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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.
  • Sean McAdam for Boston Sports Journal ($) also took a look at interesting prospects heading into spring training, listing three to keep an eye on.
  • With the start of spring training and the new additions, it seemed like the perfect time for The Athletic's ($) Chad Jennings to take a look at the state of the Red Sox's farm system.
  • Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com was the first to report that the Red Sox claimed righty Phillips Valdez off waivers and placed Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day injured list. On the SoxProspects.com roster projections page, we are projecting Valdez to start in the Pawtucket bullpen.
  • The Red Sox also signed catcher Jonathan Lucroy (pictured, left) to a minor league deal according to multiple reports. While it is a minor league deal, he is expected to compete with Kevin Plawecki for the backup catcher role on the major league team.
  • The Red Sox drafted North Andover, Massachusetts righty Sebastian Keane in the 11th round in last year's draft, but Keane decided to honor his commitment and join Northeastern despite being offered a bonus in the six-figure range. The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham writes about that decision and how Keane has no regrets. 
  • The Red Sox are still rumored to be talking with the Padres about acquiring outfielder Wil Myers and his hefty contract. In return, the Padres would add in prospects or young major leaguers. NBC Sports Boston's John Tomase takes a look at the deal and discusses why fans should love a deal they'll want to hate.
  • Red Sox minor leaguers called up from the back fields to appear in major league games thus far: Brett Netzer, Tyler EsplinJagger RusconiJonathan ArauzMarcus WilsonRyan FitzgeraldKole CottamAdam LauEduard BazardoNick LovulloDylan Hardy, Grant WilliamsMatthew KentMatthew GorstRyder JonesTate MathenyKeith CurcioEnmanuel De JesusJhonathan Diaz, and Konner Wade.
Photo Credit: Jeter Downs and Jonathan Lucroy by the Boston Herald.

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