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SoxProspects News

April 15, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Paulino, Teel homer as Portland wins fourth straight


4/15 Cup of Coffee:
Boston's minor-league affiliates went 3-2 on Sunday. As part of a doubleheader in Syracuse, Rob Refsnyder and Vaughn Grissom continued their rehab assignments while Tyler McDonough shined in his first start of the year for Worcester. Eddinson Paulino (pictured) homered for the third consecutive game, leading a power surge in Portland's win over Reading. At the lower levels, Cutter Coffey broke out in Greenville while Austin Ehrlicher struck out seven of the 13 batters he faced for Salem.

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Despite scoring the first five runs, Worcester fell in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader against Syracuse. Brian Van Belle went just 3 2/3 innings for the second straight start, allowing four earned runs on nine hits (three home runs), zero walks, and zero strikeouts. AJ Politi took the loss in relief after yielding four runs on three hits in the bottom of the fifth. Three members of the WooSox' starting lineup recorded multiple hits. Chase Meidroth went 2 for 4 with an RBI, Mark Contreras went 2 for 4 with a run-scoring double, and Eddy Alvarez went 2 for 3 with a double and run scored. Niko Kavadas homered for the second time this season while Nick Sogard scored two runs. The rehabbing duo of Vaughn Grissom and Rob Refsnyder combined to go 1 for 7 with a run, a walk, and four strikeouts.
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April 14, 2024 at 2:58 PM

Podcast Ep #312: New Rankings, Same Defense


After a strong start, the Red Sox have seen old issues crop up with injuries and poor defense fueling a losing streak. Ian and Chris discuss the injuries and what to do about the defensive issues that have plagued the team recently, especially at the shortstop position. They then discuss the Ceddanne Rafaela extension and if it was the right move by the organization. Finally, they wrap up by discussing the latest transactions and the new SoxProspects rankings that were released in conjunction with the start of the minor league season!
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Multi-home run nights for Anthony, Paulino, and Gonzalez


4/14 Cup of Coffee: It was an exciting night with strong performances across the three levels. In Portland, Roman Anthony and Eddinson Paulino hit home runs in each game of the doubleheader. Connelly Early and Bryan Gonzalez were excellent, though that was not enough to will Greenville to victory. Elmer Rodriguez led a tremendous effort for the Salem pitching staff, while Jhostynxon Garcia collected three hits. 

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Worcester Red Sox @ Syracuse Mets (NYM), PPD (rain)
Saturday's game was postponed, with the teams now slated to play a doubleheader on Sunday. 

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The Sea Dogs launched four home runs in seven innings as they cruised to a victory in the first game of a doubleheader. Nick Yorke started the barrage with a two-run home run in the first inning, and Roman Anthony and Eddinson Paulino followed with home runs in the third inning. Nick Decker capped things off with a three-run home run in the sixth that broke the game open. Anthony finished 2 for 4 with a double, and the announcer stated his home run left the bat at 111 mph. On the mound, Helcris Olivarez struggled through his 1 2/3 innings as he walked five, and Robert Kwiatkowski picked up the win with 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
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April 13, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mayer goes yard as Sea Dogs win in a blowout


4/13 Cup of Coffee:
Following the example from the big club, there were two shutouts down on the farm on Friday night, as Portland dominated Reading, but Greenville was unable to get into the run column against Bowling Green despite four extra-base hits on the night. Marcelo Mayer hit his first home run of the season and was joined in the home run club by teammate Max Ferguson, as well as Jamie Westbrook for Worcester and both Johanfran Garcia and Jhostynxon Garcia in Salem. Worcester dropped a tight decision to Syracuse, while Salem escaped Delmarva, both by identical scorelines.


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Worcester had a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third, but Syracuse put up a three-spot in the frame and added one more for good measure in the sixth. Nick Sogard opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first inning, while Jamie Westbrook tacked on a second run in the Red Sox's next at-bat via the home run. Rob Refsnyder had a two-hit day and the trio represented four of Worcester's five hits. Grant Gambrell was on the mound and pitched the first five innings, surrendering three runs on five hits and a trio of walks, while he struck out five. Justin Hagenman struck out three hitters over two frames, while Lucas Luetge had a clean eighth. 
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April 12, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Yuten caps big night with game-winning blast


4/12 Cup of Coffee:
Three teams were in action on Thursday night, with each coming down to the final at-bat. Greenville walked off with the victory in the bottom of the ninth, while Natanael Yuten starred in Salem's extra-inning victory. Worcester suffered the system's only defeat of the night, surrendering an eighth-inning lead to fall 5-4. Portland was also scheduled to play but the Sea Dogs were washed out for the third time in six games. 

