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April 7, 2023 at 9:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Dalton Rogers, Noah Dean, Nathan Landry and Alex Hoppe


In the middle of March, the SoxProspects.com Brass made our annual trip to Spring Training to catch the action on the back fields in minor league camp. I was able to spend a full week in Fort Myers this year, and as a result I was able to see more players than ever before. Over the next few articles, I’ll break down some of the players who intrigued me down there, starting with some recently drafted pitchers. 

The highest drafted pitcher in the Red Sox 2022 draft class having been selected in the third round out of Southern Mississippi, where he worked exclusively in relief in his one season playing for the Golden Eagles, left-hander Dalton Rogers only threw one inning in game action while I was down there, but he showed off a polished arsenal that should get him to at least Double-A Portland in pretty short order. Rogers is undersized, listed at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, with minimal remaining physical projection. He has a deceptive delivery, and his 92-94 mph fastball plays above that velocity. It is tough to pick up and has good shape, allowing it to play up when he locates it up in the zone. He got four swinging strikes with the pitch in his inning of work, two each from right- and left-handed hitters. For his secondary pitches, he showed an 82-mph slider with long, sweepy, 2-to-8 shape and an inconsistent changeup at 85-86 mph. 

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Although, like Rogers, he was utilized as a reliever at Old Dominion—in his case, for his entire collegiate career—left hander Noah Dean was being stretched out to start in camp. He started an intrasquad game (against Luis Perales, who will be featured in a future article) and went three innings, showing off a three-pitch mix. Dean has an athletic frame with some remaining projection. He has a quick arm and good life on his 92-96 mph fastball. His best secondary pitch is his breaking ball, which flashed above-average potential at 77-81 mph. It was at its best in the lower end of that velocity range, where it looked more like a true curveball, but at other times it was more slurvy with sweeping break. He also mixed in a changeup at 83-84 mph that flashed average potential, but was inconsistent. 

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Fifteenth rounder Nathan Landry does not have stuff that stands out in short bursts, but he is very polished and has a command and control profile that will succeed in the low minors. The 6-foot-2 left-hander out of Missouri is very polished, and although he only sits 88-90 mph, topping out at 91 mph, he has advanced command to all quadrants. He will also show a two-seam fastball at 86-87 mph that looked like a usable pitch when looking to get weak contact on the ground. He only showed a slider for his off-speed pitch, throwing it at 80-81 mph with 2-to-8 shape. 

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The inverse of Landry, Alex Hoppe showed the best fastball of any of the 2022 draftees and one of the top fastballs of any pitcher I saw in camp. A sixth-round pick out of UNC Greensboro, Hoppe is a pure relief prospect, but he has impressive arm strength, able to run his fastball up into the high-90s. He topped out at 98 mph when I saw him, but we received reports that he got above 99 mph in camp and I would not be surprised at all if he hit 100 mph at some point this year. What is impressive about his fastball is that in addition to having standout velocity, it has good characteristics. It has significant induced vertical break, which gives it good ride and allows it to play up in the zone. Hoppe’s slider is more of a work in progress, and he struggled to land it in the zone when I saw him. With refinement, it could develop into at least an average pitch, which, when combined with a potential plus-to-better fastball, makes Hoppe a very intriguing relief prospect. 

Photo Credit: Dalton Rogers, Noah Dean and Alex Hoppe by Kelly O'Connor.

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.