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SoxProspects News

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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