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The WooSox fell in a second consecutive one-run defeat after a back-and-forth contest in Syracuse. Richard Fitts turned in a solid start, allowing three runs on six hits in five innings, striking out five without issuing a walk. Luis Guerrero took the losing decision, surrendering a two-run homer in the eighth inning. Eddy Alvarez was the offensive standout, blasting a solo home run in the second and a double in the fourth. Bobby Dalbec also had a solo blast, his first hit of the season after starting 0 for 15 between Boston and Worcester. 
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April 11, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sandlin debuts in Greenville; Tucker ignites Salem's late rally


4/11 Cup of Coffee:
Boston's minor-league affiliates went 1-3 on Wednesday. Naoyuki Uwasawa debuted and Nathan Hickey homered again as Worcester fell to Syracuse. Matthew Lugo and Phillip Sikes each had two hits in Portland's loss to Reading. David Sandlin was charged with the losing decision in his first start for Greenville. Jhostynxon Garcia, Nelly Taylor (pictured), and Natanael Yuten enjoyed multi-hit performances as Salem defeated Delmarva.

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Naoyuki Uwasaka made his first start for Worcester on Wednesday night. The Japanese right-hander allowed three earned runs on four hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over five innings. He finished with 79 pitches (52 strikes). Zack Kelly and Cam Booser combined for five punchouts across three scoreless frames of relief. Both of Worcester's runs came by way of the long ball. Nathan Hickey went deep for the second straight game and the third time this season as part of a 1 for 3 showing. Nick Sogard also homered in the top of the sixth for his lone hit of the contest. Mark Contreras went 2 for 4 with a double.
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April 10, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Anthony, Mayer, Teel all notch multi-hit games


4/10 Cup of Coffee
: The big three prospects at the top of Portland's lineup, Roman Anthony, Marcelo Mayer, and Kyle Teel (pictured), all had big nights at the plate, leading to eight Sea Dogs runs in a tough loss to Reading. Kristian Campbell went deep in Greenville's loss, and Salem rode three good pitching performances to a win. 

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The Sea Dogs' studs at the top of the lineup had a big offensive showing in this one. Leadoff hitter and number one prospect Roman Anthony went 2 for 5 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored. Marcelo Mayer had a couple hits as well to go along with a walk and a sacrifice fly. Anthony and Mayer each have an OPS north of 1.000 to begin the season. Kyle Teel had a big night as well, going 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, and three RBI. Nick Yorke, who started in left field for the first time in his career, added three hits of his own, including a double. 
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April 9, 2024 at 2:30 PM

Minor Notes: Full-season affiliates underway; Hamilton called up; Rafaela extended


All full-season affiliates are officially underway, as the Portland Sea Dogs, Greenville Drive, and Salem Red Sox have started up their seasons. 

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Top prospects off to a good start
Snow had a large impact on the start of the season for the Sea Dogs, and have only played one game so far as a result. However, it was a good game for the top two prospects in the system, Roman Anthony and Marcelo Mayer. Anthony picked up a pair of singles, while Mayer doubled and swiped a base. 

Cup of Coffee returns for another season
As all full-season affiliates are underway, we are excited for another season of the Cup of Coffee. Each day, our staff writers will recap each game with notes on how the games went, standout performances, stats, and a Player of the Day. Check out the news page each morning for the Cup. Here is our most recent edition, courtesy of Brendan Campbell, recapping four games. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Alexander eclipses Mets with six no-hit innings


4/9 Cup of Coffee: The WooSox were the only team in action as part of a rare Monday contest to celebrate the path of the solar eclipse through Syracuse. Jason Alexander (pictured) had a cosmically dominant performance, departing after six non-hit innings and supported by a Nathan Hickey-led nine-run outburst.

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The Syracuse Mets hosted a solar eclipse party and then played as though the sun remained in darkness. Jason Alexander went six innings without allowing a hit, striking out seven against two walks in his second Worcester outing. Jorge Benitez followed with a perfect seventh before allowing the Mets first hit with one out in the eighth inning. Luis Guerrero finished off the one-hitter, striking out one in a scoreless ninth. 
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April 8, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bastardo and Criswell impress on mound; Big Three debuts in Portland


4/8 Cup of Coffee:
Though the big-league club secured a series win in Anaheim, Boston's minor-league affiliates struggled again on Sunday and went 0-4 as a group. Despite getting another strong start from Cooper Criswell (pictured), Worcester dropped its third straight to Buffalo. After getting snowed out on Friday and Saturday, Portland was shut out by Hartford in its season opener as Roman Anthony accounted for two of the Sea Dogs' three hits. Elsewhere, Greenville fell to Greensboro in a rubber match while Albert Feliz hit his first home run of the year in a losing effort for Salem.

