SoxProspects News

July 4, 2020 at 9:39 AM

Podcast Ep. #185 - Get things started and ramp up


Major League Baseball has announced plans for a return to the field. Meanwhile, Minor League Baseball cancelled its 2020 season. That gets Chris and Ian back behind their mics. Leading off, Noah Song finally has direction for the next 12-18 months of his military career. Then on to the big news of the week. MLB imposed a 60-games-in-66-days framework. They discuss how the 60-man player pool will work. From there, the guys break out who is on the Sox squad and debate which players should be added to the 60-man. Then it’s time for a somber topic, the cancelation of the minor league season. Finally, Chris and Ian reach into the deep mailbag and answer your excellent questions.

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July 3, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Revisiting the 2004 draft: Pedroia symbolizes Red Sox successes


Thank you for checking in on the newest entry in our draft retrospective series. Yesterday was a pick-by-pick rundown of 2004, 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.

2004 MLB Draft

Background: 
After a solid 2003 draft, the Red Sox had two consecutive franchise-altering editions in 2004 and 2005. Today we focus on the former, as the Red Sox found a cornerstone who would spend a decade and a half defining Boston's success.

For the third time in four years, the Red Sox were left without a first-round pick because of the signing of a marquee free agent. In each instance, the free agent signee became a key part of the 2004 championship team (Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, and Keith Foulke), while the latter two second-round picks (Jon Lester and Dustin Pedroia) proved to be cornerstones for the 2007 and 2013 titles. While the debate over traditional closer usage patterns rages on, the 2003 season clearly displayed the value in having a more traditional bullpen anchor; people may debate how you should use your best reliever, but nobody questions that a team needs relievers who are very good. To fill that role, the team set its sights on Oakland closer Foulke. The system was seen as being on the upswing after getting gutted at the tail end of the Duquette years, with Lester, Hanley Ramirez, and Kevin Youkilis getting attention from national publications. 
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July 2, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2004 Draft Retrospective: The picks


We welcome you to the 2004 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.

Headed into the 2004 draft, the landscape looked much different for Boston than it did in 2003. A year after having four picks in the top 52, the Red Sox would not be selecting at all until the 65th-overall pick. After coming tantalizingly close the World Series the previous year, the team gambled that bolstering the major league bullpen with an elite reliever in the short term would be worth a potential sacrifice in long-term value. 

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

1 (24) (Pick surrendered as compensation for signing Keith Foulke)  
For the third time in four years, the Red Sox did not have a first-round pick due to the signing of a free agent. Foulke had only one effective season with Boston, but it was one of obvious historical importance to the franchise. The Oakland Athletics used this pick to select catcher Landon Powell from the University of South Carolina. 
Notable players "passed" on: Gio Gonzalez (38), Huston Street (40) 

2  (65). Dustin Pedroia, SS, Arizona State
Bonus: $575,000
Dominant in the Pac-10 despite being undersized and with an uppercut swing, Pedroia proved Boston scouts correct. His 51.6 bWAR for the Red Sox is 10th best in team history and fourth all-time among players they drafted. Only Justin Verlander has a higher mark among 2004 draftees. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 3
Baseball America Top 100: 77 in 2006
Notable players passed on: Kurt Suzuki (67), Jason Vargas (68) 
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July 1, 2020 at 12:30 PM

Revisiting the 2003 draft: Epstein era dawns


Thank you for checking out the second part of our 2003 draft retrospective. Yesterday was a pick-by-pick rundown, 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.

2003 MLB Draft 

Background
As mentioned in yesterday's introduction, the 2003 draft is an interesting place to start not just because the hiring of Theo Epstein marks the unofficial start of the modern Red Sox era, but also because the Red Sox were slotted 17th, the same position they were in when they drafted Nick Yorke two weeks ago. 2003 was also the year that statistical analysis really seemed to get a lot of press around draft time. Sabermetrics, rather than analytics, was the buzzword of the day, and Moneyball’s release was nigh. Organizations, at least the smart ones, were approaching the draft very differently than they were just a couple years earlier. The misinterpretation of the Michael Lewis bestseller that OBP-equals-good and high school pitchers-equals-bad seemed to play out—lots of college bats got priority, while Peabody High School phenom Jeff Allison, with a profile that would have made him a certain top-ten pick in the past, fell all the way to 16th.
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at 8:00 AM

Minor Notes: Minor league baseball season cancelled


Here are Wednesday's minor league notes:

  • After getting Jim Callis' immediate thoughts on the Red Sox draft, the SoxPrsopects podcast team of Chris Hatfield and Ian Cundall did their own recap of the draft as well as the undrafted free agent signing period thus far. Unexpectedly, much of the discussion was spent on the two highly rated high school bats, Blaze Jordan and Nick Yorke, who the podcast team feels will need to be carried by their bats.
  • On Tuesday, SoxProspects.com kicked off a new project that aims to look back at the successes and failures of Red Sox drafts past. The draft retrospective project kicked off by looking at the 2003 MLB Draft, which was Theo Epstein's first draft in charge and saw the team select the likes of Jonathan Papelbon, David Murphy, and current manager of the Lowell Spinners, Iggy Suarez
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at 7:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Focusing on some DSL bats


The latest SoxProspects scouting report update sheds light on a group of teenage international signees, including power-hitting Albert Feliz. Feliz, at 18, will require a great deal of development as a hitter, but possesses impressive raw pop that is among the best in the system. 

Today's reports are all compiled from sources. They'll all be updated once we see the players in person.

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

Albert Feliz, First baseman/Outfielder

Physical Description: Thick, physically mature frame. Very strong already. Minimal projection remaining.

Hit: Starts with a wide base. Utilizes a short leg lift. Long swing. Very rudimentary approach. Pitch recognition skills are very basic. Needs to improve contact skills.

Power: Plus-plus raw power. Generates massive raw power due to his strength. Has shown the ability already to drive the ball out of the ballpark. Power is almost exclusively to the pull side.

Run: Well below-average speed already and likely will get slower as he gets older.

Field: Raw. Limited mobility and instincts. First base or left field profile.

Arm: Average arm strength.
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June 30, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2003 Draft Retrospective: The picks


We welcome you to the first of our 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 (and, conveniently enough, the start of the Theo Epstein 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 2003 draft is a particularly useful starting point in the context of the 2020 draft, as the Red Sox had the 17th overall selection that year as well. For all drafts prior to 2012, it is worth keeping in mind that apples-to-apples comparisons before and after that date are difficult given the presence, or lack thereof, of a cap on draft spending. In this year, Epstein's first as GM and David Chadd's second as amateur scouting director, there was a clear focus on college players, as only one of Boston's first 18 picks was used on a high school player. 

