players Passed On: Nate Pearson (28), Jeter Downs (32)
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at 11:21 AM

Podcast Ep. #191 - Tankathon Update


With the possibility of a top-five pick riding on the last few weeks of the season, we have a reason to pay attention to games as the season winds down. Ian breaks down how much of a difference a high draft pick means towards overall bonus pool. And speaking of reasons to pay attention, Tanner Houck is expected to make his big-league debut on September 15. Ian gives us a full scouting report for the righthander, who we have ranked number 10 in the system. Next up the guys discuss MLB’s approval of fall instructs. We also share an update on the negotiations between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball. And we hand the show over to you to close it out with more of your terrific emails and messages.

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September 11, 2020 at 1:30 PM

Scouting Report Updates: Tanner Houck and CJ Chatham


Our newest scouting report updates include a pair of top-20 prospects who have spent time on the Red Sox taxi squad this season, RHP Tanner Houck and IF CJ Chatham. Both are on the cusp of making their major league debuts at some point soon, and reports are that the former could debut as soon as this weekend.

SoxProspects.com scouting reports are written by our scouting team, led by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Tanner Houck, right-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Tall, athletic pitcher's frame. Type of frame you look for in a pitcher. High waist, long limbs. Minimal remaining projection.

Mechanics: Throws from a low three-quarters arm slot. Utilizes a full wind up. Starts on the first base side of the rubber. Long arm action including elbow climb in the back and high leg kick. Cross-fire delivery is very tough on right-handed hitters. Gets good extension to the plate. Very quick arm. Unique delivery with a lot of effort, but it works for him. Has worked on staying squarer to the plate with very obvious improvements. Does struggle to repeat his delivery as he works deeper into games.
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at 12:30 PM

2016 Draft Retrospective: Dalbec and Groome highlight a strong draft


Thank you for checking in on the newest entry in our draft retrospective series. Tuesday was a pick-by-pick rundown of 2016, while today we will dig a little deeper into a few of the more interesting and prominent draftees. For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

2016 Draft


Background

The Red Sox were coming off a second consecutive last-place finish in 2015, a year that ended with the hiring of Dave Dombrowski and departure of Ben Cherington. The move signaled an urgency to get right back to the top, as Dombrowski had a reputation of depleting his farm systems and utilizing a win-now strategy. He certainly did that in Boston, and it all started in 2016 with the signing of David Price and the trade for Craig Kimbrel. Dombrowski had also often been criticized for his bullpen construction, and he immediately looked to fix that by shipping four prospects off for one of the top closers in the game. He came in and made it clear right away that he was not afraid to go for it and take some risks, which is a mentality that the Sox took in this draft as well. 

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September 9, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2016 Draft Retrospective: The Picks


We welcome you to the 2016 edition of the SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series. Over the next several weeks, we will revisit each Red Sox draft going back to the start of the SoxProspects.com era. Each retrospective will come in two parts: The first will be a pick-by-pick recap of each selection with very brief comments, including their peak rank on the SoxProspects.com Top 60, as well as some of the notable players the team passed on to make those picks. Players who signed are in bold, those who did not are in italics. Bonus numbers are included where available. 

This is the first year of overseeing a Red Sox draft for Dave Dombrowski, although he kept the organization's amateur scouting department intact when taking over. The Red Sox were coming off their second consecutive last-place finish, but 2016 was off to a much better start, as they would eventually win the division. Dombrowski came in and made a big splash right away, signing David Price to what was at the time the richest contract ever for a pitcher. Part of what made Price so appealing was  that he was ineligible to receive a qualifying offer due to a deadline day trade from Detroit to Toronto, and the Red Sox could ink him without surrendering the 12th overall pick. Dombrowski also made his first of many impactful trades in Boston, dealing Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, Logan Allen, and Carlos Asuaje for closer Craig Kimbrel
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September 8, 2020 at 3:00 PM

Minor Notes: Scouting report updates & 2015 draft retrospective


 Here are Tuesday's minor league notes:

  • The 2015 draft was largely a disappointment, highlighted a player who has been a disappointment for the Red Sox thus far in 2020 - outfielder Andrew Benintendi (pictured, right). He was selected seventh overall in this draft class and in Part 1 of the series, SoxProspects.com senior staff writer Jim Crowell takes you through all of the 39 draft selections.
  • In Part 2, Crowell lays out some themes and takeaways from the 2015 draft, the last of Ben Cherington's tenure as Red Sox GM. Some themes were focused around repercussions from the picks that were surrendered when signing free agents - that the Red Sox had a small margin for error and that they tried to take some "safe" picks that did not pan out.
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at 1:53 PM

Scouting Report Update: Deivy Grullón


Just minutes ago, the Red Sox recalled their latest addition to the organization, catcher Deivy Grullon, as the 29th man in their doubleheader today against Philadelphia. Claimed off waivers from those same Phillies on September 3, Grullon immediately became the second-ranked catcher in our rankings, entering at number 29. Today, we give you his initial scouting report in time for his potential Red Sox debut.

Physical Description: Wide, stocky catcher's frame. Maxed out physically.

Hit: Starts open with his hands by his chest. Utilizes a toe-tap timing device. Swing has some length. Whips the bat through the zone. Fringe-average bat speed. Lot of swing-and-miss in his game. Strikeouts numbers are a concern, especially as he faces more advanced pitching. Has an aggressive approach, but will take a walk on occasion. Potential below-average hit tool.
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September 4, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2015 Draft Retrospective: The end of the Cherington era


Thank you for checking in on the newest entry in our draft retrospective series. Tuesday was a pick-by-pick rundown of 2015, while today we will dig a little deeper into a few of the more interesting and prominent draftees. For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

2015 Draft

Background: 
Cherington had the magic touch after the 2012 season, with basically every move he made at the major league level contributing to the 2013 World Series victory. A lot of these signings were role players or undervalued regulars, and he spent about $100 million in total on Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Koji Uehara, Jonny Gomes, Ryan Dempster, Stephen Drew, and David Ross. With the 2014 team suffering a World Series hangover and scuffling to a 71-91 record, Cherington decided to change course. 

With a revamped farm system thanks to the 2011 draft, several talented, cost-controlled players such as Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Blake Swihart, Henry Owens, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Matt Barnes were either knocking on the door to the majors by the end of the 2014 season or were already there. This, combined with the financial flexibility from the Adrian Gonzalez trade to the Dodgers, allowed Cherington to flex Boston's financial muscle and pay a premium for established talent and high-end international professionals. $255 million later, the Red Sox had signed Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, and Rusney Castillo, three signings that would, arguably, ultimately cost Cherington his job. 
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at 10:20 AM

Podcast Ep. #190 - We're talking trade deadline today


The Red Sox wheeled and dealed at the deadline. In total, they struck four deals, including the Workman-Hembree deal talked about last episode. We don’t know who the club got for Kevin Pillar and Josh Osich, but can break down the two players the Sox got for Mitch Moreland. And both Hudson Potts and Jeisson Rosario are intriguing young players with some upside who debuted in the top 20 on our recently released rankings. Both Potts and Rosario will need to be added to the 40-man ahead of the winter’s Rule 5 draft. Who else is eligible to be selected, and which should be protected? We discuss. And with the trades, a number of Sox Prospects are playing in the bigs and the guys break them all down. And we hand the show over to you to close it out with more of your terrific emails and messages.

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September 3, 2020 at 12:30 PM

Scouting Report Update: Hudson Potts


At this year's trade deadline, the Red Sox added two more top-20 prospects to the system. Today, we post our initial scouting report on the second of those players, infielder Hudson Potts. Acquired along with Jeisson Rosario from the San Diego Padres for Mitch Moreland, Potts enters the SoxProspects rankings at number 15.

Physical Description: Large, sturdy frame. Looks the part, well proportioned. Minimal remaining projection.