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Cooper Criswell was solid yet again in his second start of the season for Worcester. The 27-year-old righty allowed just one earned run on four hits, two walks, two hit batsmen, and four strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings of work. Of the 82 pitches he threw, 50 went for strikes and 11 were whiff-inducing. Out of the WooSox bullpen, Chase Shugart and Brennan Bernardino combined to surrender nine runs (eight earned) in just 1 1/3 innings. On the flip side, Lucas Luetge and Andrew Politi put together 2 1/3 scoreless frames of relief.
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April 7, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Early terrific for Greenville; Bleis shows his patience


4/7 Cup of Coffee: All three affiliates struggled on Saturday, with each pitching staff allowing at least six runs. Brian Van Belle could not follow up on his great season debut, and Elmer Rodriguez only lasted three innings for Salem. Connelly Early (pictured) was terrific for Greenville, though the bullpen let that game slip away late. 

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Two more hits from Romy Gonzalez paced the offense, but the pitching staff struggled to find the strike zone in a loss to Buffalo. Brian Van Belle lasted only 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks. Justin Hagenman was tagged for four runs over two innings, and Joe Jacques allowed one run on three walks over 1 1/3 innings. Zack Kelly was the only pitcher to hold Buffalo scoreless, but he also issued three walks in two innings. 
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April 6, 2024 at 7:34 PM

Podcast Ep #311: A Neverending Scary Story


Guarded optimism from a 6-2 start and the excitement of the true opening of the minor league season gave Chris and Ian some positives to discuss on this episode, while the specter of Trevor Story's shoulder injury clouded the vibes with some talk of who might fill the gap at short. Just how good is this Sea Dogs lineup? Who are the top dogs on the A-ball rosters? Those questions answered and more on this episode of the pod.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Minor League Opening Day


Cup of Coffee 4/6:
It was Opening Day for the rest of the full-season affiliates, though Portland isn't going to play until at least Sunday with winter weather rolling through coastal Maine. Worcester was able to clear its field to play a frigid doubleheader, while both of the Single-A affiliates went into extra innings in their first games. Romy Gonzalez had five RBI in Game 1 for Worcester, while each of the Garcias in Salem had multi-hit efforts, as well.

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In the first half of a chilly doubleheader in Worcester, the Red Sox withstood a six-run seventh to come away with the victory as Nathan Luke's grand slam wasn't enough. Five of the runs went on Lucas Luetge's tab, while it was AJ Politi who surrendered the big fly. Richard Fitts performed admirably as a starter, scattering six hits and an unearned run over 4 1/3 innings of work. He walked two and struck out three. Offensively, Worcester recorded just seven hits but worked eight walks to help facilitate scoring. Romy Gonzalez was 2 for 3 with a triple and a grand slam of his own, while Eddy Alvarez and David Hamilton reached base three times.  
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April 5, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Nope, weather still stinks


4/5 Cup of Coffee:
Miserable weather caused Worcester to be postponed for a second consecutive day. However, rain nor snow nor even fog has stopped the intrepid SoxProspects.com team, which published its season-opening rankings. 

Friday should see some baseball action. Worcester's attempt at a doubleheader appears fraught, as does Portland's opening day at Hadlock Field. However, the Greenville Drive, featuring fast-rising Kristian Campbell (pictured), and the Salem Red Sox both appear in good shape to kick off their seasons. 

Photo Credit: Kristian Campbell by Kelly O'Connor

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April 4, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Fitts' 2024 debut postponed due to weather


4/4 Cup of Coffee: The only minor-league game scheduled for Wednesday was postponed due to rain and sleet in the Worcester area. Richard Fitts (pictured), acquired from the Yankees in December's Alex Verdugo trade, was in line to make his organizational debut but that will now have to wait. 

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Buffalo Bisons (TOR), Worcester Red Sox (PPD)
As previously mentioned, Wednesday's contest between Buffalo and Worcester at Polar Park was postponed due to inclement weather. It will be made up as part of a single-admission, seven-inning doubleheader beginning at 3:35 pm Eastern Time on Friday afternoon. The two sides are slated to play a single game on Thursday, though the forecast does not look promising.
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April 3, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Criswell delivers five scoreless in first outing


The WooSox were again the only game of the day, falling to 2-2 in their home opener. Cooper Criswell (pictured) was the bright spot, turning in a terrific outing for his first start of the season. The bullpen was also great for Worcester in the loss. 

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Cooper Criswell made his organizational debut and followed the lead of all of Boston's starters at the big league level. The right-hander tossed five shutout innings on 74 pitches. He only allowed four hits and one walk while punching out five. Our own Ian Cundall was in attendance and noted Criswell's deceptive delivery and the use of a promising sweeper. Joe Jacques and Zack Kelly each tossed a scoreless frame, with Kelly touching 96 MPH on his fastball. Lefty Jorge Benitez was also great on the mound, throwing two innings without allowing a hit, walk, or run. He struck out three. At the plate, the Sox' bats were silenced, picking up just two hits in 10 innings. Romy Gonzalez singled and has now hit safely in three of his first four games this year. Mark Contreras had the other knock, a single. 
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April 2, 2024 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Triple-A season begins; Song needs Tommy John surgery


Spring training has officially concluded, and Boston and Worcester have started their seasons. The rest of the full-season affiliates begin play on Friday. For a full look at current and projected rosters, please check out our Projected Rosters page, which includes the major league and minor league squads. 