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

1 (17). David Murphy, OF, Baylor
Bonus: $1,525,000
The first pick of the Theo Epstein era was also the team’s first chance to take a first-rounder since 2000, having surrendered top picks the previous two years to sign Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. A .413/.487/.614 slash line at Baylor and ability to stick in center attracted the team to Murphy. That strategy quickly became the archetype – the up-the-middle college bat with a plus hit tool. 
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 5
Notable players passed on: Chad Billingsley (24), Carlos Quentin (29)

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June 24, 2020 at 9:11 AM

Podcast Ep. #184 - Maybe it worked, I don't know


Having gone outside the pod for opinions last episode, Chris and Ian got their chance to talk through the draft. The guys talk through each draft selection, and all the undrafted free agents who had signed as of the time we recorded. They go in depth on both Nick Yorke and Blaze Jordan, the two high schoolers whose bats will need to carry them. Then it’s time to talk about the two college pitchers.  And of course, we read another batch of your exceptional emails!
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June 22, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Draft review & undrafted signings continue


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • The MLB draft is over but there will still be plenty of related content on SoxProspects.com over the next six weeks. The signing deadline for drafted players this year has been moved back from July 10 to August 1, so it may take a while before we start to hear finalized numbers for any of the four players drafted by the Red Sox.
  • It is never too early to start talking about the Red Sox draft where they selected second baseman Nick Yorke, third baseman Blaze Jordan, and left-handed pitchers Jeremy Wu-Yelland and Shane Drohan. The SoxProspects.com Podcast team brought in industry expert Jim Callis from MLB.com to discuss the Red Sox draft strategy, the shortened draft format, and his thoughts on the Boston's selections.
  • Just when it seems like the Red Sox undrafted free agent signings had slowed down, the team signed three more players this week. The first was Maceo Campbell, a right-handed pitcher from Longwood University. He is a redshirt junior after missing the 2019 season for undisclosed reasons. The six-foot, 21-year-old pitcher is a bit short for a traditional starter but worked as both a starter and reliever at Longwood. His body of work is very small, as he has only thrown a total of 22 2/3 innings between 2018 and a shortened 2019 campaign. In 2019, he threw 14 innings with 18 strikeouts and 13 walks while reportedly topping out at 96 mph. As SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall points out, he is the third player the Red Sox have signed out of Longwood, including Kyri Washington (now a pro scout with the Red Sox) and infielder Michael Osinski who finished the 2019 season in Pawtucket.
  • Next up was first baseman Cuba Bess (pictured, left) out of Grand Canyon University. The redshirt junior took his redshirt in 2018 after a knee injury forced him to miss the season, and Bess also missed the start of this season with a hamstring injury, ultimately only getting nine at-bats. Between his two injuries, Bess broke out in 2019, hitting .341/.476/.632 for GCU with 11 home runs, 18 doubles, and walking more than he struck out. 
  • According to AZCentral.com, the Red Sox have been in touch with Bess ever since his senior year of high school when he was selected in the 39th round by Colorado. Those conversations really came to life after his breakout when he led GCU in average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. As WEEI.com's Rob Bradford writes, Red Sox scout Vaughn Williams knew other teams would be after Bess, so Williams sent a recruiting video to Bess from Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts the very moment the signing period opened. Bess' father, Johnny, was also drafted and played minor league baseball, making it as high as Triple-A.
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June 19, 2020 at 11:50 AM

Podcast Ep.: #183 - Jim Callis from MLB.com Talks Draft


Chris and Ian welcome Jim Callis to the pod (his fifth appearance on the podcast!) to talk all things MLB Draft. And as always, he’s got plenty of knowledge to bring to the table! Jim shared his thoughts on Boston’s draft strategy, his thorough thoughts on the players the Sox picked in the draft, and the abbreviated draft in general. And of course, we got to your emails!

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June 16, 2020 at 7:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Can Feltman Bounce Back After Lackluster 2019?


The latest SoxProspects scouting report update includes new information on a quintet of pitchers (most notably, Durbin Feltman and Hunter Haworth) and a pair of catchers. Feltman was drafted in the third round in 2018 and was thought to be a candidate to be the first player from his draft class to reach the majors. His 2019, however, did not go according to plan, as his report details. Haworth was a late-round pick (22nd) in 2017, but has shown flashes of intrigue that, if sustained more consistently, could help him fill a role at the major league level.

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

Durbin Feltman, Right-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Short, stocky frame. Average build with minimal remaining projection.

Mechanics:
Throws from an over-the-top arm slot. Max effort delivery. Starts on the third base side of the rubber and doesn't use a windup. Very quick arm. Short, stiff arm action behind. Hides the ball well.

Fastball:
92-96 mph. Topped out at 99 mph in college. Sat 94-96 mph after signing in 2018, but velo was down in 2019, often sitting 92-94 and only touching 96. Reports from spring training 2020 had his velocity down even more to the low-90s. At its best, the pitch explodes out of his hand and has late life, making it tough to square up. Club had him work on locating the pitch up in the zone early in 2019 after he had focused on locating it down in the zone in college and in 2018 pro debut. After struggling through the adjustment, particularly with his command and with needing to sacrifice velocity to locate the pitch, returned to locating it lower in the zone near the end of the season, with improved statistical results. Command still needs improvement and is inconsistent from outing to outing. Potential plus offering.

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June 15, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: 2020 draft class nearly finalized


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • All eyes were on the MLB Draft last week, and there was a lot of discussion about the Red Sox first-round pick. Boston selected Nick Yorke, a high school second baseman from San Jose, CA, which was a surprise to everyone. The most bullish ranking for Yorke was from Baseball America, who had him ranked 96th, while Perfect Game USA ranked him at 236th. No media outlet had him ranked close to his 17th overall selection. 
  • Chris and Ian recorded a podcast after the first night of the draft, discussing Yorke in more detail as well as going over the different strategies the Red Sox could employ on day two of the draft. 
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June 12, 2020 at 7:00 AM

2020 Draft Recap: How Boston's picks ranked


With the high school and college seasons being cut short in March, the rankings across the publications varied greatly this year. The Red Sox had only four picks in this draft, and all were ranked in the Baseball America Top 500, Perfect Game USA Top 400, and the Fangraphs Top 230. Only three ranked in MLB.com's Top 200, with fourth-rounder Jeremy Wu-Yelland not making the cut. While the majority of the players were ranked, their final rankings varied by around 100 slots depending on which outlets you are looking at. 

The full list of this year's draft selections can be found over at the SoxProspects.com Draft History page. This page will be updated with any undrafted signees, so be sure to check back during the signing period. 