Hit: Starts square with his hands by his shoulders. Relaxed, loose at the plate. Utilizes a leg lift timing device. Barrel stays in the zone. Has had trouble catching up with high fastballs. Will take a walk on occasion, but approach still needs refinement. Lot of swing-and-miss in his game, especially on pitches within the zone at a high rate. Potential below-average hit tool.
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September 2, 2020 at 3:30 PM

Scouting Report Update: Jeisson Rosario


At this year's trade deadline, the Red Sox added two more top-20 prospects to the system. Today, we post our initial scouting report on one of those players, outfielder Jeisson Rosario. Acquired along with Hudson Potts from the San Diego Padres for Mitch Moreland, Rosario enters the SoxProspects rankings at number 11 today.

Physical Description: Medium-sized frame. Extremely athletic. Has some remaining projection in upper half. Needs to add strength.

Hit: Starts slightly open with his hands high. Utilizes a toe-tap timing device. Quick wrists, but bat can drag due to his lack of strength. Swing could use some refinement, primarily in making it simpler. Doesn't make great quality of contact and struggles to pull the ball with any authority. Can get slap-happy at the plate, looking to push the ball in play the other way. Advanced feel for the strike zone for his age. Above-average plate discipline, has always shown a willingness to take a walk. Potential average hit tool, but has the potential to develop into more than that if he can add strength and refine his swing.
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September 1, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2015 Draft Retrospective: The picks


We welcome you to the 2015 edition of the SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series. Over the next several weeks, we will revisit each Red Sox draft going back to the start of the SoxProspects.com era. Each retrospective will come in two parts: The first will be a pick-by-pick recap of each selection with very brief comments, including their peak rank on the SoxProspects.com Top 60, as well as some of the notable players the team passed on to make those picks. Players who signed are in bold, those who did not are in italics. Bonus numbers are included where available. 

After going from worst to first in the AL East from 2012 to 2013, the Red Sox were back in the basement in 2014. A lot of the heroes from the 2013 World Series squad sputtered in the subsequent season, and by 2015, the team had a completely different identity. In the middle of the 2014 season, the Red Sox traded Jon Lester to Oakland, John Lackey to St. Louis, and Jake Peavy to San Francisco. On the position player front, they signed Rusney Castillo to a $72.5 million contract in August 2014, and after the 2014 season, they splurged for Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. These notable missteps are what ultimately led to the 2015 draft being the final one that Ben Cherington would oversee as General Manager for the Red Sox. Meanwhile, Amiel Sawdaye, who had helmed the 2010-2014 drafts, moved up into a VP position with broader responsibilities, and Mike Rikard took the helm as Director of Amateur Scouting for the club.

For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.
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August 31, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Potts and Rosario join the system; Dalbec homers in debut


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • With the trade deadline approaching on Monday, the Red Sox traded first baseman Mitch Moreland to the San Diego Padres in exchange for prospects Hudson Potts and Jeisson RosarioMLB Pipeline rated Potts at No. 16 and Rosario at No. 19 in a loaded San Diego farm system, while Baseball America had Potts at No. 17 and Rosario at No. 28. 
  • Potts was the 24th overall pick in the 2016 Draft, and while he was drafted as a shortstop, he has primarily played third base while also getting some reps at second base. Equipped with a strong arm and plus power, the Red Sox are hoping he can continue to develop his approach at the plate, as his hit tool is the main thing holding him back from being a more valuable prospect. Fangraphs had him rated as the 126th-best prospect in baseball after the 2018 season, but after striking out in 28.6 percent of his at-bats in Double-A in 2019 and hitting only .227, he dropped off the top-100 radar. 
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August 28, 2020 at 1:39 PM

2014 Draft Retrospective: Chavis and Kopech not yet quite in focus


Thank you for checking in on the newest entry in our draft retrospective series. Tuesday was a pick-by-pick rundown of 2014, while today we will dig a little deeper into a few of the more interesting and prominent draftees. For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

