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SoxProspects News

January 5, 2021 at 8:00 AM

December notes: Winter leagues, podcasts, and scouting updates


Here are December's minor league notes:

  • Some winter leagues started in the second half of November and the rest got going over the month of December. The most prominent Red Sox prospect to participate is the fourth-ranked prospect on the SoxProspects.com rankings, outfielder Jarren Duran (pictured, right). His team in the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League, Criollos de Caguas, has made the playoffs but Duran has struggled a bit, hitting only .236/.386/.273 to end the regular season. Like almost all winter league stats, the struggles come with the caveat of being over a very small sample size of 55 at-bats.

  • The SoxProspects.com podcast team was back at it in December as well, releasing two episodes. The first was released December 4 and brought back friend of the pod and Boston Globe Red Sox beat writer, Alex Speier. Ian, Chris, and Alex covered a wide range of topics including how much weight to put on the alternative site performances, how to rank prospects who missed a full year of development, and much more.

  • They were back at it again on December 20 with Episode #198, covering Rule 5 selections, new Red Sox acquisitions, winter leagues, and a rankings update.

  • In the aforementioned Rule 5 Draft, the Red Sox made three selections - one in the Major League portion and two in the Triple-A portion. The player the Red Sox selected fourth in the Major League portion was righty Garrett Whitlock of the Yankees, and the two in the Triple-A portion were righty Kaleb Ort also of the Yankees and first baseman Tyreque Reed of the Rangers.

  • SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield also joined WEEI's Rob Bradford on his show to discuss "Red Sox Prospectpolooza".

  • Not to be outdone, the SoxProspects.com scouting team had an extremely busy month including providing a scouting update on those three Rule 5 picks, the headliner of which is Whitlock, who entered the SoxProspects.com rankings at No. 30.

  • Earlier in the month, the scouting team put out two scouting updates covering prospects signed recently as international free agents. The first covered positional players including outfielder Gilberto Jimenez (currently ranked fifth in the latest SoxProspects.com rankings), shortstop Brainer Bonaci (ranked 14th), outfielder Eduardo Lopez (ranked 34th), and more.

  • The second updated covered pitchers and included updates on Aldo Ramirez (ranked 10th), Brayan Bello (ranked 22nd), Chih-Jung Liu (ranked 31st), and more.

  • Former Red Sox farmhand Raul Alcantara has won the 2020 Choi Dong-won Award, the KBO equivalent of the Cy Young, according to Yoo Jee-ho of the Yonhap News Agency. Alcantara was in his second season in the KBO on a one year deal with the Doosan Bears. On December 23, Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net reported that he has signed with the Hanshin Tigers. In July 2009, the Red Sox signed Alcantara out of the Dominican Republic. He went on to win the 2010 Red Sox Minor League Latin Program Pitcher of the Year and peaked at No. 21 on the SoxProspects.com rankings. He was dealt to Oakland in December 2011 as part of the package for reliever Andrew Bailey.
  • Part of the return for the trade that sent Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to Philadelphia was right-handed prospect Connor Seabold (pictured, left), currently ranked ninth in the SoxProspects.com rankings. FanGraph's David Laurila spoke with Seabold to discussed his pitch mix and comparable pitchers.

  • Seventh-ranked prospect, righty Tanner Houck, had an impressive three start cup of coffee with the Red Sox to end the 2020 season. The Boston Globe's Julian McWilliams talks to Houck about not needing the spotlight and his hopes for a 2021 roster spot.

  • The Boston Herald's Jason Mastrodonato takes it a step further, calling Houck the most exciting homegrown pitching prospect the Red Sox have had in more than a decade and wonders if he could be the key to the future.

  • Righty Noah Song reported to flight school in June 2020, honoring his service commitment after graduating from the Naval Academy. While he is eligible to return in May 2021, NBC Sports Boston's John Tomase makes it clear that while he hopes to continue his professional baseball career, it is country over baseball for him.

  • Righty Daniel Gossett, formerly of the Oakland Athletics, has signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox as Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Gossett was selected in the 16th round by the Red Sox in 2011 out of Byrnes High School in South Carolina but chose to enroll at Clemson. He had Tommy John surgery in 2018 and prior to that he had good success at Triple-A (2.87 ERA, 1.16 WHIP over 128 2/3 innings) but struggled in the majors (5.91 ERA, 1.56 WHIP over 115 2/3 innings).

  • Their agents announced that two pitchers have signed minor league free agent contracts with the Red Sox - Zack Kelly and Jose Disla

  • The Red Sox have a fairly sizable gap between their core talent and the next wave of prospects. The Boston Globe's Alex Speier looks into how that came to be

  • The Red Sox had claimed catcher Deivy Grullon on waivers from the Phillies in September. Just a couple months later, they lost him on outright waivers to the Reds. Grullon had hit .283/.354/.496 in about one full season's worth of at-bats at Triple-A while with the Phillies.

  • The Red Sox announced they had invited nine non-roster invitees to spring training: Right-handers Seth Blair, Raynel EspinalKevin McCarthy, and Caleb Simpson; lefty Stephen Gonsalves; catchers Roldani Baldwin and Jhonny Pereda; first baseman Josh Ockimey; and outfielder C├ęsar Puello.

Photo Credit: Jarren Duran and Connor Seabold by Kelly O'Connor.

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