Round-Pick: Player, Position (Rank)

1-17: Nick Yorke, 2B (BA: 96; MLB: 139; PG: 236; FG: 165)
3-89: Blaze Jordan, 3B (BA: 90; MLB: 42; PG: 35; FG: 115)
4-118: Jeremy Wu-Yelland, LHP (BA: 261; PG: 202; FG: 183)
5-148: Shane Drohan, LHP (BA: 189; MLB: 147; PG: 104; FG: 202)

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June 11, 2020 at 10:22 PM

Red Sox select Shane Drohan with fifth-round pick


With its fifth-round pick in the 2020 draft, Boston has selected Shane Drohan, a left-handed pitcher out of Florida State University. He is ranked 189th by Baseball America, 147th by MLB Pipeline, and 104th by Perfect Game USA.
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at 9:03 PM

Red Sox select Jeremy Wu-Yelland with fourth-round pick


With the 118th overall selection, the Red Sox drafted left-handed pitcher Jeremy Wu-Yelland out of the University of Hawaii. Coming into the draft, the Seattle native was not especially highly rated, ranked 261st by Baseball America, 183rd by Fangraphs, 176th by Perfect Game, and did not crack the top 200 draft prospects according to MLB.com.
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at 7:40 PM

Red Sox select Blaze Jordan with third-round pick


With their third-round pick in the 2020 draft, the Red Sox selected Blaze Jordan, a third baseman out of DeSoto Central High School in Mississippi. Jordan was one of the top-ranked players left on the board when the Red Sox were on the clock at pick 89, ranking 42nd by MLB.com, 90th by Baseball America, and 35th by Perfect Game USA

Listed at 6-foot-2 220 pounds, Jordan reclassified into the 2020 draft class in May 2019, making him one of the youngest players in the class as he will not turn 18 until December. His carrying tool is his power, with rumors of him hitting 500-foot home runs when he was just 13. Jordan won the High School Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game last July and has recorded exit velocities well over 100 mph in game action. 
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at 11:13 AM

Podcast Ep. #182 - 2020 Draft: Night 1 Recap


With the 17th selection of the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft, the Boston Red Sox threw us all a curveball when they selected California high school infielder Nick Yorke. Wondering what happened? Want the dish on the newest Red Sox draftee? Chris and Ian have the answers. Ian shares the consensus on Yorke’s hit tool and makeup, both of which are highly regarded. The guys talk through the draft strategy behind the pick, including expectations of how the next 3 picks will shake out. They shared their impressions of the conference call with Chaim Bloom and Paul Toboni. And we close with a great email.

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June 10, 2020 at 10:44 PM

Best players available: Day two


The first day of the MLB first-year player draft has wrapped, and the Boston Red Sox selected Nick Yorke with the 17th overall selection. Boston will have three picks on Thursday during Day 2 of the draft, starting with pick number 89 in the middle of the third round followed by picks 118 and 148. Currently, 25 players remain who are ranked in the top-60 of Baseball Americas's Top 500 and there's a chance one could slip to the Red Sox at 89 (rankings are via Baseball AmericaMLB.com, and Perfect Game USA).

  • Jared Kelley (12 BA, 12 MLB, 17 PG): RHP, Refugio HS (Texas)
  • J.T. Ginn (23 BA, 44 MLB, 62 PG): RHP, Mississippi State
  • Cole Wilcox (24 BA, 23 MLB, 14 PG): RHP, Georgia
  • Dillon Dingler (27 BA, 24 MLB, 31 PG): C, Ohio State
  • Chris McMahon (30 BA, 29 MLB, 26 PG): RHP, Miami
  • Casey Martin (38 BA, 30 MLB): SS, Arkansas
  • Carson Montgomery (40 BA, 34 MLB, 28 PG): RHP, Windermere HS (Fla.)
  • Jared Jones (41 BA, 55 MLB, 47 PG): RHP, La Mirada HS (Calif.)
  • Daniel Cabrera (42 BA,38 MLB, 39 PG): OF, Louisana State
  • Cole Henry (44 BA, 45 MLB, 51 PG): RHP, Louisana State
  • Alex Santos (45 BA, 56 MLB, 48 PG): RHP, Mount St. Michael Acadamy (NY)
  • C.J. Van Eyk (46 BA, 39 MLB, 42 PG): RHP, Florida State
  • Masyn Winn (47 BA, 54 MLB, 27 PG): RHP/SS, Kingwood HS (Texas)
  • Kevin Parada (48 BA, 48 MLB, 54 PG): C, Loyola HS (Calif.)
  • Isaiah Greene (49 BA, 62 MLB, 40 PG): OF, Corona HS (Calif.)
  • Gage Workman (51 BA, 73 MLB, 84 PG): 3B, Arizona State
  • Daxton Fulton (52 BA, 43 MLB, 56 PG): LHP, Mustang HS (Okla.)
  • Jeff Criswell (53 BA, 58 MLB, 65 PG): RHP, Michigan
  • Logan Allen (54 BA, 46 MLB, 58 PG): LHP, Florida International
  • Chase Davis (55 BA, 83 MLB, 90 PG): OF, Franklin HS (Calif.)
  • Nick Garcia (56 BA, 70 MLB, 67 PG): RHP, Chapman Junior College
  • Colt Keith (57 BA, 87 MLB): SS, Biloxi HS (Miss.)
  • Clayton Beeter (58 BA, 51 MLB, 22 PG): RHP, Texas Tech
  • Victor Mederos 59 BA, 99 MLB): RHP, Westminster Christian Academy (Fla.)
  • Alejandro Rosario (60 BA, 71 MLB, 89 PG): RHP, Miami Christian HS (Fla.)

Live coverage of the draft begins Thursday on MLB Network and ESPN2 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Follow all of the action at SoxProspects.com.

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

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at 10:24 PM

2020 MLB First Year Player Draft picks No. 1-37


The first round and Competitive Balance Round A for the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft have been completed. This year has a significantly shorter format than a typical draft, with five rounds over two days instead of the standard 40-round, three-day affair. Scouts had less opportunity to make final judgments on players and as a result, many of the top selections were college players who had a month of regular season play, whereas many high school seasons had barely gotten started when they were halted due to COVID-19. Overall, 18 of the 29 first-round picks were from the college ranks, including each of the first seven selections. Teams also preferred to take hitters over pitchers, with another 18 of those selections being hitters.
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at 8:54 PM

Red Sox select Nick Yorke with the 17th overall pick


With the 17th overall pick in the 2020 First-Year Player MLB Draft, the Red Sox selected Nick Yorke, a second baseman from Archbishop Mitty High School (Calf.). Yorke is ranked 96th by Baseball America, 139th by MLB.com, and 271st by Perfect Game USA.

Yorke is a bat-first middle infielder whose hit tool is his carrying tool. Per Baseball America scouts say that York has one of the best hit tools on the west coast. MLB.com gave his hit tool a future 55 grade and described his swing as pure with an advanced approach. While he doesn’t have much current power and projects to have below-average power moving forward, reports had his power improving during the shortened spring season. At 6-feet, 200 pounds, the 18-year-old has a mature frame. He was announced as a second baseman, but he played shortstop in high school. Industry sources say that he has the hands, range, and instincts to play there, but he had shoulder surgery in 2018 which forced him to DH his entire junior season, and the arm strength has not yet fully returned.
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at 12:13 PM

2020 Draft: Mock Draft Round-up


One of the most fun exercises leading up to the MLB First-Year Player Draft each year is keeping up with draft experts' mock drafts, an exercise in guesswork destined to be constantly tweaked and revised right up until draft day itself (and several times that day, by some outlets). And even despite the tweaking (and MLB draft picks not being tradeable, which one might think brings a greater sense of certainty) mocking a draft each year very much an inexact science. Consider that Friend of SoxProspects Jim Callis's correctly predicting the first 18 picks of the 2005 Draft is to this day considered a staggering achievement compared without (too much) exaggeration to Joe DiMaggio's hit streak and Orel Hershiser's scoreless streak.

