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November 30, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Scout Chatter: Bradley Blalock, Durbin Feltman and more from Fall Instructs

This is the third article based on reports we’ve received from Fall Instructs. The data we’ve collected will be up on the News Page for your reading pleasure before we use it to update player page scouting reports, so forgive any inconsistencies until that point. Today, we focus on players the Red Sox drafted before 2020.

- Even though he was drafted in 2019, right-hander Bradley Blalock is still only 19 years old and was one of the younger pitchers at instructs. He got off to a slow start, but as camp went on, his delivery and stuff improved. By the end of camp, the reports coming back on him were very encouraging, enough so that he entered our rankings for the first time in our recent update, all the way up at number 36. At his best, Blalock sat 92-94 mph and topped out at 95 mph with a good slider that complimented his fastball well. He also mixed in a curveball and changeup, giving him a four-pitch mix with remaining projection in his frame. He pitches with the type of swagger you like to see on the mound and looks like someone who will add velocity as he matures. Blalock has a lot of development remaining to project as a starter, but his fastball/slider combination gives him a reasonable floor as a potential relief option if his other pitches do not take a step forward. 
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November 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcast Ep. #196 That is patently false

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

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at 8:00 AM

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

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

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

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

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November 15, 2020 at 12:15 AM

Podcast #195: Resetting the Roster, Pt. 2

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

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November 12, 2020 at 7:00 AM

2019 Draft Retrospective: Creativity nets strong pitching haul

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

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

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

Here are October's minor league notes:

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

Podcast #194: Resetting the roster, pt. 1

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

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at 11:00 AM

2019 Draft Retrospective: The Picks

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

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

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