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Worcester wins opening series
The WooSox opened the season on the road in Lehigh Valley, taking two out of three games from the IronPigs. David Hamilton (pictured) and Romy Gonz├ílez homered twice over the three games, with Hamilton going deep for the third straight year on Opening Day. Brian Van Belle turned in the best pitching performance of the weekend, striking out six over five shutout innings. 

Rosters affected by injuries
Several players who were projected to start the year in the majors or upper minors are dealing with injuries of varying significance. Boston placed Vaughn Grissom (left hamstring strain) and Rob Refsnyder (left toe fracture) on the 10-day injured list. Boston also placed Bryan Mata (right hamstring strain) on the 15-day injured list. Injuries continue to plague Mata, who has just over 100 innings pitched since the end of the 2019 season. As expected, the Red Sox placed Chris Murphy (left UCL sprain) on the 60-day injured list. Murphy is expected to require season-ending surgery to repair a torn UCL in his pitching elbow. 
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April 1, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hickey crushes first Triple-A homer as Worcester earns series win


The WooSox were yet again the only one of Boston's minor-league affiliates in action on Sunday. Thanks to some timely hitting from the likes of Nick Sogard, Nathan Hickey (pictured), and Romy Gonzalez, they ended the weekend on a positive note. 

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The WooSox closed out the first weekend of the Triple-A season by picking up a series victory over the IronPigs on Sunday afternoon. Romy Gonzalez recorded his second multi-hit game in three tries, going 2 for 5 with a double and two-run triple out of the three-hole. Leadoff man Nick Sogard, meanwhile, went 1 for 4 with a walk and go-ahead RBI single. Batting between Sogard, and Gonzalez, Nathan Hickey crushed a 435-foot two-run shot in the fourth inning for his first home run of the year. Corey Rosier, Dalton Guthrie, and Eddy Alvarez each doubled while Niko Kavadas drew a team-high two walks.
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March 31, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Van Belle terrific on mound, Hamilton homers again


For the second straight night, Worcester was the only team in action. They grabbed their first win of the season behind a terrific pitching performance from starter Brian Van Belle (pictured)

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The Sox capitalized on a wild pitch from old friend Austin Brice in the ninth inning to take the lead. Nick Sogard singled later in the frame to drive in a pair of insurance runs. David Hamilton belted a home run for the second consecutive night, while right fielder Mark Contreras singled, walked, and stole two more bases to give him three thefts on the year already. Chase Meidroth also singled, walked, and scored a pair of runs. 

Brian Van Belle was outstanding in his first start of 2024, tossing five shutout innings with no walks and six strikeouts. Zack Kelly threw a clean sixth inning, while Cam Booser ran into a bit of trouble. He surrendered two earned runs over two innings but punched out four without issuing a free pass. Chase Shugart picked up the save with a shutout ninth inning to seal Worcester's first victory of 2024. 
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March 30, 2024 at 5:22 PM

Podcast Ep #310: Opening Day is Here!


Ian and Chris Hatfield reunite to break down the end of spring training and the opening day roster. They then move on and discuss the Worcester roster which has a few surprises including Nick Yorke not making the team and Stephen Scott’s release. They also go through the rest of the recent transaction and Chris provides updates on injured players including Noah Song, Alex Hoppe, Nazzan Zanetello, Brooks Brannon and more. Finally, they end the episode by going through your emails! Players discussed include Ceddanne Rafaela, Kutter Crawford, Bobby Dalbec, Richard Fitts, Grant Gambrell, Nick Yorke and more!
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Gonzalez homers twice as Worcester blows four-run Opening Day lead


3/30 Cup of Coffee: Triple-A Opening Day was on Friday, one week before the rest of the full-season affiliates. Worcester was in Pennsylvania to face Lehigh Valley and held an advantage until the bottom of the ninth, but the game unraveled quickly.

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Worcester had a 4-0 lead headed into the bottom of the ninth, but Lehigh Valley made it interesting as Joe Jacques entered the game. Four singles and two walks later and three runs were in for the IronPigs, with Andrew Politi responsible for putting out the fire, as the bases were still loaded and there were no outs. He walked the first hitter that he faced, then Rodolfo Castro hit a walk-off grand slam to cap off an eight-run frame.
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March 28, 2024 at 9:00 AM

2024 SoxProspects Pre-Season All-Stars Pt. 2 - Pitchers


For the second and final part of SoxProspects.com's 2024 Pre-Season All-Star list, we turn our attention to the mound and recognize seven of the more well-regarded pitchers in the Red Sox farm system. This group features two international signees who were just added to Boston's 40-man roster, three draftees, and two recent trade acquisitions.
 