In the spirit of crowdsourcing the experts' views and providing an archive of what folks were thinking at the time of the draft, we present the following round-up of various experts' mock drafts going back as far as May 11.
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at 10:00 AM

Follow the Draft on SoxProspects.com


Day One of the MLB Draft is just a few hours away! You can follow along with the draft this evening at SoxProspects.com, where we'll bring you up-to-the-minute coverage of the first round. Look for a preview of the best players available on Day Two tomorrow morning. Similar coverage will continue through Day Two as well.

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June 8, 2020 at 2:19 PM

Podcast Ep. #181 - Draft Preview with BA’s Carlos Collazo


A sense of normalcy returns Wednesday as Major League Baseball holds its annual Rule 4 Draft. This year’s draft is a truncated affair: 5 rounds instead of 40. But as Chris and Ian discuss with Carlos, the class has remarkable depth. The guys ask Carlos about draft strategies, especially in light of the Sox’ lack of a second-round pick. Carlos previews some players that might be in play for the Sox at pick 17. And all three guys answer your excellent collection of draft questions. We really appreciate the awesome questions from you all. And while you’re getting ready for the draft, be sure to check out our own 2020 Draft Preview!

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June 3, 2020 at 8:45 AM

Podcast Ep. #180 - We’re going to try to talk baseball… again


At a time when there are more important things to focus on in all of our lives, we felt that recording a 97-minute distraction might not be the worst thing for a temporary respite. Will we have to wait much longer before baseball returns? Chris and Ian have some thoughts and updates as we enter June. First up, they look at the state of negotiations between players and owners. Some hurdles have been cleared, but we have a long way to go. Next up they go through a round of cuts. With the transaction freeze over, teams have been making some personnel decisions. They quickly pivot to reports on what teams may do instead of a minor league season. And after a brief word on the coming draft, it’s time for your awesome messages when Chris and Ian open the mailbag. Keep the terrific emails coming, everyone.


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June 2, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Red Sox commit to minor league aid amid pandemic uncertainty


Here are Tuesday's minor league notes:

  • The MLB Draft is just around the corner and that means SoxProspects' draft coverage is back again for another year. Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews kicked things off with his annual draft preview which took an in-depth look at the Red Sox potential options in each round as well as undrafted free agents that may interest the team. Make sure to check the SoxProspects news page in order to keep up with all the site's upcoming draft coverage. 
  • Elsewhere on SoxProspects, the scouting team continued to update their scouting reports on players throughout the system. The most recent round of updates was highlighted by pitchers Jay Groome and Tanner Houck (pictured) as well as infielders CJ Chatham and Nick Lovullo in addition to a number of lesser-known prospects such as Elih Marrero.
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June 1, 2020 at 12:28 PM

Scouting Report Updates: Houck, Chatham could fill meaningful roles


The latest SoxProspects scouting report update shines a light on two recent early-round draft picks—2017 first-rounder Tanner Houck and 2016 second-rounder CJ Chatham. Both players have steadily improved and progressed through the organization since signing, and both project to fill meaningful roles on the big league squad in the near future, as expounded upon within their scouting reports.

SoxProspects.com scouting reports are written by our scouting report 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. Minimal projection left.

Mechanics: Throws from a low three-quarters arm slot. Starts on the first base side of the rubber. Unique delivery with a lot of effort, but it works for him. Steps toward third base and finishes with back leg continuing in that direction. Used to step even more towards third and then swing back leg around toward first base, coming across his body with a lot of east-west movement, but has worked on staying squarer to the plate with very obvious improvements. Very quick arm. Long arm action including elbow climb in the back and high leg kick. Mechanics are very tough on right-handed hitters.

Fastball:
92-95 mph. Tops out at 98 mph. In college, he worked almost exclusively off a two-seam fastball regarded as among the best in the 2017 draft. In 2018, organization attempted to work with Houck to instead rely primarily on a four-seam fastball, based in part on Trackman data, but he struggled in the first half of the year and returned midseason to primarily throwing the two-seam while mixing in the four-seam more often. Two-seam shows arm-side run and heavy sink down in the zone. Four-seam routinely in the 95-97 mph range, but pitch is straight and hit hard when in the zone. Fringe-average fastball command profile. Potential above-average pitch. May add a cutter eventually.
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May 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM

2020 Red Sox Draft Preview


It’s that time of year again! The MLB Draft gets underway at 7:00 pm ET on Wednesday, June 10. Day One will include the first and supplemental rounds – picks 1 through 37. Day Two will start at 5:00 pm on Thursday, June 11, covering rounds two through five. As a reminder, MLB cut the draft from 40 rounds to five for this year’s draft as a cost-saving measure. Draft bonus slots will hold firm from 2019. After the fifth round, teams can sign an unlimited number of undrafted free agents for up to $20,000 each. Teams may contact undrafted players starting at 9:00 am ET on June 14. The signing deadline will be August 1.

In this first year of the Chaim Bloom era, the Red Sox will continue to look to replenish a farm system that has been stripped of top prospects due to graduations, trades, and international free agent penalties. The club will look to follow up on the last two year’s draft classes, which look fairly successful at this early stage. The 2020 draft class has some impressive college talent at the top and some overall depth to it, but questions remain as to whether draftees will want to head to the professional ranks or head/return to college during these uncertain times. More than ever, teams will want to be certain that they can sign their draftees before they use of their few picks on them. (That is unless they are purposefully punting until next year, which will be discouraged). 

Boston has one pick on Day One, #17 overall in the first round. The team recently lost its second round pick as a penalty following the sign-stealing investigation. On Day Two, Boston will have three picks - #89 overall in the third round, #118 overall in the fourth round, and #148 overall in the fifth round.

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May 27, 2020 at 7:30 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Jay Groome headlines a group of pitchers


The latest SoxProspects scouting report update includes a sextet of pitchers, most notably Jay Groome, as well as infielder Nick Lovullo. Groome, Boston's 2016 first-round pick, has yet to stay consistently healthy since being drafted, but still maintains the highest ceiling of any pitching prospect in the system. At the conclusion of the 2020 season, the Red Sox front office will have a difficult decision to make in regards to whether Groome will be added to the 40-man roster. With a possible cancellation of the minor league season complicating his development curve further, Groome's status with the team will be a fascinating storyline to follow.

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

Jay Groome, Left-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Strong pitcher's frame. Looks the part of someone who could throw 180 innings a year. Wide, mature body that looks all of his listed height and weight. Height is imposing on the mound. Body will need maintenance and bears watching as he matures. How his body develops will depend on how much work he puts in off the field both in-season and during the offseason. Came back from Tommy John surgery in late 2019 in excellent shape, visibly slimmed down.

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May 26, 2020 at 7:30 AM

State of the System '20: Noteworthy extras


We’ve highlighted a number of key and noteworthy players at each position throughout the State of the System series. However, some write-ups wound up on the cutting room floor, while other players who we did not discuss probably merit mention, in hindsight. In that spirit, we present our Extra Notes edition, highlighting other Players of Note at each position. Be sure to check out all entries in the series!

