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November 29, 2021 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Cordero, Crawford highlight winter league action


The winter leagues continued for Sox prospects, highlighted by the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues. Franchy Cordero (pictured) and Pedro Castellanos highlight the hitters, while Kutter Crawford and Victor Santos threw well on the mound. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously throughout January. This week's roundup covers the week of November 22 through November 28. 

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Dominican Professional Baseball League

Franchy Cordero played a lot again this past week, racking up 24 plate appearances. He recorded five hits, including a double and a triple, to go along with three walks and just three strikeouts. He is hitting .271/.327/.417 this fall so far. Kutter Crawford also saw action in one game, tossing three solid innings. He did not allow an earned run, struck out five, and walked a pair. Victor Santos appeared in a couple games, totaling three innings. He did not allow a run and surrendered just one hit, walking three and punching out three. 
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November 23, 2021 at 2:00 PM

Podcast Ep. #234: Four to the 40, FA targets


Last week, the Red Sox added the four players we thought were sure things to the 40-man roster... and nobody else. What does that mean? Chris and Ian break it down, then look ahead to free agency and potential Red Sox targets. Plus, we've got a big old bag of your emails as our Thanksgiving appetizer. 
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November 22, 2021 at 10:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: AFL season ends, Casas takes OBP crown


The Arizona Fall League came to its conclusion, while baseball in the Caribbean winter leagues continued. Triston Casas (pictured) and Pedro Castellanos starred in the desert and Venezuela, respectively. 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 week of November 16 through November 21. 

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Arizona Fall League

Another edition of the AFL was completed, and Triston Casas finished in style. The system's top-ranked player reached base five times on Tuesday, going 2 for 2 with three walks. A 1-for-3 performance on Wednesday in his final appearance left him with a .495 on-base percentage, top in the circuit among players with 50 plate appearances. Jeter Downs, who got off to a scorching start before slumping, finished with a solid 3-for-7 effort on the week. Christian Koss was 1 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base, while Kole Cottam was 1 for 5 in his lone start. 
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November 19, 2021 at 12:35 PM

First Take: Projecting protection day


Today, we'll learn what the organization really thinks about a handful of prospects, as teams have until 6:00 pm EST today to add players to the 40-man roster and protect them from selection in the Rule 5 Draft. This year, the Red Sox have a number of players who could potentially be selected, some of whom are easy decisions to protect—such as Josh Winckowski (pictured, left)—or not. However, a number of players are on the cusp, and the team's decisions on whether or not to protect those players will tell us about the players' standing in the organization's evaluation.

I will get to my projections below, but first, some general thoughts about Rule 5 that are always good to keep in mind. I would also suggest reading Ian Cundall's Scouting Scratch on eligible players, as well as listening to our podcast discussing this issue.

Having a player selected in the Rule 5 Draft is not a crisis
I project that the Red Sox will have a player selected from their farm system this year. The question is simply who that player is. However, while the club has not had any player selected from its farm system in the past 4 years, keep in mind that not every Rule 5 pick turns into Garrett Whitlock. From 2007 to 2016, the Red Sox had 13 players (really 12, with one selected in consecutive years) selected from their system. Nine of those selections were returned, and only one, Ryan Pressly, would qualify as a player the team probably wishes it could get back. As I will get into below, it is certainly possible that, say, Zack Kelly gets selected by a team that saw and really liked him in 2021. However, Kelly would have to stick with the selecting team for that to truly be any kind of loss, and even at that, it would be more likely that he turns into a Josh Fields or Cesar Cabral than a Pressly.
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November 18, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Red Sox 2021 Rule 5 Preview


By Friday, the Red Sox must decide which prospects to add to their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. Currently, the Rule 5 Draft is scheduled for December 9, but exactly when it would be held is unclear, should the team owners lock out the players on December 1.

Currently, the Red Sox 40-man roster is at 33 players, and if necessary, players such as Phillips Valdez, Jeisson Rosario and Hudson Potts could be removed from the roster in order to create more space. Because a lockout is possible, I don’t think it is out of the question for the Red Sox to overprotect players now and then figure out what to do after signing free agents later in the offseason once a CBA agreement has been reached. While I currently would not project this to be the case, it also would not surprise me if they ended up protecting eight or more prospects. 

Another possibility is the Red Sox make a trade before the deadline. Certain prospects, like Gilberto Jimenez and Ceddanne Rafaela, have no chance of contributing in the big leagues in the near term. While it could be a little difficult for the Red Sox to keep those developmental players on the 40-man roster for several years until they could make an impact at the MLB level, it might be easier for some rebuilding teams to do so. As a result, we could see the team look to make a trade like they did last year, when they traded Yoan Aybar, who needed to be protected, to the Colorado Rockies for Christian Koss, who does not need to be added until December 2022. 

