SoxProspects News

March 27, 2020 at 10:19 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Pereda, Allie, Meneses, Mieses, Puello, Jones


Our latest scouting report update for the 2020 season includes six new faces to the Red Sox organization. The front office has been aggressive in adding depth to a minor league system that is undergoing a strategic shift with a new Chief Baseball Officer at the helm. This set of updates is headlined by Jhonny Pereda, a catcher traded to the Red Sox in exchange for Travis Lakins, as well as Stetson Allie, a former top prospect for the Pittsburgh Pirates who can still touch triple digits with his fastball.

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

Jhonny Pereda, catcher

Physical Description: Solid catcher's frame. No remaining projection.

Hit:
Starts square and utilizes a leg kick timing device. Hands start around his chest, but end up in a good hitting position. Solid bat-to-ball skills. Puts the ball in play consistently, understands the strike zone. Does a good job taking what the pitcher gives him and not expanding the strike zone.

Power: Minimal power projection. Currently has below-average raw power and projects for well-below average game power at best. Doesn’t lift the ball with authority. Not a part of his game.

Run:
Not a part of his game. Bottom-of-the-scale speed.

Field:
Receiving and framing need work. Framing is inconsistent, has varied between above-average to below-average from year-to-year. Receiving can get a little loose and needs to tighten up those skills. Potential average defender.

Arm:
Plus arm. Quick release. Does a good job controlling the running game.

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March 26, 2020 at 5:18 PM

Podcast Ep. #176 - Small Prospects


Before we get started, to all our listeners, colleagues, supporters and friends of the site, we all want to send our sincere wishes for health, safety and security. We’re planning to keep episodes of the podcast coming, so you have things to listen to while you’re sheltering in place, working from home and taking breaks from MLB Vault marathons. We’re releasing this podcast on what would have been Opening Day. And while baseball is still shut down, we have plenty to talk through. Chris and Ian update us the negotiations between MLB and the Players Association. They tackle the time needed to get both the big leaguers ready to play as well as the minor leaguers. Then they turn to the mailbag to answer your questions.

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March 23, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Fort Report: Financial assistance for minor leaguers; scouting activity prohibited


With play halted for the foreseeable future, the main baseball topics revolve around supporting minor leaguers while play is suspended and figuring out a solution to the service time issues in a shortened season. 

  • While minor leaguers are not paid for spring training, they do receive a few hundred dollars per week per diem. MLB announced that these players will receive a lump sum that represents what they would have received under this allowance through April 8 and the Red Sox also covered any costs that it would take for the minor leaguers to travel home. 
  • Another group of people set to lose out on the delayed start to the season is ballpark employees. Each team has committed $1 million to help these employees, who are almost all hourly workers. 
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March 16, 2020 at 3:00 PM

Fort Report: Coronavirus halts play


Opening Day will be delayed this season, as the coronavirus has forced baseball to shut down. We will continue to try and provide a distraction with Red Sox minor league coverage.

  • Check out the 175th episode of the SoxProspects.com podcast, where Chris and Ian discuss the unfortunate cancellation of their trip to Fort Myers. Prior to the decision to cancel, they discussed some things they were looking forward to seeing in camp. They also give their thoughts on roster cuts and the active roster. 
  • Red Sox minor leaguers were originally given the option to stay in camp or go home, but now they have been encouraged to go home. By the looks of it, a lot of players have opted to go home.
  • On a conference call on Friday, Chaim Bloom discussed the difficulty of getting pitchers ready again for whenever the season ends up starting. 
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March 12, 2020 at 10:53 AM

Podcast Ep. #175: Minor League Camp "Preview"


A lot can change in a couple days. In this episode, Chris and Ian engaged in an in-depth preview of their then-upcoming trip to minor league spring training, running through the players they were looking forward to seeing in camp and taking your listener questions. Days later, as Chris explains in the new intro, the trip was unfortunately canceled due to concerns related to the coronavirus, but we are still releasing the episode as a preview of the players and storylines we have our eyes on entering the year.

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March 9, 2020 at 2:30 PM

Fort Report: Duran keeps rolling; Houck, Mata, Dalbec reassigned


There are only 17 days to go until Opening Day and there is plenty of news coming out of Fort Myers that doesn't involve Chris Sale and his elbow. The roster is beginning to take shape, with several players moving over to minor league camp and the departure of a valuable member of the 2018 championship team.