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Luis Perales: Starting Pitcher, Greenville Drive
Perales, who turns 21 next month, is a Pre-Season All-Star for the second year in a row. Currently ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the organization, the right-hander is coming off a 2023 season in which he posted a 3.91 ERA (4.34 FIP) with 115 strikeouts to 50 walks over 21 starts (89 2/3 innings) between Salem and Greenville. After being promoted in mid-July, he pitched to a 4.95 ERA (6.07 FIP) with 44 strikeouts to 22 walks in eight starts (36 1/3 innings) for the Drive. The native Venezuelan was nonetheless added to Boston's 40-man roster in November for Rule 5 protection purposes and is slated to return to Greenville for the start of the 2024 campaign.

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March 27, 2024 at 2:16 PM

2024 SoxProspects Pre-Season All-Stars Pt. 1 - Position Players


 Baseball is back. The Red Sox minor league squads will be getting underway this week. With that, the SoxProspects.com team has selected its annual Pre-Season All-Stars. We will begin with the hitters today and continue with pitchers tomorrow. 

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Catcher: Kyle Teel, Portland Sea Dogs
Teel, drafted 14th overall last summer, enters his first full season of pro ball as a Pre-Season All-Star. The 22-year-old has already risen to third here at SoxProspects after putting up some big offensive numbers in 2023. He saw time with the FCL Sox, the Greenville Drive, and the Portland Sea Dogs last year, where he hit a combined .363/.482/.495 in 26 games. Teel saw some action in MLB games this spring and hit this bomb on the back fields
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March 26, 2024 at 12:00 PM

Fort Report: Red Sox make late addition to bullpen, release former top prospect


The start of the 2024 Major League Baseball season is just days away, which means it is now time for the final Fort Report of the year. The Red Sox closed out the Grapefruit League portion of their spring schedule over the weekend and will wrap up their two-game exhibition series against the Rangers in Texas later Tuesday afternoon before heading to Seattle for Opening Day. With that, here is a rundown of some key events that took place prior to the club leaving Fort Myers on Sunday.

Anderson signed to one-year deal
The Red Sox added to their bullpen mix on Sunday by signing right-hander Chase Anderson to a one-year major-league deal. Anderson, 36, is a veteran of 10 big-league seasons and most recently split the 2023 campaign between the Rays and Rockies, pitching to a 5.42 ERA over 19 appearances (17 starts) spanning 86 1/3 innings of work.

Anderson had been in camp with the Pirates on a minor-league contract this spring, but he opted out of that deal after appearing in four Grapefruit League contests and was granted his release on Saturday. The Red Sox obviously wasted little time in pouncing on Anderson, who will earn a base salary of $1.25 million and up to $500,000 in performance bonuses. With Boston, he figures to serve as a long reliever who can also make spot starts when needed.

Giolito placed on 60-day IL, others could soon follow
In order to clear a spot for Anderson on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox placed fellow righty Lucas Giolito on the 60-day injured list. Giolito, of course, underwent a successful right elbow ulnar collateral ligament repair with internal brace procedure earlier this month and will likely miss the entirety of the 2024 season as a result.

Like Giolito, Liam Hendriks will also begin the season on the 60-day injured list as he continues to work his way back from the Tommy John surgery he underwent last August. Chris Murphy, meanwhile, could also be headed for the  IL with an elbow injury that first popped up after his last outing on March 14. The 25-year-old lefty is scheduled to get a second opinion on his elbow from Rangers team physician Keith Meister early next month and may require surgery, according to The Boston Globe's Alex Speier.

Rodriguez makes team, Cron does not
On Friday, a pair of veterans on minor-league deals with the Red Sox triggered the opt-out clauses in their contracts, giving the club 48 hours to decide if they would be added to the active roster or not. Ultimately, reliever Joely Rodriguez was informed on Sunday that he had made the team while first baseman C.J. Cron was told otherwise. 

Rodriguez will be the lone southpaw available to manager Alex Cora out of the bullpen to begin the season. Brennan Bernardino was in the mix all spring, but was somewhat surprisingly optioned to Triple-A Worcester on Monday night. Cron, on the other hand, is believed to be exploring his options on the open market but could be brought back by the Sox on a minors pact, per MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo.

In the wake of these decisions, it now appears as though Bobby Dalbec will make Boston's Opening Day roster since he can provide positional versatility off the bench. Lucas Luetge, who had been competing with the likes of Bernardino and Rodriguez for a bullpen spot, will report to Worcester since his upward mobility clause is no longer in play.