Here's a short list of players who are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

Locks to be protected:
Jeter Downs, SS/2B
2021 highest level: Worcester
Even though he hit .190/.272/.333 this year, Downs has too much upside not to protect him. He did show flashes this year, notably at the end of the season and at the start of the AFL, but he also had long streaks where he was overmatched at the plate and clearly pressing. In the AFL, he is hitting .200/.385/.500 in 64 PA and has shown above-average raw power and the ability to take a walk, but also too much swing-and-miss and a poor approach that leads to him giving away too many at-bats. 
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November 17, 2021 at 3:15 PM

Podcast Ep. #233: Bye ERod, Rule 5 protection preview


A former top prospect in the SoxProspects rankings (Summer 2015) has left the organization, and Chris and Ian broke down Eduardo Rodirguez's departure and gave some thoughts on early rumors linking the Red Sox to free agents. Plus, the Rule 5 Draft protection deadline is this Friday. The guys broke down the long list of potential additions and picks and spelled out how a long list of candidates does not mean there's a logjam.
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November 15, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Casas, Cottam are AFL Fall Stars


The highlight of the week was in the AFL, which held its mid-season East vs. West All-Star Game as the conclusion of a big week for SoxProspects.com top-ranked prospect, first baseman Triston Casas (pictured right). 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 week of November 8 through November 15. 
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Arizona Fall League

Casas got the start at first base in the AFL Fall Stars Game for the East side, batting sixth. In his first at-bat, he hit a line drive, ground rule double down the right field line and scored when the next batter doubled. In his other two at-bats, he grounded out to second twice before being removed in the top of the sixth with most of the starters as the East went on to win 6-5. Kole Cottam caught the last two innings of the game and reached on a fielder's choice in his lone plate appearance. 

That wasn't the top-ranked Casas' only action this week. Prior to the All-Star game, Casas went 7 for 14 with two doubles, three runs, two RBI, two walks, and a strikeout over four other games. 
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November 8, 2021 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Cottam blasts pair; Winckowski starts fireworks


There was much going on in the Fall and Winter leagues as the Arizona Fall League crossed its halfway point. Top prospects Triston Casas, Jeter Downs, and Connor Seabold appeared, while Kole Cottam (pictured) had a monster effort on Tuesday. 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 week of November 1 through November 8.

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Arizona Fall League
All eight active players in Scottsdale saw significant playing time. Top prospect Triston Casas continues to be one of the toughest outs in the desert. The first baseman was 5 for 13 with five walks against just one strikeout on the week. He also doubled, scored four runs, and drove in four, giving him a .385/.556/.462 line for the week. Kole Cottam's bat exploded on Tuesday, as the backstop homered twice as part of a 4-for-5 effort. Cottam drove in six runs in three games, going 5 for 12 overall. Jeter Downs, the hottest player during the circuit's first week, hit a bit of a rough patch, going 0 for 12 with a walk, run scored, and four strikeouts. Christian Koss went 1 for 3 in both of his two starts.
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November 4, 2021 at 11:06 PM

Podcast Ep. #232: On to the offseason


With freshly restored wills (and internet), Chris and Ian opened the offseason officially with a new podcast. The guys reviewed the end of the Red Sox playoff run and how they did on their pre-season predictions before looking ahead to the next milestones of the offseason, in particular decisions on contract options and qualifying offers. There were some recent transactions (players and coaches) to discuss, and updates on the Arizona Fall League and international winter leagues to be had. Then, as always, your emails.

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November 1, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Downs stays hot, Dominican league kicks off


Action in the winter leagues continued, with the Dominican Professional Baseball League starting play on October 27. 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 week of October 25 through October 31.

Arizona Fall League
A grand slam on Monday started the week off on the right foot for Jeter Downs. The league seemed to catch on to his hot streak, however, as he was walked four times over the last two games. In all, Downs went 3 for 13 with six walks, four strikeouts, and three steals. He was moved up to the leadoff spot on Thursday and even played shortstop on Saturday. He did commit two more errors this week and is already up to four this fall. Triston Casas hit .353 last week, going 6 for 17 with four walks, three strikeouts, and a double. While he did not hit for much power, an on-base percentage of .476 shows he is putting up great at-bats. Over three starts, Kole Cottam went 1 for 10 with two walks. Christian Koss had some more success in his three starts, going 4 for 13 with a double and three RBI. 

On the mound, Connor Seabold was inconsistent over his two starts. On Monday, he allowed just one run and struck out four without walking a batter over four innings. But on Saturday he took the loss after surrendering two home runs and walking three over four innings. In all, he was charged with three runs, though he did strike out four. 
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