  • The first rounds of cuts from major league camp began this week as 19 players--including five of the top 10 prospects in the system--were optioned or reassigned:
    • Five players on the 40-man roster were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket: infielders Bobby Dalbec and CJ Chatham and pitchers Kyle Hart, Mike Shawaryn, and Phillips Valdez. Dalbec ranks sixth in the system in the SoxProspects.com Top 60, with Chatham checking in at number 10. 
    • Outfielder Marcus Wilson was optioned to Portland and lefty Yoan Aybar to Salem. 
    • Those not on the 40-man reassigned to minor league camp were pitchers Daniel McGrath, Bobby Poyner, Bryan Mata, Denyi Reyes, RJ Alvarez, Trevor Hildenberger, Tanner Houck (pictured), and Mick Kickham, infielders Tommy Joseph, Jeter Downs, Josh Ockimey, and catchers Connor Wong and Roldani Baldwin.
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March 2, 2020 at 8:00 PM

Fort Report: Duran and Mata impress in first full week of Spring


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • With the first full week of spring training behind us, SoxProspects coverage is in full swing. On the SoxProspects twitter account (@SoxProspects) you can find daily reports on prospects playing in major league games, as well as follow the #SP60 breakdown of the systems top 60 prospects (updated daily). Stay tuned as the SoxProspects scouting team is set to arrive in Fort Myers on March 19th to bring in-person reports of minor league camp. 
  • One of the stand out prospect performers thus far in Red Sox spring training has been Jarren Duran who has turned heads with his red hot start to spring. The speedy outfielder has appeared in five games thus far in which he's notched five hits in twelve plate appearances, including a home run and a triple. Bryan Mata has also impressed in his two spring appearances, fanning two across three scoreless innings.
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February 24, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Fort Report: Camp opens with new additions Downs and Wong


The Red Sox held their first full team workout on February 17 and with the start of spring training comes another year of the SoxProspects.com Fort Report. The Fort Report will run every Monday throughout spring training, catching you up on all things prospect-related happening down in Fort Myers.

Here are this week's minor league notes:
  • Since the last Monthly Notes, the huge headline was obviously the finalized trade of Mookie Betts and David Price in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs (pictured, right), and Connor Wong. The trade did not go down smoothly, and the first reports led the SoxProspects.com Podcast Team to put out an initial emergency podcast only to find the deal fall apart. Once the deal was revised and finalized, they released a second emergency podcast summing up the whole wild ride.
  • With the new prospects in the fold, the SoxProspects.com scouting team was hard at work, putting together a post with updated scouting reports for both Downs and Wong. Downs is described as having the ceiling of an everyday player/occasional all-star and begins the year as the second-ranked player on the SoxProspects.com rankings. Wong projects as more of a super-utility player and is the system's top-ranked catcher, ranked 12th overall.
  • Julian McWilliams writes for the Boston Globe about Downs' confidence and how he is learning from his mistakes. Downs spoke to former Twins major leaguer Torii Hunter and said, “He told me to make all the mistakes you can now in the minor leagues. Try new things."
  • ESPN's David Schoenfield took a look at the most interesting non-roster player for all 30 teams. His selection for the Red Sox was no surprise, Jeter Downs.
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February 17, 2020 at 7:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Jeter Downs and Connor Wong


Our first scouting report update post of the season highlights the two prospects the Red Sox received from the Dodgers in addition to Alex Verdugo in exchange for Mookie Betts and David Price. These reports, written by our Director of Scouting, Ian Cundall, will be further updated after we have seen the players in person, hopefully during our March trip to minor league Spring Training in Fort Myers, but for now have been compiled from reports obtained from those who have seen both Downs and Wong.

Jeter Downs, middle infielder

Physical Description: Athletic, twitchy. Minimal projection remaining in frame. Has gotten stronger since signing. Thick lower half.

Hit: Patient, polished hitter with advanced bat control. Simple swing. Has strong feel for hit and has refined his swing to allow him to tap into more power and hit the ball in the air to the pull side. Will use all fields. Has shown solid contact skills. Can get pull-happy at times and struggles with velocity up in the zone. Potential above-average hit tool.
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February 10, 2020 at 7:41 AM

Podcast Ep. 174 - Emergency podcast -- Mookie Betts, take two


Here we go again. The siren is blaring. Mookie Betts is once again on his way to LA, along with David Price and cash to cover half of what Price is owed over the next three years. Coming back to Boston are Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong. Chris and Ian break down the new deal and answer your questions.