Low-Minors Pitchers 

  • The Red Sox drafted Chase Shugart in the 12th round of the 2018 draft and signed him for $125,000 following a late run through the College World Series with Texas. After a truncated pro debut, Shugart was impressive in the Fall Instructional League, but his 2019 season started late due to a 50-game suspension for a second failed test for a drug of abuse. Returning from his suspension, Shugart reeled off a string of excellent starts with Greenville before coming back down to earth a bit, finishing with a 2.81 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with 73 strikeouts in 89.2 innings. When on, Shugart will show a four-pitch mix featuring a fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup, although he is still learning how to sequence them. A starter for now, he likely will end up in the bullpen because of his height (5-foot-10) and delivery. Out of the bullpen, he could focus on his best two pitches, his fastball and slider, which both show at least above-average potential. It will be interesting to see if the Red Sox get more aggressive with Shugart this year starting him in Salem with the eye towards a promotion to Portland if he excels. 
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May 18, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Pre-Season All-Stars selected; attention shifts to MLB Draft


With the baseball team still on hold, the SoxProspects team continues to churn out content. Below is a summary of what has been written in the past week, as well as some updates on the MLB Draft. 
  • Part seven of our State of the System series focuses on the outfielders. After winning the World Series in 2018, may fans believed the Red Sox outfield was set for years to come, as Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts all were the hero at some point that year. The outlook on the outfield has changed quickly, and the team is going to need to dip into the farm system sooner rather than later to find a long-term solution. Chris and Ian dive into the top players to watch in the coming seasons. 
  • The most recent scouting reports to be updated are highlighted by the system's top prospect Triston Casas (pictured, above). A handful of other players saw updates, most of whom were in the lower levels of the minors in 2019. The most intriguing name of the lower level players is Antoni Flores. Flores struggled in Lowell last season, but he is still young and has a chance to have four average tools. 
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at 8:26 AM

Podcast Episode #179: Go get some vitamin D


Baseball’s long winter continues. And while we wait for games, Chris and Ian have updates. First up, an interview with Deputy editor and Pentagon Correspondent at Defense News (and more importantly, longtime podcast listener) Aaron Mehta, who gives some insight into the Noah Song situation. MLB set the terms of the 2020 Draft, and the guys have opinions on how badly MLB has handled the situation, as well as thoughts about how the Sox will approach the draft. Plus, Chris and Ian recap their participation in the Prospects Live Mock Draft. The guys also spent some time breaking down the proposals for the abbreviated season, including the smart moves the club made to have flexibility with the unique roster conditions, we continued looking at the State of the System with outfielders, and finally, we answer listener emails!

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May 15, 2020 at 12:00 PM

2020 SoxProspects Pre-Season All-Stars Pt. 2 - Pitchers


The 2020 Minor League season was suspended before it even began as a result of COVID-19. The uncertainty surrounding the season happening at all gives the SoxProspects.com's pre-season All-Star list a different feel, like almost everything else occurring this year. The site's Forum posters have selected four starting pitchers and three relievers to garner the honor. Both categories are full of new names, as only one starter and one reliever are repeat winners from 2019.

Starting Pitcher: Bryan Mata, Portland Sea Dogs
Still only 20 years old, Mata was signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela in 2016 and has progressed quickly through the Red Sox system, splitting his time evenly between Salem and Portland in 2019, even as one of the youngest players in the Carolina League at the beginning of the season. Mata is expected to play an important role in the Portland rotation in 2020 and build on the momentum from his 2019 campaign, in which he pitched to a 1.75 ERA with Salem before his promotion on July 1. The Venezuelan was more uneven during the second half of the season up in Portland, but he closed the year with two of his best outings in a Sea Dogs uniform, lowering his ERA by more than a run. The No. 3 prospect in the system also maintained his strikeout totals, punching out 9.9 batters per nine innings while at Double-A. Mata also pitched in the Arizona Fall League in 2019.
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at 11:00 AM

2020 SoxProspects Pre-Season All-Stars Pt. 1 - Hitters


While this post normally comes at the beginning of the minor league season, the uncertainty around baseball in 2020 gives this write-up a much different feel. Below are the players who the SoxProspects.com Community are the most excited about, but who may not be able to showcase their talents for another year. This list is full of new faces who will help rejuvenate the Red Sox farm system, as well as familiar faces with high upside who are just starting to blossom. Four of the players are repeat winners from last year, while four were just added to the system in the last year. 

Catcher: Connor Wong, Portland Sea Dogs
Wong, who just turned 24 last week, was the third piece acquired from the Dodgers in the Mookie Betts trade. While he did not headline the trade, he did immediately become Boston's best catching prospect. Currently ranked 12th in the system, Wong is athletic enough to project into a super-utility role, with the defensive chops to handle catcher, second base, and shortstop. His calling card is his power, as he hit 24 home runs last year in 111 games split between High-A and Double-A, but the development of his hit tool will be key to tapping into that power potential as he moves up the ladder. With 87 percent of the vote for this award, he gets the honor of receiving the largest voting share on this list, just edging out the next player to discuss.
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May 13, 2020 at 7:00 AM

State of the System '20: Outfielders


Part seven of our State of the System series focuses on outfielders going back to the 2014 draft, as well as international free agents from July 2013 onwards. Be sure to check out the rest of the entries in the series. While this wraps up our position-by-position focus, the series will continue with other prospects of note who we were unable to cover due to space, as well as some overarching thoughts on what we learned in this exercise, so stay tuned.

The Lineup
Notable Draftees, 2014-2019
Danny Mars – 2014, 7th rd., $211,900 bonus; Released, March 2019
Cole Sturgeon – 2014, 10th rd., $10,000 bonus; 2019: AAA
Trenton Kemp – 2014, 15th rd., $250,000 bonus; 2019: Injured/GCL (Rehab)
Andrew Benintendi – 2015, 1st rd., $3,590,400 bonus; 2019: MLB
Tate Matheny – 2015, 4th rd., $512,700 bonus; 2019: AA/AAA
Jagger Rusconi – 2015, 5th rd., $384,000 bonus; 2019: A+/AA
Nick Hamilton – 2015, 11th rd., $100,000 bonus; Released, July 2018
Kyri Washington – 2015, 21st rd., $100,000 bonus; Retired, Aug. 2019
Juan Carlos Abreu – 2016, 23rd rd., $100,000 bonus; Released, March 2018
Cole Brannen – 2017, 2nd rd., $1,300,000 bonus; 2019: A
Tyler Esplin – 2017, 7th rd., $250,000 bonus; 2019: A/A+
David Durden – 2017, 20th rd., $125,000 bonus; Retired, Jan. 2018
Tyler Dearden – 2017, 29th rd., $140,000 bonus; 2019: A
Nick Decker – 2018, 2nd rd., $1,250,000 bonus; 2019: A-
Jarren Duran – 2018, 7th rd., $189,800 bonus; 2019: A/AA
Dylan Hardy – 2018, 13th rd., $125,000 bonus; 2019: A-/A/A+/AA/AAA
Caleb Ramsey – 2018, 25th rd., $125,000 bonus; 2019: GCL
Wil Dalton – 2019, 8th rd., $135,000 bonus; 2019: A-
Leon Paulino – 2019, 8th rd., $125,000 bonus; 2019: GCL