Other transactions
The Red Sox released six minor-leaguers on Sunday: Cron, infielders Joe Dunand and Lyonell James, outfielder Gilberto Jimenez, and right-handers Maceo Campbell and Garrett Ramsey. Of those six, Jimenez stands out the most since he was once considered one of the top prospects in the organization. Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic for $10,000 in August 2017, the 23-year-old peaked at No. 4 in our rankings during the 2019 offseason. Despite showing signs of promise in the lower minors, he never advanced past High-A.

Key links
Ceddanne Rafaela and Justin Slaten are among the rookies who have already been told that they have made the Red Sox' Opening Day roster. Rafaela and Slaten each reacted to the news in separate conversations with MLB.com's Matthew Ritchie and WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, respectively. 

Several members of the SoxProspects.com staff were in Fort Myers this past week for minor-league spring training at Fenway South. Among the key takeaways, both Ian Cundall and Chris Hatfield liked what they saw from 18-year-old infielder Starlyn Nunez, who is set to make his stateside debut in the Florida Complex League this coming season.

For additional Red Sox prospect coverage, be sure to follow Ian (@IanCundall), Chris (@SPChrisHatfield), Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg), and the SoxProspects account (@SoxProspects) on Twitter/X if you don't already!

Minor-leaguers in major-league games
Each year, we track the players who are not in major-league camp who get pulled over for MLB games. Here is the final tally, with current ranking in parentheses, of the 54 minor-leaguers who were featured in Grapefruit League action this spring:

Pitchers: Jason Alexander, Brendan Cellucci, Felix Cepeda (48), Theo Denlinger, Jordan DiValerio, Juan Encarnacion, Zach Fogell, Gabriel Jackson, Robert Kwiatkowski, C.J. Liu (56), Wyatt Olds, Zach Penrod (39), Garrett Ramsey, Cody Scroggins, Reidis Sena (49), Noah Song, Dylan Spacke, Nate Tellier, Christopher Troye (34), Brian Van Belle, Jacob Webb, Jeremy Wu-Yelland, and Ryan Zeferjahn (54).

Position players: Roman Anthony (1), Alex Binelas, Kristian Campbell (47), Allan Castro (15), Juan Chacon, Cutter Coffey (38), Nick Decker, Kelvin Diaz, Drew Ehrhard, Albert Feliz, Max Ferguson, Jhostynxon Garcia, Mickey Gasper, Gilberto Jimenez, Blaze Jordan (20), Niko Kavadas, Christian Koss, Ahbram Liendo, Eduardo Lopez, Matthew Lugo (55), Elih Marrero, Marcelo Mayer (2), Tyler McDonough (43), Tyler Miller, Eddinson Paulino (18), Angel Pierre, Luis Ravelo (45), Phillip Sikes, Karson Simas, Kyle Teel (3), and Miguel Ugueto.

Photo Credit: Gilberto Jimenez and Kyle Teel by Kelly O'Connor
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at 12:05 AM

Podcast Ep #309: Boots on the ground in Fort Myers!


Ian and Chris Clegg are back from the annual SoxProspects trip to Fort Myers with news from the backfields on a plethora of prospects. For the hitters, they go through a few guys at each position who stood out and then did the same with the pitchers based on projected starting level. Players discussed include Roman Anthony, Marcelo Mayer, Yoeilin Cespedes, Richard Fitts, Franklin Arias, Blake Wehunt and more!
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March 15, 2024 at 11:07 AM

Podcast Ep #308: Spring Breakout Game Preview


Ian and Chris Clegg reunite to discuss the latest news from Red Sox camp, including Brian Bello’s extension and Ceddanne Rafaela and Justin Slaten’s strong performance so far. Next, they discussed the Red Sox roster for the spring breakout game and previewed the Braves’ roster as well. Finally, they wrap the episode up with a brief Spring Training trip preview and go through three players each that they are excited to see!
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March 12, 2024 at 9:00 AM

Fort Report: Sox extend Bello; Mayer makes spring debut


The Sox had a good week on the field, going 4-2, including a pair of wins over the Rays in the Dominican Republic. But that was all secondary news, as Boston locked up a promising young pitcher for the next six years. 

Bello signs six-year extension
The biggest news this past week for the Red Sox was the announcement of Brayan Bello's (pictured) contract extension. The deal is for $55 million and includes a seventh-year club option for $21 million. Bello will be a huge piece of Boston's rotation until at least 2029. The right-hander established himself last season, tossing 157 innings in 28 starts with a 4.24 ERA. That ERA ballooned due to an eight-run outing in his penultimate start, but he had a string of 21 starts from the end of April through August in which he had a 3.20 ERA.