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February 7, 2020 at 7:00 PM

Minor Notes: Casas leads Red Sox on national rankings as Betts trade looms


Here are January's minor league notes:

  • It has been a busy month for the SoxProspects podcast team, who have recorded three episodes since the beginning of January. Episode 171 featured the now annual appearance of Alex Speier (Boston Globe) on the pod, and the group went over a number of topics including the offseasons transactions and Speier's new book, Homegrown
  • Prior to the news breaking late Tuesday night Chris (@SPChrisHatfield) and Ian (@IanCundall) discussed what a then theoretical Mookie Betts trade would look like in the 172nd episode of the podcast. They further recapped the Red Sox offseason transactions and offered condolences to the families of Kobe Bryant and Red Sox scout J.J. Altobelli. Immediately following the news of the Betts trade breaking the team hopped in the studio for the 173rd episode to go over the reported terms of the deal and discuss what this means for the Red Sox going forward.
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February 5, 2020 at 8:55 AM

Podcast Ep. #173 - Emergency Podcast -- Mookie Betts


This is not a test. The front office actually did it. Mookie Betts and David Price (plus some cash) are now Dodgers. Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol are now Red Sox. And Chris and Ian are here for all of us.

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February 3, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Willis helps Melbourne to ABL final


We continue our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 the winter season. This week's roundup covers January 27 February 2.

Australian Baseball League

The only player in the Sox system to see action this week was once again Melbourne outfielder Colin Willis. The 27-year-old joined the Red Sox this offseason as a minor league free agent, and celebrated by crushing Australian League pitching to the tune of .427/.520/.612 in the regular season. Melbourne knocked off Auckland in the league semifinal two games to none despite an atypically quiet showing from Willis. The outfielder was 0 for 7 in the two games, walking twice and striking out four times. He drove in a run the hard way in Saturday's clinching victory, getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. He then came around to score as part of the Aces' decisive six-run fifth inning.
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January 28, 2020 at 11:49 AM

Podcast Ep. #172 - We’re going to try to talk baseball


This is a test of the emergency podcast system. This is only a test. If this had been an actual emergency podcast, Mookie Betts would no longer be a member of the Boston Red Sox. But as of the recording of this episode, no trade has been struck. While we wait for news to break (if it breaks), Chris and Ian talked through potential returns for Betts. Ian tackled the Padres; Chris took the Dodgers. And before they played fantasy GM, they recapped the latest moves and offered condolences for all the families and friends of the victims of the helicopter crash that took the life of Kobe Bryant and several family members of Red Sox amateur scout JJ Altobelli.
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January 27, 2020 at 6:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Willis finishes record-breaking season with a bang


We continue our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 January 20 through 26.

Dominican Winter League
The Dominican Winter League is quickly winding down as Toros del Este and Tigres del Licey battle in the championship series. Although he appeared for Licey several times earlier in the season, Marco Hernandez hasn't made an appearance for the club since December and is not expected to make an appearance for the remainder of the season.
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January 20, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Castillo and Aguilas eliminated in a marathon game


We continue our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 January 13 through 19.

Dominican Winter League
Rusney Castillo (pictured) continued to play for Aguilas, but his team fell short in a classic tiebreak game against Licey. The game lasted over 6 hours and ended with Licey celebrating a walkoff win in the bottom of the 13th. It was a solid week for Castillo as he went 6 for 22 with three runs, four RBI, and a walk. 
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January 13, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Castillo joins Aguilas; Willis keeps rolling


We continue our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 January 6 through 12.