Notable International Signees, July 2, 2013-present
Yoan Aybar – July 3, 2013, $450,000 bonus; 2019: A-/A (Converted to pitcher)
Marino Campana – July 2 , 2014, $100,000 bonus; 2019: SS-A/A-/A
Angel Hernandez – May 15, 2015, $200,000 bonus; Released, March 2017
Albert Guaimaro – July 2, 2015, $300,000 bonus; Contract voided, July 2016
Simon Muzziotti – July 2, 2015, $300,000 bonus; Contract voided, July 2016
Kervin Suarez – July 2, 2015, $100,000 bonus; 2019: SS-A/A-/A
Rafael Rincones – Aug. 9, 2015, $300,000 bonus; Traded to OAK for Rajai Davis, Aug. 2017
Nelfy Abreu – July 2, 2017, $450,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Gilberto Jimenez – Aug. 1, 2017, $10,000 bonus; 2019: SS-A
Angel Maita – Sept. 23, 2017, $17,500 bonus; 2019: GCL
Eduardo Lopez – July 2, 2018, $1,150,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Eduardo Vaughan – July 2, 2018, $550,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Bryan Gonzalez – July 2, 2018, $500,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Giancarlos Santana – July 2, 2018, $460,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Elio Prado - July 2, 2018, $85,000 bonus; Traded to BAL for Andrew Cashner, July 2019
Darel Belen – Feb. 4, 2019, $35,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Juan Chacon – July 2, 2019, $900,000 bonus; 2019: Tricky League
Jhostynxon Garcia – July 2, 2019, $350,000 bonus; 2019: Tricky League
Kelvin Diaz – July 17, 2019, $300,000 bonus; 2019: Tricky League

Trade Acquisitions
Marcus Wilson – Acquired from ARI for Blake Swihart and international bonus pool money, April 2019

Position Status: The Red Sox’s investment in the outfield has varied greatly in both the draft and internationally in the time period covered. There have been stretches in which the organization only spent limited resources (i.e. high picks or large bonuses) on the outfield, but in others, organizational investment was significant.
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at 6:30 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Casas, Flores, Netzer, Dearden, Baldwin, Nishioka


Our latest scouting report update is headlined by the system's headliner, the SoxProspects top prospect, Triston Casas. In 2019, Casas continued to deliver on the promise that made him a first-round pick in 2018, slashing .254/.349/.472 as a 19-year old in single-A.

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

Triston Casas, First baseman

Physical Description: Strong, imposing frame. Thick, fully developed lower half. Some remaining projection in his upper body. Will have to work to maintain body and athleticism. Very long limbs.

Hit: Starts slightly open in a slight crouch. Quiet pre-pitch. Utilizes a leg lift timing device. Plus bat speed; whips the bat through the zone. Smooth, fluid swing, especially given his size. Strong feel for hit for a high school draftee. Utilizes all fields. Will always have some swing-and-miss and holes in his swing. Has shown willingness to try adjustments to swing and to abandon them if they are not working. Will widen his stance and choke up on the bat with two strikes. Needs to continue to refine approach and pitch recognition, but has the potential to develop an above-average hit tool.
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May 5, 2020 at 8:54 AM

Cup of Coffee: Where are they now? In the KBO.


5/5 Cup of Coffee: While the baseball situation in North America is very much in flux, the much better situation in South Korea has allowed the Korean Baseball Organization to kick off its season. With the KBO's new status as the highest-level sports league in the world and a prime new deal from ESPN, it's a good time to look at some familiar faces who came through the Red Sox organization who are there. A tip of the hat to Chris Hatfield, who pointed these out on Twitter.

-----

Kelly was the top prospect in Boston's system and was ranked 24th in the game by Baseball America heading into the 2010 season. The Sarasota High School standout was a top prospect as both a shortstop and pitcher in the 2008 draft but fell to the Red Sox with the 30th pick because of high bonus demands and a commitment to play quarterback for the University of Tennessee. In those olden days when the slot recommendation was merely a weak guideline meant for the rich teams to blow past, Boston signed him for $3 million and an agreement that he could begin his career as a two-way player. That is the third-highest bonus ever given out by the Red Sox behind only Jay Groome and Andrew Benintendi. He moved exclusively to the mound in 2010.
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May 4, 2020 at 5:00 PM

Minor Notes: Minor league season in jeopardy; Noah Song update


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • Although the baseball season remains in limbo, the SoxProspects podcast team has been hard at work to bring content to our fans. On the most recent episode of the podcast, Chris and Ian discussed the state of the minor league season, broke down the Red Sox punishment for the sign-stealing investigation, and shared a Noah Song update.
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May 1, 2020 at 1:32 PM

Podcast Ep. #178: They can’t hear you nodding


We all miss baseball, but the podcast marches on! Even without games, Chris and Ian had plenty to talk about. In the news, MLB finally released its report on the Red Sox sign-stealing investigation. Was the punishment as lax as most seemed to think? The guys disagree with the consensus there. Plus, with this week's report that the minor league season is in jeopardy, we discuss the implications on the field and off. Plus, Chris has an update on Noah Song's status, and the guys continued looking at the latest entries in the State of the System series! As always, we close with your emails, and the listeners came through again with some terrific questions.

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April 29, 2020 at 12:30 PM

State of the System '20: Middle Infielders


Part six of our State of the System series will focus on middle infielders drafted from 2014 onward or signed on the international market in July 2013 and later. Be sure to check out the rest of the entries in the series.

The Lineup
Notable Draftees, 2014-2019
Jeremy Rivera – 2014 17th rd., <$100,000 bonus; 2019: AA
Chad De La Guerra – 2015 17th rd., $5,000 bonus; 2019: AA/AAA
Yomar Valentin – 2015 20th rd., $130,000 bonus; Released, Jan. 2018
CJ Chatham – 2016 2nd rd., $1,100,000 bonus; 2019: AA/AAA
Santiago Espinal – 2016 10th rd., $50,000 bonus; Traded to TOR for Steve Pearce, June 2018
Brett Netzer – 2017 3rd rd., $475,000 bonus; 2019: AA
Andre Colon – 2017 11th rd., $125,000 bonus; 2019: Rk
Cameron Cannon – 2019 2nd rd., $1,300,000 bonus; 2019: A-
Matthew Lugo – 2019 2nd rd., $1,100,000 bonus; 2019: Rk/A-
Alex Erro – 2019 17th rd., $125,000 bonus; 2019: A-
Karson Simas – 2019 25th rd., $175,000 bonus; 2019: Rk
Daniel Bakst – 2019 28th rd., $75,000 bonus; Retired, Jan. 2020