2014 Draft

Background
After an unexpected 97-win, World Series Championship 2013 season that was helped by a bunch of veteran free agent signings that all seemed to work out perfectly, the Sox fell right back to where they were after the 2012 season in 2014: last place. They started out the year by hovering right around .500 for the first month and a half, but a demoralizing 10-game losing streak that ended about two weeks before the draft sunk them from 20-19 to 20-29. The magic of 2013 had clearly worn off, and the 2014 draft was looking more and more important, as it appeared that veterans like Jon Lester, John Lackey, Mike Napoli, Koji Uehara, Shane Victorino, and Stephen Drew were not going to be a part of the next great Red Sox team.
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August 26, 2020 at 4:25 PM

Podcast Ep. #189 - I think that's genius, actually


With the trade deadline coming up, Chris and Ian get back on the line to talk trades. They address the deal that sent Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to the Phillies and brought back Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold. The guys then revisited the trade talks with the Padres, and while they don’t see Wil Myers coming to Boston, they do see the Red Sox as being in a good spot to take on salary and get decent young talent in exchange. The guys also talked who the club should and should not move. They talk through Casas joining the Alternate Training Site and who might join them. And we close out the show with more of your terrific questions.

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at 12:30 PM

Scouting Report Update: Connor Seabold


Last week, the Red Sox made their first deal of what looks to be a busy 2020 trade deadline season, shipping Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, cash, and a player to be named later or more cash in exchange for Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold. While Pivetta represents a high-risk, high-reward return with significant MLB experience, Seabold is a minor leaguer with a lower ceiling, but a high likelihood of being a useful major league pitcher in the near future, perhaps as soon as next year.

For logistical reasons, it may take a few more days to get Pivetta's and Seabold's player pages up, but in the meantime, here is Seabold's initial scouting report, compiled from available data and reports as well as from our scouting sources across the game.

Physical Description: Average, athletic frame. Minimal remaining projection.

Mechanics: Throws from a three-quarters arm slot. Doesn’t use a wind-up. Medium-high leg kick. Controlled, repeatable delivery.

Fastball: 91-93 mph. Tops out at 95 mph. Above-average command and control profile. Around the plate, throws quality strikes. Really knows how to control the zone and gets a surprising number of whiffs with the pitch. Velocity has improved in pro ball. Potential average offering.
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August 25, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2014 Draft Retrospective: The Picks


We welcome you to the 2014 edition of the SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series. Over the next several weeks, we will revisit each draft going back to the start of the SoxProspects.com era. Each retrospective will come in two parts: The first will be a pick-by-pick recap of each selection with very brief comments, including their peak rank on the SoxProspects.com Top 60, as well as some of the notable players the team passed on to make those picks. Players who signed are in bold, those who did not are in italics. Bonus numbers are included where available.

The Sox were back to picking at the back end of the first round following a surprise championship season in 2013. They received a compensation pick as well because of Jacoby Ellsbury’s free agent departure, meaning they had two of the first 33 picks. Those two picks turned out to be key pieces of Boston’s future, each in a different way. The team gambled on a couple high school kids, one an infielder and the other a right-handed pitcher. Both have worked out just fine. One of them helped land a key piece of the 2018 championship team, while the other had a nice rookie campaign for the Sox in 2019.

For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

1 (26) Michael Chavis, SS, Sprayberry HS (Ga.)
Bonus: $1,870,500; Slot Value: $1,870,500
Chavis’ (pictured) road to the big leagues had several obstacles including thumb, finger, elbow, and wrist injuries that cost him significant time. He also dealt with an 80-game suspension in early 2018 for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Policy. The suspension came after Chavis broke out in 2017, hitting .282 with 31 home runs between Salem and Portland. Chavis finally made his big league debut on April 20, 2019, with a pinch-hit double in Tampa Bay off of Jose Alvarado in his first plate appearance. Chavis was on fire to start his career, giving the Red Sox a much-needed jolt. He maintained a .903 OPS through his first 34 games, hitting .279 with a .376 OBP and 10 home runs through 149 plate appearances. The Red Sox went 21-13 in those 34 games. Once the league adjusted to Chavis and started throwing him more high fastballs, he came back down to earth and struggled to the finish line in 2019 with just a .682 OPS over his final 233 plate appearances. An oblique injury kept Chavis off the field for the final month and half of 2019. 
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 1
Baseball America Top 100: #85 in 2018 MLB.com Top 100: #79 in 2018; #79 in 2019
Notable players passed on: Luke Weaver (27)

