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December 2, 2020 at 8:00 AM

Minor Notes: 40-man roster takes shape; scouting updates from Instructs


Here are November's minor league notes:

  • With the Fall Instructional League taking place from October through early-November, scouts had a chance to view many of the prospects they missed out on seeing when the minor league baseball season was cancelled. Ian Cundall received numerous reports on how Red Sox prospects looked at Instructs, and he has documented some of these reports in his Scout Chatter series. So far there have been three installments, with the first highlighted by Jay Groome and Eduard Bazardo (pictured, right), the second by Nick Yorke and Blaze Jordan, and the third by Bradley Blalock and Durbin Feltman

  • While the Arizona Fall League has been cancelled this year, other winter leagues are going on as usual. You can follow the weekly updates every Monday on the SoxProspects.com News Page, and also follow all the players and stat lines on the Fall and Winter Leagues page
  • The big transaction news in November was the Red Sox protecting seven players from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the 40-man roster. Eduard Bazardo, Jay Groome, Bryan Mata, Hudson Potts, Jeisson Rosario, Connor Seabold, and Connor Wong were all added to the 40-man, which was predicted by Cundall ahead of the deadline. The most surprising name here is Bazardo as he was a borderline top-40 prospect as of a few months ago, but he was the most impressive arm at Instructs and has jumped up to 26th in the system. 
  • To make room for these players, Matt Hall and Ryan Weber were designated for assignment, and both were ultimately outrighted to Triple-A. Kyle Hart was also outrighted to Triple-A. 
  • Another addition to the 40-man is Joel Payamps, a right-handed pitcher who was claimed off waivers from Arizona. The 26-year-old has had success in limited major league experience, but he has a 5.42 ERA in 76 1/3 innings in Triple-A. Robert Stock was designated for assignment as the corresponding transaction. 
  • The full list of minor league free agents who the Red Sox have signed is included at the end of this article, but the most intriguing name among them is Michael Gettys. A second-round pick by the Padres in 2014, Gettys is an elite athlete with plus raw power, a plus-plus arm, and is also an above-average runner and defender in center field. What is holding him back is a well below-average hit tool, but with that he still hit 31 home runs in 128 games in Triple-A in 2019. Still just 25-years-old, the Red Sox will hope he can build on that 2019 season while continuing to make improvements. 
  • One of the most anticipated articles every offseason is Baseball America's Top 10 Red Sox prospects. Alex Speier once again compiled the list, and while the top two players are the same as the SoxProspects.com rankings, the rest of the list has some notable differences. 
  • Another writer who covered the state of the Red Sox system was Chad Jennings of The Athletic. Similar to Cundall, Jennings heard great things about Gilberto Jimenez (pictured, right), who currently ranks fifth in the system. 
  • Arguably the most surprising snub from the Alternate Training Site this year was Thad Ward, who has been one of the best pitchers in the system since he was drafted in 2018. Ward spoke with Speier about how he used his time in Florida and how he is using the snub as motivation for 2021. 
  • One of the most anticipated debuts in 2021 will be Blaze Jordan, and he showed off both his potential and his areas for improvement at Instructs. Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe spoke with Jordan about Instructs, and also about how he spent his summer in Mississippi. 
  • While the dust is not yet settled on minor league affiliations for 2021, Baseball America reported that MLB is expected to put a 180-player limit on domestic US minor league rosters. This, along with a possible loosening of roster limits, means teams may be able to get creative in how they structure their farm system. They can put extra players on their full-season clubs, or set up two teams at the complex-level. It will be interesting to see which teams prefer the flexibility of the increased rosters, or look to get as many players as much frequent playing time as possible. 
  • Another change that will be important to Boston is the launching of a wood-bat league for draft-eligible prospects. As of now it is five teams, with it possibly expanding to six, and they are set to play a 68-game regular season that will lead up to the MLB Draft in July. Draft-eligible high school, college, and junior college players will be eligible, though college players won't be able to join until after their season is over. The league will be operated by Prep Baseball Report. With the Red Sox picking fourth overall in the draft, they will be watching this new league very closely. 
  • The following is a list of minor league free agents who have been signed or re-signed by Boston: Roldani Baldwin, Seth Blair, Raynel Espinal, Stephen Gonsalves, Joey Meneses, Johan Mieses, Josh Ockimey, Jhonny Pereda, Caleb Simpson, Kevin McCarthy, Michael Gettys and Enmanuel De Jesus.
Photo Credit: Eduard Bazardo and Gilberto Jimenez by Kelly O'Connor