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SoxProspects News

February 23, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Fort Report: Camp opens

The Red Sox held their first full team workout on February 22 and with the start of spring training comes another year of the SoxProspects.com Fort Report. The Fort Report will run every Tuesday throughout spring training, catching you up on all things prospect-related in Fort Myers.

Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • The SoxProspects.com podcast team has been on a roll, with recent podcasts featuring Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom on Episode #200 followed by Senior VP of Baseball Operations Ben Crockett on Episode #201. After an excellent, guestless Episode #202 focusing on the recent trade of outfielder Andrew Benintendi, they continued that incredible run with Episode #203 featuring Red Sox Executive VP and Assistant General Manager Eddie Romero.
  • The Benintendi move returned three players to be named later but also included major league outfielder Franchy Cordero and prospect pitcher Josh Winckowski. The SoxProspects.com scouting team got right to work, giving a detailed scouting report of the newly acquired right-hander.
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February 22, 2021 at 8:13 AM

Podcast Ep. #203: Interview with Red Sox EVP and Asst. GM Eddie Romero

Chris and Ian continue their Offseason interview series and welcome Red Sox Executive VP and Assistant General Manager Eddie Romero to the podcast. Eddie shares how he got into the game and his early days with the club. He goes into detail with the changes the club has made to improve its presence in the Dominican Republic. He shares some interesting stories of players the club has scouted and signed internationally. Before getting into the interview, Chris and Ian talk through the latest moves, including the acquisition of catching prospect Ronaldo Hernandez from the Rays for Chris Mazza and Jeffrey Springs. Plus they go over the release of the spring training camp roster. And finally, as a reminder, next episode we’re going to focus on your emails, and if you have a question, email us

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February 19, 2021 at 4:42 PM

Scouting Report Updates: Ronaldo Hernandez and Nick Sogard

On Wednesday, the Red Sox traded left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Springs and right-handed pitcher Chris Mazza to the Tampa Bay Rays in return for catcher Roberto Hernandez and infielder Nick Sogard. That the Red Sox were able to get a prospect in Hernandez, who debuted at #14 in the SoxProspects rankings, and a solid minor league depth infielder in Sogard for two pitchers the club had recently designated for assignment was a shrewd piece of business by Chaim Bloom and the front office. Hernandez was once a top 100 prospect according to several publications, but he struggled in 2019. He is still very interesting though and continues to bolster the Red Sox catching depth. The deal also shows how much the Red Sox' pitching depth has improved, as the club felt comfortable dealing two pitchers who clearly had value to other teams. 

For a more detailed breakdown of the trade, check out the next episode of the SoxProspects Podcast, coming this Monday! If you're interested in hearing the podcast before Monday, please consider supporting us on Patreon, where we will be releasing the episode this weekend. 

Here are our initial reports on Hernandez and Sogard, compiled from data and reports as well as our scouting sources across the game. Please note that these reports will be updated after we have seen the players in person.

Roberto Hernandez
Physical Description: Thick, mature frame. Sturdy catcher's build.

Hit: Starts open and utilizes a short leg kick timing device. Loads high and keeps his hands up throughout. Will not swing-and-miss often, but rarely walks and his approach needs work. Can be overly aggressive and has trouble recognizing spin. Has had issues with timing in the past. Potential below-average hit tool.

Power: Plus raw power. Can really impact the baseball, especially up in the zone. Power is mainly to the pull side; every home run in his career prior to being acquired by the Red Sox was to left or left-center. Ability to tap into raw power will depend on how his hit tool develops. Potential average in-game power.

Run: Well-below-average speed. Not a part of his game.

Field: Does not move well behind the plate. Framing and receiving need a lot of work. Potential fringe-average glove.

Arm: Plus-plus arm. Does a good job controlling the running game. Arm is a weapon.

Career Notes: Acquired from the Rays in February 2021 with Nick Sogard for Jeffrey Springs and Chris Mazza. Spent much of 2020 traveling with the Rays on the taxi squad. Was added to the Rays 40-man roster in November 2019. Was an infielder before signing with the Rays, moving behind the plate after signing.