1 (33) Michael Kopech, RHP, Mount Pleasant HS (Tex.)
Bonus: $1,500,00; Slot Value: $1,678,000
This was a pick the Red Sox received as compensation for losing Jacoby Ellsbury to free agency. The tall, flame-throwing right-hander was used as a major piece along with Yoan Moncada in the deal for Chris Sale in the winter of 2016. Kopech was a strikeout machine for Salem in 2016, punching out 82 in just 52 innings. He debuted for the White Sox in 2018, making four starts before tearing his UCL and wiping out his 2019 season. He was back and ready to pitch in 2020, as he got an inning in spring training, but opted out of the season amid reports of issues in his personal life.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 5
Baseball America Top 100: #89 in 2016; #32 in 2017; #11 in 2018; #21 in 2019; #33 in 2020 MLB.com Top 100: #16 in 2017; #10 in 2018; #18 in 2019; #20 in 2020
Notable players passed on: Jack Flaherty (34)
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August 24, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Sox deal Workman, Hembree for Pivetta, Seabold



Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • The Draft Retrospective series continued this past week, as managing editor James Dunne takes on the 2013 draft. This was a forgettable draft, one of the most disappointing of the SoxProspects.com era. Only four players that were signed made the big leagues, and only one of them has done so in a Boston uniform. 
  • Next, Dunne broke the draft down further, diving into a topic that has been discussed for years when it comes to the Red Sox: their ability to draft and develop arms. One of the few bright spots in this draft, Mauricio Dubon, was a nice find by the Sox in the 26th round. On a positive note, a number of players in the class, including Dubon, were dealt for veteran major leaguers, some who would contribute to the 2018 World Series victory. Lastly, Dunne touched on some of the missed opportunities the Sox had in this draft, including a player who would later suit up for a division rival. 
  • The Red Sox have already begun to sell off some pieces, as they dealt relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to Philadelphia, who is in desperate need of some bullpen help. In return, Boston received right-handed pitchers Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold. The Red Sox also sent $815,000 to the Phillies and will either send more money or a player to be named later. 
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August 21, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2013 Draft Retrospective: A well-documented misfire


Thank you for checking in on the newest entry in our draft retrospective series. Tuesday was a pick-by-pick rundown of 2013, while today we will dig a little deeper into a few of the more interesting and prominent draftees. For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

2013 Draft

Background: 
The disastrous, soul-crushing embarrassment that was the Bobby Valentine era in Boston came to a merciful end after one season. It is hard to take many positives away from that season, but one clear benefit was that for just the second time since the 1967 Impossible Dream season, the Red Sox had a slot in the top 10 picks in the draft. Boston would be drafting seventh overall, the same spot they were in 20 years earlier when they nabbed prep outfielder and football star Christopher Trotman Nixon. Nixon would spend 13 years in the Red Sox organization, appearing in 982 games and finishing with a .278/.366/.478 line and 133 homers. It was also the spot where Hall of Famer Frank Thomas and likely future inductee Clayton Kershaw were taken. 
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August 18, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2013 Draft Retrospective: The picks


We welcome you to the 2013 edition of the SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series. Over the next several weeks, we will revisit each Red Sox draft going back to the start of the SoxProspects.com era. Each retrospective will come in two parts: The first will be a pick-by-pick recap of each selection with very brief comments, including their peak rank on the SoxProspects.com Top 60, as well as some of the notable players the team passed on to make those picks. Players who signed are in bold, those who did not are in italics. Bonus numbers are included where available. 