Dominican Winter League
Aguilas received reinforcements for the Round Robin portion of the DWL playoffs in the form of outfielder Rusney Castillo (pictured above, right). Following the elimination of Caguas in Puerto Rico, Castillo hopped across the Canal de la Mona and was immediately inserted as the Aguilas' leadoff hitter. He appeared in all five games for Cibaenas, going 4 for 22 with a pair of walks. His best effort came in Wednesday's victory when he doubled and drove in four. Catcher Jhon Nunez was the only other player to see action this week, going 1 for 9 with a walk and catching all 13 innings of the Este win on Thursday over Escogido. 
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at 12:00 PM

Monthly Notes: Song's waiver status remains uncertain


Here are December's minor league notes:

  • The 170th episode of the SoxProspects.com podcast is out, as Executive Editor Chris Hatfield and Director of Scouting Ian Cundall give updates on rankings and rosters while also discussing on the Rule 5 draft. They finish up with some trade rumors and mailbag questions. 
  • The question of eligibility for pitcher Noah Song continues to linger. An existing rule that allowed athletes to forgo their military commitment was repealed and then re-instituted by the current administration. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, the recommended policy takes effect for 2020 graduates, meaning Song would need to serve for two years before he could report to the Red Sox. Song applied for a waiver, but bureaucratic hurdles--such as the lack of a current Secretary of the Navy--have caused the case to linger. After initial reports came through that the waiver had been denied, it was clarified by Alex Speier of The Boston Globe that the waiver had simply not been recommended by the Chief Naval Officer at the Academy. The final decision rests with the Navy itself, and it is unclear how much consequence is carried by the lack of recommendation of the CNO. 
  • The Red Sox had a solid Rule 5 draft, as they did not lose any of their players while also selecting three players. In the major league portion of the draft, they took Jonathan Arauz from the Astros. He is a 21-year old shortstop that spent time at both High-A and Double-A in 2019. Combined, he hit .249 with a .707 OPS in 115 games. He hit 11 home runs, 22 doubles, and stole six bases. In the minor league portion, the Sox took Raynel Espinal from the Yankees and Jose Espada from the Blue Jays. Espinal is a 27-year old right-handed pitcher who posted a 4.32 ERA in 75 innings at Triple-A. Espada is a 22-year old right-handed pitcher who tossed 11 2/3 innings between rookie ball and Single-A last year. 
  • The Red Sox also made eight minor league signings. They include: catcher Jett Bandy, outfielders John Andreoli and Nick Longhi, left-handed pitcher Mike Kickham, and right-handed pitchers R.J. Alvarez, Domingo Tapia, and Robinson Leyer
  • Longhi returns to the Sox after being with the Reds organization since the end of 2017. Last year, he played 111 games for Triple-A Louisville, hitting .283/.336/.463 with 28 doubles and 12 home runs. Witte has been with the Sox since 2013 when he was drafted in the 24th round. The 29-year old had just a .568 OPS in the Puerto Rico Winter League in 2019. Tapia returns to the Sox after posting a 5.18 ERA in 44 games last year with the PawSox. Leyer appeared in three games for Lowell and 15 games for Portland last season. 
  • Andreoli returns to his home state after bouncing around with six different teams since his professional career began. Jennifer Toland of telegram.com wrote a piece about how he grew up as a Red Sox fan and is excited to prove himself this spring training. 
  • Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic (subscription required) wrote a terrific piece about SoxProspects.com and how the site got started. McCaffrey spoke to founder Mike Andrews, Hatfield, and former staff member Chris Mellen. 
  • Jim Callis of MLB.com ranked the Red Sox as the third best farm system of the past decade. He highlights the 2011 draft as well as the Sox great work in the international department as well.
Photo Credit: Noah Song by Kelly O'Connor 

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at 7:26 AM

Podcast Ep. #171 - Alex Speier talks Homegrown, his top 10 and the Sox system


New Year, new laptop, new podcast, and a new book out from our guest Alex Speier (@alexspeier). Chris and Ian spend an hour with the Boston Globe beat writer discussing his new book, Homegrown: How the Red Sox Built a Champion from the Ground Up, his Baseball America top 10 rankings and other thoughts from the system, and questions from our listeners in the mailbag. Heck, they even got Alex’s real-time “thoughts” on a transaction that broke during the chat!

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January 6, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Willis a bright spot in Australian League


We continue our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 of December 30 through January 5.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (Puerto Rico)
The playoffs are underway in the Roberto Clemente Professional League, but not much happened with Red Sox players. Josh Tobias struggled, going 2 for 12 with a walk and a run driven in. Alan Marrero also saw action, who pinch hit and went 0 for 1, but he did score a run.The only other Sox player to see the field was Gregorio Reyes, who made one appearance and did not record an out before allowing a hit and a run.
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