Summation: Potential bat-first backup catcher, but has a wide range of outcomes and has everyday upside. Power and arm are carrying tools, but questions about his approach and hit tool and defensive profile cloud his future projection. Type of defensive profile that could really benefit from robot umps. If he can even develop into a fringe-average defender with a below-average hit tool, could be an everyday player given his power and arm.


Nick Sogard
Scouting report: Switch-hitter with minimal remaining projection. Strong contact skills. Really knows the strike zone and has an advanced approach. No power projection. Soft hands, solid instincts in the field. Should be able to stay at shortstop and also play second base and third base. Advanced feel for the game and strong instincts. Cousin of MLB veteran infielder Eric Sogard and nephew of former major leaguers Steve and Dave Sax. Projects as a solid organizational player.

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.
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February 15, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Duran, Arauz named to Caribbean All-Tourney team

This week's roundup covers February 1 through the end of the season. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page.

Caribbean Series

The Red Sox organization featured the leadoff hitter for two of the four squads in the 2021 Caribbean Series, and both were honored with All-Tournament Team recognition. Jarren Duran (pictured) continued to build upon his strong finish to the season in the Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rican) League, going 10 for 25 with a homer out of the leadoff spot for Caguas. He was 2 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base in a semifinal victory over Culiacan of the Mexican League. Duran followed with a 1-for-2 effort that included two walks in a 4-1 loss in the final to Aguilas. Jonathan Arauz was 7 for 26 from the top of the order for Chiriqui, representing Panama. Jeremy Rivera (2 for 11) and Jack Lopez (2 for 6) joined Duran getting playing time for Caguas, while Joey Meneses submitted a strong .261/.375/.478 line for Culiacan.

Australian Baseball League

Colin Willis was signed by Boston to a minor league contract after the 2019 season out of the independent American Association. Despite not yet having suited up in a game for the organization, he's been one of the most prominent players in the Winter Leagues for two years. Willis helped Melbourne repeat as ABL champions, going 5 for 9 and homering in both of the Aces' playoff games. The final victory was made all the more dramatic as it was announced only hours before the first pitch that the winners bracket final would instead be the league championship due to a coming COVID lockdown. 


Thank you for joining us for an unusual Fall & Winter series. With players arriving in spring training, we will begin our Fort Report series in this space next week. 

Photo Credit: Jarren Duran by Kelly O'Connor

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February 13, 2021 at 12:54 PM

Scouting Report Update: Josh Winckowski

On Thursday, the Red Sox traded Andrew Benintendi to the Kansas City Royals in a three-way trade that also involved the New York Mets. In return, the Red Sox received outfielder Franchy Cordero and two PTBNL from the Royals and RHP Josh Winckowski and a PTBNL from the Mets. For a detailed breakdown of the trade, check out the latest episode of the SoxProspects Podcast. The only prospect we know about so far is Winckowski, who was only just acquired by the Mets in January as part of the Steven Matz trade. Winckowski slots in at 32 in the current SoxProspects Rankings, and it was announced on Friday that he got a Non-Roster Invitation to Major League Spring Training.

Here is our initial report on Winckwoski, compiled from data and reports as well as our scouting sources across the game. Please note that the report will be updated after we have seen him in person.

Physical Description: Tall, sturdy frame. Minimal remaining projection.

Mechanics: Throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot. Delivery is on the stiff side and lacks fluidity. Arm gets out of sync with his delivery and he does not effectively utilize his hips and lower body.
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February 12, 2021 at 3:17 PM

Podcast Ep. #202: I’m going to send that link to you

Beware the tenth of February. The Emergency podcast horn is blaring again. Andrew Benintendi is now a Kansas City Royal. Chris and Ian break down the trade to discuss what we know now and what we won’t know for a little while. They break down why the Sox went in the direction of the multiple players to be named later. After recording this episode, the front office made another move and Chris and Ian got back on the line to record their thoughts on that signing as well as the other offseason moves. We take a quick stroll through the mailbag. And finally, Chris and Ian pay heartfelt tributes to Ron Johnson and Pedro Gomez.