 
Mayer makes spring debut
Marcelo Mayer, our second-ranked prospect, appeared in a major league game for the first time this spring. He came in to play shortstop and in his only at-bat, he roped a double down the left-field line. 
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March 8, 2024 at 10:23 AM

SPPod Ep. #307: An Exercise in Allocation


Chris and Ian are back together after a few episodes and jump right into the thick of Spring Training, talking about the recent transactions and the impact of the Lucas Giolito injury. They also discuss Ian’s recent article on the Red Sox draft strategy and how it has impacted the clubs ability to develop high end starting pitching. Finally, they close things out with your emails!
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March 5, 2024 at 9:00 AM

Fort Report: Song debuts; Cron signed to minor league deal


It was a full week of games, with Boston going 4-3. Some highlights from the week were Roman Anthony going 2 for 2 against Detroit, Noah Song (pictured) earning a save against Tampa Bay, and Rule 5 pick Justin Slaten continuing to cement his place in the major league bullpen. 

Grissom strains groin
Vaughn Grissom's status for Opening Day is in doubt as he is recovering from a groin strain. Pablo Reyes and Enmanuel Valdez are the two most likely candidates to get the start at second base on March 28 in Seattle.

Latest podcast
After recapping the first weekend of games and some recent transactions, Ian sits down with Geoff Pontes of Baseball America in the latest episode of the SoxProspects.com Podcast. They discuss some of the key underlying metrics they look at when evaluating prospects, and also talk about some upcoming rule changes for the minor leagues. 
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February 27, 2024 at 8:13 PM

Podcast Ep. #306:Tell your neighbor baseball is here!


Red Sox Major League Spring Training games have started so Ian runs through some things he noticed during the first weekend of games and the recent transactions. Ian then sits down with Geoff Pontes of Baseball America to discuss some underlying metrics they look at with minor league hitters and pitchers and what those metrics show. They also discuss the key rule changes for the minor leagues this year, the reduction of the reserve list and the new complex league schedule, and the impact that could have on teams this year.
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at 9:00 AM

Fort Report: Mata injures hamstring; Anthony and Teel make spring debuts


With exhibition games already underway, the SoxProspects.com team is back with the first Fort Report of the spring. Following Monday's walk-off win over the Phillies at JetBlue Park, the Red Sox are 3-1 in Grapefruit League play and 4-1 on the spring overall after defeating Northeastern University last Friday. Because Opening Day is still more than a month away, there are still plenty of important decisions that need to be made in the coming weeks. Having said that, here is a rundown of some key things that have happened since Boston held its first full squad workout eight days ago:

Mata injured
Bryan Mata (pictured, left), who is competing for a spot in the Sox' Opening Day bullpen, has been shut down from throwing due to a right hamstring strain. The right-hander sustained the injury during a fielding drill last week and will be sidelined for the time being, per manager Alex Cora.
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February 22, 2024 at 12:23 AM

Podcast Ep. #305: Enter Sandlin


With spring training ramping up, the podcast is back with a different lineup than usual as Ian and Chris Clegg are running things this week. We start off with some college baseball talk and then move on to discuss the Red Sox trade with the Royals where they acquired a very interesting starting pitching prospect. We also briefly touch on the signings of Liam Hendriks and Michael Fulmer, before going through what the top pitching prospects in the system need to do to take the next step in their development!
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February 13, 2024 at 11:31 AM

Help Wanted: SoxProspects Social Media Specialist


We are looking for an enthusiastic Social Media Specialist to join the SoxProspects Staff immediately! We're seeking a commitment of at least through the end of 2024, but ideally we are looking for someone who will want to stick around with us for the long-term if there’s a mutual fit. We are hoping that this position will help work on expanding our social media presence beyond Twitter, while also serving as a backup on Twitter. We expect that the commitment would be a few hours per week during the baseball season, and less in the off-season. 

As for requirements, we’re looking for someone with flexibility to be able to post using the site’s social media platforms as needed, maybe a couple times per day, including during business hours (ET). This does not mean being on call around the clock, but it will not work if the applicant is totally unavailable to post during the entire workday every day. 

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at 8:00 AM

How the Red Sox draft strategy has affected the club's pitching development


For years, any discussion of the Red Sox farm system has eventually turned to the organization's struggles to develop homegrown pitching, especially impact starters. This is clearly an area Craig Breslow was brought in to improve, and this offseason he has already made sweeping changes to the pitching infrastructure. He brought in Andrew Bailey as the major league pitching coach, Justin Willard as director of pitching, and Kyle Boddy as a special advisor, also overhauling almost the entire Worcester pitching apparatus with new coaches and catchers. This group is tasked with developing a group of pitching prospects that is deep, with many arms with major league potential, but many, if not all of those arms profile best as multi- or single-inning relievers. In the current SoxProspects top 60, the highest-ranked pitcher is Luis Perales at 7, and there are only three other pitchers in the top 20: Wikelman Gonzalez (9), Richard Fitts (11), and Yordanny Monegro (20). From 21-40, we have 13 pitchers ranked, most of whom either already are or profile as relievers. 