Notable International Signees, July 2, 2013 to present
Yoan Moncada – March 12, 2015, $31,500,000 bonus; Traded to CWS for Chris Sale, Dec. 2016
Antonio Pineiro – July 2, 2015, $300,000 bonus; Contract voided, July 2016
Eduardo Torrealba – July 2, 2015, $300,000 bonus; Contract voided, July 2016
Everlouis Lozada – July 2, 2015, $250,000 bonus; 2019: A
Yeison Coca – July 2, 2015, $220,000 bonus; Traded to MIL for Tyler Thornburg, Dec. 2016
Kervin Suarez – July 2, 2015, $100,000 bonus; 2019: A/A+
Antoni Flores – July 2, 2017, $1,400,000 bonus; 2019: A-
Denny Daza – July 2, 2017, $250,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Ceddanne Rafaela – July 2, 2017, $10,000 bonus; 2019: Rk/A-
Esteban Quiroz – November 21, 2017; Traded to SD for Colten Brewer, Nov. 2018
Eddinson Paulino – July 2, 2018, $205,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Axel James – July 2, 2018, $60,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Brainer Bonaci – July 9, 2018, $290,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Jose Mendez – July 2, 2019, $200,000 bonus; 2019: Tricky League
Allan Castro – July 2, 2019, $100,000 bonus; 2019: Tricky League
Johnfrank Salazar – August 5, 2019, $400,000 bonus; 2019: Tricky League

Trade Acquisitions
Marco Hernandez – Acquired from CHC for Felix Doubront, Dec. 2014; 2019: Rehab/AAA/MLB
Jeter Downs – Acquired from LAD  for Mookie Betts and David Price, Feb. 2020; 2019: A+/AA

Independent League Signings
Ryan Fitzgerald - Contract purchased from Gary of the American Association, May 2018; 2019: A+

Rule 5 Draft
Jonathan Arauz – Selected from HOU, Dec. 2019; 2019: A+/AA

Position Status: For a time, with Xander Bogaerts (pictured, left) entrenched as the everyday shortstop and Dustin Pedroia locked up until 2021, the Red Sox had their middle infield set for the foreseeable future. Perhaps as a result, from 2014 through 2018, the organization rarely used high picks or large bonuses on middle infielders... with one enormous exception. In March 2015, the club gave the largest international free agent signing bonus ever, $31.5 million (not even counting the tax the club paid on the bonus), to second baseman Yoan Moncada. The Red Sox later leveraged his prospect status as a significant chip in acquiring Chris Sale in 2016, and with him, the 2018 World Series Championship. But now, a full season removed from that championship season, Sale will likely miss the first two seasons of his five-year, $145-million extension after Tommy John surgery and it is the White Sox now reaping the benefits. Meanwhile, Moncada broke out last year, hitting .315/.367/.548 and putting himself on a trajectory to become a star with a 4.8 bWAR/5.7 fWAR season. Flags fly forever and both teams will rightfully call the trade a win, but much as some fans, even after Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell were crucial in securing the 2007 World Series championship, couldn’t help but wonder “What if?” after trading future MVP Hanley Ramirez, so too may some dream about how a Devers-Bogaerts-Moncada infield might have looked in Boston for years, not to mention whether opting not to extend Sale would have kept Mookie Betts in Boston.
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April 28, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Red Sox punished for video room scandal


There is no baseball to watch, but there is plenty of baseball news to talk about. Here is what's going on down on the farm.
  • After a seemingly interminable wait, the commissioner's office finally doled out the Red Sox punishment for the scandal involving their unauthorized use the video replay room. The team was docked a second-round choice in June's amateur draft. Replay operator JT Watkins was suspended for the 2020 season and will not be allowed to return to that role in 2021. Manager Alex Cora escaped punishment beyond what he received for his role in the more involved Houston Astros scandal.
  • The SoxProspects.com news page has kept on ticking even while games remain on hold. Ian Cundall and Chris Hatfield have collaborated to run the new State of the System series over the last few weeks. The most recent entry dives into likely the deepest position in the organization, the corner infielders, including top prospect Triston Casas (pictured). 
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April 27, 2020 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Where are they now? (Pitchers Vol. 2)


4/27 Cup of Coffee: We continue our look around at players who have moved on from the Red Sox system in recent years with a quartet of pitchers, including two of the more coveted prospects the team dealt in their run of success.

It takes a pretty special talent to undergo Tommy John surgery and not lose any prospect sheen. So it is with Kopech, in the conversation for being the human being who hurls a five ounce orb harder than any other on the planet. The co-headliner (along with Yoan Moncada) of the deal that brought Chris Sale from the White Sox, Kopech had been whittling down his walk rate while climbing the minor league ladder while continuing to strike out batters at an exceptional rate. In 2018 with Triple-A Charlotte, he struck out 170 batters in 126 1/3 innings against 60 walks. The 11.1% walk rate was the lowest for Kopech in any season about 70 innings, while his strikeout total was the highest in Triple-A despite throwing the 28th-most innings. 
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April 24, 2020 at 11:28 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Ward, Decker, Aybar, Fitzgerald, Bazardo


Our latest scouting report update includes five players on our current Top 60 list. This set of reports is led by 2019 SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Year Thaddeus Ward. Ward was consistently excellent last year, splitting his time between Greenville and Salem, and adding a cutter to his pitch mix.

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

Thaddeus Ward, Right-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Thin, athletic right-hander with some projection in his upper body.

Mechanics: Throws from a three-quarters arm slot from the first base side. Easy, athletic mechanics. Starts in the stretch but then steps like he is throwing from the wind-up. Loose arm action. Stab behind during delivery. Comes across body. Arm gets out of sync with the rest of his delivery at times. Gets good extension. Maintains delivery deep into games.

Fastball: 91-94 mph. Tops out at 96 mph. Primarily, will sink the pitch with late movement down and in on right-handed hitters. Could add velocity as he matures. Typically has good control of the pitch; control appeared to have taken a small step back after promotion to High A in 2019, but that may have been caused by the after-effects of a comebacker off his pitching hand in mid-July. Potential above-average offering more likely to settle in the solid-average range.

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April 22, 2020 at 8:30 AM

State of the System '20: Corner Infielders


Part five of our State of the System series focuses on corner infielders going back to the 2014 draft, as well as international free agents from July 2013 onwards. Be sure to check out the rest of the entries in the series.

The Lineup
Notable Draftees, 2014-2019
Michael Chavis – 2014, 1st rd., $1,870,500 bonus; 2019: AAA/MLB
Sam Travis – 2014, 2nd rd., $846,800 bonus; Traded to TEX for Jeffrey Springs, Jan. 2020
Josh Ockimey – 2014, 5th rd., $450,000 bonus; 2019: AAA
Jerry Downs – 2015, 15th rd., $100,000 bonus; 2019: A+/AA
Bobby Dalbec – 2016, 4th rd., $650,000 bonus; 2019: AA, AAA
Garrett Benge – 2017, 13th rd., $125,000 bonus; 2019: A+
Triston Casas -  2018, 1st rd., $2,552,800 bonus; 2019: A, A+
Devlin Granberg – 2018, 6th rd., $40,000 bonus; 2019: A, A+
Nick Northcut – 2018, 11th rd., $565,000 bonus; 2019: A-
Brandon Howlett – 2018, 21st rd., $185,000 bonus; 2019: A
Stephen Scott – 2019, 10th rd., $50,000 bonus; 2019: A-

Notable International Signees, July 2, 2013 to present
Rafael Devers – July 2, 2013, $1,500,000 bonus; 2019: MLB
Elwin Tejada – July 2 , 2014, $300,000 bonus; Released, March 2017
Hemerson Serven – July 2, 2014, $100,000 bonus; Released, July 2016
Pedro Castellanos – July 2, 2015, $5,000 bonus; 2019: A+
Danny Diaz – July 2, 2017, $1,600,000 bonus; 2019: Rk/DSL
Wilker Vargas – July 2, 2017, $175,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Albert Feliz – July 2, 2018, $400,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Noelberth Romero – July 2, 2018, $275,000 bonus; Traded to BAL for Andrew Cashner, July 2019
Lyonell James – July 2, 2019, $440,000 bonus; 2019: Tricky League