Coming off the disastrous Bobby Valentine season, the 2013 Red Sox were resurgent in the standings and in the organizational rankings and had a golden opportunity to add to that. The Red Sox were selecting seventh, their highest draft position since 1993, when the team had added stalwart right fielder Trot Nixon. The draft did indeed change the direction of the organization, but not in the way they hoped: Despite using their top two picks and seven of their first ten on pitching, the Red Sox signed more players who started an NFL game at quarterback than started an MLB game on the mound. It was the second consecutive year that the Red Sox failed to come away with any sort of impact prospect, creating an organizational gap that needed to be filled through free agency and trades. 

For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

1 (7).  Trey Ball, LHP, New Castle HS (Ind.)
Bonus: $2,750,000; Slot: $3,246,000
Boston’s highest draft choice in 20 years came as a surprise, as the team tabbed Ball, a six-foot-six prep lefty. Most outlets had the Red Sox taking outfielder Clint Frazier or third baseman Colin Moran here, but those two came off the board at picks five and six, respectively. Unfortunately, Ball did not pan out and came to symbolize (somewhat unfairly) the organization’s inability to draft and develop pitching. Those issues will be discussed in greater detail in Thursday’s draft analysis, but to put one common misconception to rest, Ball was not seen as a “reach” with the seventh pick: Baseball America had him rated the ninth-best prospect in the draft, while Perfect Game USA had him at 12th. After a bonus of $2.75 million convinced Ball to forgo a commitment to the University of Texas, he was ranked in the Top 100 by both BA and MLB.com heading into the 2014 season. While Ball’s pre-draft status might be misremembered, his on-field struggles were real. The only season in which he posted a sub-4.50 ERA was in a repeat of High A Salem in 2016, when his 3.84 mark was coupled with an underwhelming 1.26 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Improving command and good ground ball rates gave glimmers of hope as he climbed the ladder, but Ball did not advance beyond Double-A. Highly regarded as a position player headed into the draft, he attempted to return to the batter’s box late in 2018, but he went on the injured list after going 2 for 14 in five 2019 contests with an undisclosed injury. He reached minor league free agency at the end of that season and didn't sign with a team. 
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 9
Baseball America Top 100: #89 in 2014
MLB.com Top 100: #96 in 2014
Notable players passed on: Hunter Dozier (8), Austin Meadows (9), Hunter Renfroe (13), Tim Anderson (17), Aaron Judge (32), Sean Manaea (34)
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August 17, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Minor Notes: Hart debuts and Johnson departs


 Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • On Tuesday, the 10th edition of the Draft Retrospective series came out, taking a look at the pick-by-pick sections by the Red Sox during the 2012 draft. An impressive nine players selected and signed made it to the major leagues. However, none are currently with the Red Sox, and only one selection was ever named one of Baseball America's Top 100 prospects.
  • On Thursday, the series broke down the 2012 draft, one that had a lot of potential with the Red Sox having control over three of the first 37 picks. Despite that potential, the draft was largely seen as a disappointment, which was part of the focus of Part 2 of the 2012 Draft Retrospective, producing only 2.8 WAR. It also saw the Red Sox pass on several players who developed into impact players.
  • Moving away from the draft, the SoxProspects.com scouting staff updated five scouting reports this past week: left-hander Kyle Hart (pictured above) and four members of the 2019 Lowell Spinners rotation, righties Noah SongAldo Ramirez, and Ryan Zeferjahn and lefty Chris Murphy
  • Hart made his major league debut for the Red Sox on Thursday. Red Sox minor league director Ben Crockett decided to have a little fun with Hart when he broke the good news to him on Wednesday as the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham chronicles.
  • The fun did not continue through the end of the start against the Tampa Bay Rays. Hart pitched two innings and struck out four, but he gave up seven hits including two home runs, walked three, and gave up seven runs with five of them earned.
  • Hart, a 19th-round pick in 2016, is lined up to make his second start on Wednesday against the Phillies. The Boston Globe's Alex Speier writes that the Red Sox have been reluctant to give a young starter more than one start during his first callup. In fact, Speier notes that that has not happened since 2015. Hart bucking that trend is possibly more a result of desperation than anything for the Red Sox whose starting pitchers have really struggled to begin 2020.
  • Speier also discussed how the struggles of the Red Sox go deeper than just the struggle of the major league starters. His dire perspective was that a "case can be made that the organization’s talent base in the big leagues and minors is at a low point since the current owners took over in 2002".
  • That is not to say the prospects in the player pool in Pawtucket are without value or potential. The Providence Journal's Bill Koch spoke with coach Bruce Crabbe and veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy about the prospects down in Pawtucket and there futures.
  • As first reported by MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo, one player no longer in Pawtucket is lefty Brian Johnson (pictured, left) who flew home to Florida before eventually being granted his release. Johnson was the last remaining player from the 2012 Red Sox draft with major league experience who was still with the team. Despite the major league rotation struggling, Johnson was not given an opportunity to try and plug any of those holes this year.
  • With the cancellation of the minor league season, many prospects are without a summer job and have lost the structure they expected. Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald takes a look at how some of the Red Sox prospects are adapting during this unusual and difficult summer.
Photo Credit: Kyle Hart and Brian Johnson 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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August 13, 2020 at 12:30 PM