Developing starting pitching is not easy, but other systems have certainly had more success at it than Boston. So what are teams like the Mariners and Dodgers doing that has allowed them to have a stream of major league-ready arms coming through their system, including high-end starting pitchers? Overall, the Red Sox have done a good job with the players they’ve had in the system. Brayan Bello is up at the major league level and drastically improved during his time in the organization. Perales and Gonzalez are both international signees who have steadily improved as they’ve progressed. Draftees such as Hunter Dobbins (highest-ranked Red Sox draftee in the system at 23rd) and Shane Drohan also made steady progress as they moved up the ladder, but overall, there is still a lack of starting pitching prospects.  

Given the effort the Red Sox have put into modernizing their pitching development, especially starting in September 2015 with the appointment of Brian Bannister to Director of Pitching Analysis and Development, their continued relative inability to develop a top starting pitching prospect stands out. The top recent pitcher to come through the system, Bello, and the top two pitching prospects in the system all came via the international market, where the Red Sox have done a good job of identifying pitchers and developing them. The amateur draft is a different story, however. Diving into the club’s draft history from 2018-2023 reveals a lack of resources (high picks and bonuses) devoted to pitchers, especially compared to other organizations that have successfully developed multiple homegrown starters and top pitching prospects. Digging into where the most successful major league starting pitchers and high-end pitching prospects came from, it appears that the Red Sox have made it more difficult for themselves to develop these high-end pitchers by primarily allocating their draft resources toward hitters.
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February 11, 2024 at 12:01 PM

Podcast Ep. #304: Back for more in '24


After a month to recharge, the podcast is back... and so is Theo Epstein? After the offseason of our discontent, we finally got some good news after Winter Weekend seemed to present a low point for Red Sox fandom. Plus, there's a new batch of minor league free agents and international amateur signees to discuss, and as always, your emails!
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January 22, 2024 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Koss homers as Caguas wins 21st LBPRC title


Red Sox minor league action in the winter season has come to an end with the Roberto Clemente League wrapping up its season. Caguas took home the championship.

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Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (LBPRC)
Caguas captured its 21st LBPRC championship, winning the series five games to three. It was a productive series for both Sox farmhands, as Christian Koss (pictured) played in seven of the eight games for Caguas. He went 5 for 20 with a home run, three RBI, and a stolen base. His home run and all three of his RBI came in Game Two, when Caguas exploded for 13 runs in the win. He also picked up a single and a stolen base in the eighth and final game of the series, a 4-1 Caguas win. 
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January 8, 2024 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Caguas moves to LBPRC final, Jorge Benitez shines


The calendar has flipped to 2024 and with that, the winter league seasons are beginning to come to a close. Red Sox minor leaguers are only still playing in the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League and one team has already punched its ticket to the championship series, while Game 6 in the other best-of-seven semifinal series is on Monday night.

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Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (LBPRC)
Caguas took down Santurce in five games to advance to the championship series. Two farmhands are playing for Caguas: Jorge Benitez and Christian Koss (pictured). Benitez pitched in three games and contributed 4 1/3 no-hit innings over Games 2, 3, and 5. He pitched two frames in the deciding contest and struck out four Santurce hitters against one walk, his only of the playoffs. He had a punchout each in his other two appearances. Koss appeared in each of the series' first three contests, with a 1-6 line, including four strikeouts.

They are the only two to appear in the postseason to date, as Vaughn Grissom suited up for now-eliminated Santurce, while Juan Montero did not factor into any of the first five games in the series between Ponce and Gigantes de Carolina. Gigantes leads the series, 3-2. If Ponce wins Game 6, Game 7 is scheduled for Wednesday. The championship series, for the right to represent Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Series, begins Friday.

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Photo Credit: Christian Koss by Kelly O'Connor

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January 2, 2024 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Grissom acquired from Braves in stunning trade


The first winter roundup of 2024 is highlighted by none other than Vaughn Grissom (pictured, left), who the Red Sox stunningly acquired from the Braves this past Saturday in exchange for left-hander Chris Sale and cash considerations.

Grissom, who turns 23 later this week, was originally selected by the Braves in the 11th round of the 2019 amateur draft. The right-handed-hitting infielder broke in with Atlanta in August of 2022, most notably recording his first career hit (and first career home run) against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. He has appeared in a total of 64 big-league contests over the last two seasons and has batted .287/.339/.407 with nine doubles, one triple, five homers, 27 RBIs, 29 runs scored, five stolen bases, 13 walks, and 49 strikeouts while seeing playing time at both middle infield positions. 
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