Position Status: In the time period covered here, the Red Sox have gone with a quality-over-volume approach towards corner infielders, inconsistently acquiring players for the corners in given years, but being unafraid to use high draft picks and/or over-slot bonuses in the draft and large international bonuses when they do. One reason for that, at least with international amateurs and, to some degree, high school draftees, very few players sign as true first base or third base types given that the best players typically play up the middle. In the draft, however, especially (but not always) with college players, you will see more true corner infield prospects.
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April 21, 2020 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Where are they now? (Pitchers, Vol. 1)


4/21 Cup of Coffee: The Red Sox traded a lot of pitchers between 2016 and 2018. Here are four of them:

The top-ranked prospect in the 2017 deadline deal to acquire Addison Reed, Callahan made his major league debut for the Mets just six weeks later. After sputtering as a starter to start his pro career, the 2012 second-round pick was dominant in a bullpen role with Portland to start the ’17 campaign and continued to pitch effectively after a May promotion to Pawtucket. Callahan allowed four runs (three earned) in 6 2/3 innings across nine appearances in a September audition that seemed to set him up to compete for a job in the Mets bullpen the following year, but a shoulder injury suffered in April shelved him for 14 months. Non-tendered by New York, Callahan signed a minor league deal with the Giants. He struggled in his return to Triple-A and was released in spring training. Still only 25, Callahan is currently a free agent. 
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April 18, 2020 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: How the Eduardo Nunez trade predicted everything


4/18 Cup of Coffee: Full disclosure – this piece began as a much more straightforward continuation of the “Where are they Now” set that ran earlier in the week, but soon morphed into a “How Did We Get Here.” Two paragraphs into a Shaun Anderson (pictured) entry it started to turn in a different direction. In normal times, I likely would’ve stuck to the task and not fallen down the rabbit hole. However, these are not normal times—we’re locked in our houses and the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts. So you’ll have to indulge me as I break down the 2017 trade that sent pitchers Anderson and Gregory Santos to San Francisco for infielder Eduardo Nunez and how it illustrates the story of how the Red Sox got to where they are. 

The college-reliever-turned-pro-starter path is one rarely tread successfully, and when Anderson had a brutal debut with Lowell after getting taken with Boston’s third-round pick in the June 2016 draft it wasn’t looking particularly promising. Undeterred, Boston assigned him to High A Salem for his first full-season assignment and they would see that confidence rewarded. It took only 11 starts at the level for Anderson to re-establish his value before he was sent to San Francisco in the Nunez trade. 
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April 15, 2020 at 7:00 AM

State of the System '20: Catchers


Part four of our State of the System series focuses on catchers acquired going back to the 2014 draft, as well as international free agents from 2013 onwards. Be sure to check out the rest of the entries in the series.

The Lineup
Notable Draftees, 2014-2019
Ben Moore – 2014 draft, 8th rd., $152,700 bonus; Released April 2017
Devon Fisher – 2014 draft, 20th rd., $300,000 bonus; Converted to pitching in 2016, Released Nov. 2019
Austin Rei – 2015 draft, 3rd rd., $742,400 bonus; 2019: AA
Andrew Noviello – 2015 draft, 25th rd., $100,000 bonus; Released March 2017
Alan Marrero – 2016 draft, 8th rd., $160,000 bonus; 2019: A
Alberto Schmidt – 2016 draft, 16th rd., $100,000 bonus; Released Nov. 2019
Nick Sciortino – 2016 draft, 17th rd., $80,000 bonus; 2019: A+
Beau Hanna – 2017 draft, 12th rd., $125,000 bonus; Retired, 2018 (playing Division II baseball)
Kole Cottam – 2018 draft, 4th rd., $375,000 bonus; 2019: A, A+
Elih Marrero – 2018 draft, 8th rd., $157,700 bonus; 2019: SS-A; A+
Jaxx Groshans – 2019 draft, 5th rd., $304,200 bonus; 2019: SS-A
Jacob Herbert – 2019 draft, 18th rd., $125,000 bonus; 2019: Rk

Notable International Signees, July 2, 2013 to present
Roldani Baldwin – November 8, 2013, $45,000 bonus; 2019: Injured, Rehab in Rk/A-
Carlos Pulido – March 6, 2015, $200,000 bonus; Released in March 2019
Keibert Petit – March 9, 2015, $200,000 bonus; Released Feb. 2020
Daniel Flores – July 2, 2017, $3,100,000 bonus; deceased
Jonathan Diaz – July 2, 2017, $7,500 bonus; 2019: SS-A
Naysbel Marcano – July 2, 2018, $350,000 bonus; 2019: DSL
Rivaldo Avila – July 2, 2019, $405,000 bonus; 2019: Tricky Lg

Trade Acquisitions 
Connor Wong - Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers on February 10, 2020
Jhonny Pereda - Acquired from the Chicago Cubs on March 23, 2020

Position Status: Over the last few years, the Red Sox have spent a fair but not overwhelming amount of draft capital on catchers with little success. In the current SoxProspects top 60, there are only three catchers ranked, the top two of whom were acquired via trade in the past couple of months. Only Connor Wong, acquired in the Mookie Betts deal, is inside the top 50, at number 12.
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at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Where are they now? (Outfielders)


4/15 Cup of Coffee: We continue to check in on some players who started their rise in the Red Sox organization. Today we look at a group of outfielders ranging from an established major leaguer to a former top international signing struggling to get out of the New York-Penn League. 

It is now over four years from the still-polarizing deal that sent Margot and three other prospects to San Diego for Craig Kimbrel, and we still don’t have a terribly firm handle on how good Margot is. He’s still young (he’ll be 25 for most of a theoretical regular season) and he’s already amassed over 1500 major league plate appearances. He was good but not great in 2017, mediocre but not poor in 2018, and somewhere in between in 2019. If there’s been a disappointment in his development it’s with his contact skills. Margot had high contact rates in the minor leagues, including a memorable stretch where he began the 2015 season with only one strikeout in the entire month of April. In the majors, the K rate has floated close to 20%, keeping his batting averages a little too low for a player whose low walk rates and middling power make his offensive game rather base hit dependent. 
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April 14, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Season still in limbo; changes to MLB Draft


Here are this week's minor league notes:
  • With the baseball season still suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the SoxProspects scouting team has taken the chance to reflect on the Red Sox farm system in our State of the System series. So far our staff has completely covered the pitching side of things, with deep dives on arms in the low-minors, mid-minors, and high-minors. We will continue to update this series regularly as we analyze the system position by position, starting with the catchers. 
  • In addition to our State of the System series, the scouting team has been hard at work updating our site's scouting reports. Three batches of scouting report updates have been released so far featuring Jhonny Pereda, Brock Bell, and Wil Dalton among other prospects from all levels of the system. 
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