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February 5, 2021 at 12:00 PM

January Notes: Bloom, Crockett appear on podcast

 Here are January's minor league notes:

  • It was a big month for the SoxProspects.com podcast, releasing three episodes, including the 200th episode with Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom. Chris and Ian chatted with him about his journey in the game, his time with Tampa Bay, as well as a challenging first season in Boston. 
  • On episode 199, "It's The Amuse Bouche", Chris and Ian caught up on transactions, international signings, as well as Andrew Benintendi trade rumors. They also opened up the mailbag and answered some listener questions. 
  • On episode 201 of the podcast, Chris and Ian welcomed Ben Crockett, Boston's VP of Player Development. They discussed the strange 2020 season, the Alternate Training Site, and a look ahead to 2021. Chris and Ian also took a look back at the winding road to 200 episodes.
  • SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting, Ian Cundall, added some scouting updates from Fall Instructs, including reports on a pair of new arms. Update one featured Jay Groome and Aldo Ramirez, noting that Groome has added a slider to his arsenal. In the next report, updates are provided on new signing Jose Adams, who projects to start the season in Salem, as well as Frank German, a 2018 first-round pick by the Yankees who was acquired by Boston along with Adam Ottavino. 
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February 1, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Caribbean Series begins; Willis raking down under

This week's roundup covers January 25-January 31. 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 the first week of February.

Caribbean Series

The 63rd edition of the Caribbean Series began on Sunday in Mazatlan, Mexico and will feature five Red Sox farmhands. Jonathan Arauz will represent Panama, while Joey Meneses (pictured) will play for host Mexico. Puerto Rico will have three Red Sox, headlined by Jarren Duran along with Jack Lopez and Jeremy Rivera. The tournament will feature a round-robin opening round with the top four teams advancing to single-game, single-elimination semifinals and finals.

Panama and Venezuela opened up the tournament, with Arauz slotted in the leadoff spot for the Panamanian team. He was 2 for 5 with a pair of RBI. Duran and Rivera occupied the No. 1 and No. 9 spots in the Puerto Rico lineup, respectively, against the Dominican Republic. Duran scored his squad's only run, reaching on a single to lead off the contest before promptly stealing second. Rivera also added a single in a 1-for-2 showing.

Meanwhile, Mexico broke out for 10 runs in the nightcap, aided by a 2-for-4 performance from Meneses. He had a pair of doubles, each of which brought in a run.

Mexican Pacific League

Culican and Meneses trailed their best-of-seven final 3-1, but won three straight contests to advance to the Caribbean Series. Hitting fourth and playing mostly left field with a little third base mixed in, Meneses was 8 for 21 through the final five games of the series with an RBI. He opened the scoring with a single in the first inning of Game 6, which Culican won, 6-2. He finished the Pacific League playoffs with a .276 average, albeit with a .645 OPS.

Australian Baseball League

The Australian Baseball League continued in its penultimate week and Colin Willis' club, Melbourne, continued to lead the standings. He played right field and was the Aces' table-setter, hitting 7 for 18 on the week. He recorded a base knock in each of his team's five games, extending his hitting streak to seven consecutive contests. The standout performance came January 27, when he was 3 for 5 with a home run to lead off the contest. He would add another RBI and score three total runs on the day. He also walked eight times, including four times January 29 and three more free passes the day prior. Willis is now hitting .342 on the season.

Venezuelan Professional Baseball League

Lara, which included outfielder Caesar Puello, fell in Game 4 of the league final on Monday, getting swept by Caribes de Anzoategui. Puello did not play in Game 4.

Photo Credit: Joey Meneses by Kelly O'Connor

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at 7:00 AM

Podcast Ep. #201: Interview with Red Sox Senior VP of Baseball Ops Ben Crockett

Chris and Ian welcome Red Sox Senior VP of Baseball Operations Ben Crockett—who was promoted from VP of Player Development shortly after this episode was recorded!—to the podcast. The guys discuss the most unusual year that shall not be named. Crockett shares his thoughts on the alternate training site. He talks through what the year ahead will look like. And finally the guys talk to him about some of the more interesting player development stories. Before getting into the interview, Chris and Ian talk through the latest moves, including the Adam Ottavino trade, and read your emails.

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