Revisiting the 2012 draft: MLB talent but not impact talent


Thank you for checking in on the newest entry in our draft retrospective series. Yesterday was a pick-by-pick rundown of 2012, while today we will dig a little deeper into a few of the more interesting and prominent draftees. For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

2012 MLB Draft

Background
The Red Sox were coming off an awful September, one that saw the team go 7-20 in September and miss the playoffs. Two-time World Series-winning manager Terry Francona lost his job as a result, and if that was not bad enough, word came down that longtime GM Theo Epstein was in discussions with the Cubs to become their team President. 

The 2011 draft was a key to the Red Sox future success and, despite some big changes, 2012 was shaping up to be able to provide a similar impact. The Red Sox decided to let Jonathan Papelbon, one of the best closers in the game at the time, leave in free agency, they were certainly placing value on the two picks they would gain as compensation. It seemed as if those would be all the more important in 2012 with the changes in draft rules limiting the advantage of large market teams with equally large pockets to overspend in the draft as the Red Sox did in 2011. The club now possessed three of the top 37 picks and had a bonus pool that was the 10th largest.

While there was certainly some good talent in the draft such as Carlos Correa, David Dahl, Corey Seager, Jose Berrios, Joey Gallo, and Matt Olsen, the quality was a clear step down from the previous year. While the Red Sox ended up splitting up their selections roughly equally between high schoolers (15) and four-year college players (22), with 5 junior college draftees for good measure, they spent eight of their first 10 picks on college players. 2012 was a tough year to be a first-time GM with the draft formatting so dramatically changed, even with a returning amateur scouting director in Amiel Sawdaye, and while Ben Cherington's first go yielded nine players who signed and made the majors, none has had a career WAR higher than 1.3, and as of Monday, none are still in the organization.
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August 12, 2020 at 6:17 PM

Scouting Report Updates: Thursday's starter, plus Song and the Lowell rotation


The latest SoxProspects scouting report update features Kyle Hart, who is set to make his MLB debut on Thursday at Fenway, as well as a quartet of promising young arms who were part of the Lowell Spinners' talented 2019 rotation and are all ranked in our Top 20.

SoxProspects.com scouting reports are written by our scouting team, led by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Kyle Hart, Left-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Tall, lanky left-handed starter. Minimal remaining projection.
 
Mechanics: Long levers and front-side deception. Clean, balanced mechanics. Confident and composed on the mound. 
 
Fastball: 87-90 mph with natural cut. Can reach back and get his fastball up to 92 mph. Works around the plate, pitches to contact. Average command profile. Was a groundball pitcher early in his career, but groundball rate has dropped significantly and flyball rate almost doubled. Below-average velocity. Potential fringe-average offering.
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